Venice hotel offers rooms for 1 cent in error

Hotel News - 17/08/2009

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As would be expected, the bookings flooded in to the website of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located in Quarto D'Altino, approximately 25km from Venice. Before the error was corrected, nearly 1,400 room nights were booked at the one euro cent price – and it seems that the bookings will be honoured.

At first it was thought that the website had been hacked, the hotel’s sale manager, Fulvio Danesin, said on Friday. What actually happened, however, was that someone at the head offices of the parent company, Intercontinental Hotels Group, made the error.

The offer was meant to feature a two-night stay at the price of one night. Although the one-cent rate was online on the site one night, it was long enough for bargain hunters to book dates from October of this year through 2010, according to Danesin. He noted that the cost to the hotel of the error will likely be $129,000.

Monica Smith, who is the US-based media relations manager for the hotel group, reported that 228 guests had booked the equivalent of 1,400 room nights while the one cent price was on the website – and added that the bookings were valid.

Smith added: “Although a pricing error, IHG is committed to honoring the 1-cent rate for guests who have a valid confirmation,” noting however, that the bookings “are nontransferable”.

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