NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cyber week deals are not just on toys and apparel; hotels and resorts are also offering deep discounts right now.
Before you lock it in, know this; there’s a good chance at least one of the resorts you’re contemplating looks nothing as advertised.
If you’re looking to get away this winter, the resort you book may look like the perfect destination in pictures, but it could be anything but when you show up.
“It happens a lot, when people arrive at a hotel and they had seen the beautiful telemarketing photo online and they get there and it’s something else entirely,” Kelsey Blodget said.
Blodget, a travel expert, said it happens so often, her website Oyster.com has an entire section dedicated to what they call ‘photo fake outs.’
“There are a few tactics we see over and over, one of them is careful cropping. So, they’ll show you just a portion of the room or just a corner of the pool to make it look like it stretches on forever. In reality it could be the size of a bathtub,” she said.
Jason Hall booked a beautiful water bungalow in the Caribbean for $950 a night.
“When we opened up the door, it’s like, ‘okay, there’s a construction zone,” he said.
When he got there the accommodations were not what he expected.
“I thought I did my due diligence. I thought I did my homework,” he said.
How could he know the enticing blue pool on the hotel’s website, really looked like a green algae pond? Or the photo of a tranquil beach, posted by a resort’s booking agent actually left out crowds in old lounge chairs?
“It’s not just budget hotels that are trying to trick you. Even luxury hotels, things might be exaggerated,” Blodget said.
“No apology, no refund, just left,” Hall said.
He moved to another hotel after just two nights, but could this have been avoided?
“I use Trip Advisor all the time,” Hobica said.
Hobica suggested looking at review sites for photos and testimonials from actual customers. Oyster.com publishes ‘photo fake outs’ regularly.
“We send hotel investigators around the world to take honest documented photos to show you exactly what you’re going to get before you arrive, so there should be no ugly surprises,” Blodget said.
Travel experts also recommend complaining to a hotel manager and asking for an upgrade, and regardless of the policy, requesting a refund if you feel you’ve been deceived.