Woman charged £260 for leaving negative hotel review

A woman has told how a hotel charged her £260 after she left an honest review about her 'nightmare' stay.

The Abbey Inn & Suites in the US state of Indiana actually had a 'policy' that allowed them to charge guests for bad reviews between September 2015 and November 2016.

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Katrina Arthur and her husband found this out the hard way after she received an email from the hotel inviting her to leave a review - so she did.

She told of how the room was dirty with hair in the bedsheets, the smell of sewage in the air, the air conditioning didn't work and how the water pressure was poor.

She later received a letter from the hotel's lawyer stating she'd breached hotel policy by leaving a negative review.

According to the Mirror, a lawsuit filed by the local prosecutor said: "Guests agree that if guests find any problems with our accommodations, and fail to provide us the opportunity to address those problems while the guest is with us, and/or refuses our exclusive remedy, but then disparages us in any public manner, we will be entitled to charge their credit card an additional $350 damage.

Woman charged £260 for leaving negative hotel review

"Should the guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued."

After finding complaints from other customers about this policy, Katrina filed a complaint with the Indiana attorney general.

The attorney general's office called the hotel's policy "unfair, abusive and deceptive."

According to the Indy Star, the lawsuit also alleges that Abbey Inn regularly did not have employees on site to resolve guest issues and that there was a sign that stated if guests called the overnight phone number for a non-emergency, the hotel would charge an additional $100.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the hotel from initiating or threatening legal action if "a customer makes a non-defamatory or negative statement" regarding a stay.

Indeed, Ms Arthur claimed there were no visible staff to complain to at the time, and that calling the number at the front desk didn't work, meaning she had to clean the room herself.

According to TIME, the hotel's policy was located on the second page of a seven page document that guests weren't given a copy of.

Ms Arthur also said the email she received inviting her to leave a review didn't warn of any consequences.

The hotel is reported to have closed since the story first broke.

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Best new hotels opening in 2018
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Best new hotels opening in 2018

2018 is the year to visit London, Ibiza and Thailand if these amazing new hotels are anything to go by. The hotel industry is about to welcome a whole host of stylish newbies, offering beautiful places to stay in fabulous locations at home and abroad.

SEE ALSO: Where to go in Europe in 2018

We've picked some of the most highly-anticipated hotel openings around the world in 2018, with jungle retreats, beach resorts and sleek city hotels all part of the mix...

Split into two hotels - the adult-specific Corales Beach and the family-friendly Corales Suites - this five-star resort will be firmly on the foodie map thanks to the dining by the Michelin-starred Padrón Brothers, the only chefs to specialise in Canarian cuisine. The dynamic duo will head up Maresía, the resort’s rooftop cocktail bar, restaurant and pool bar. Guests at the Royal Hideaway Corales Resort will have access to nine restaurants and bars, communal areas inspired by local surroundings and underwater sea life, and three outdoor saltwater swimming pools. Rooms start from €300 (£263) per night.
Opening on the edge of a jungle, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa will be set on the pristine Radhanagar Beach on the Andaman Island of Havelock. The resort will feature 75 private villas spread across 30 acres, with its own private beach, surrounded by rich coral reefs and lush green mangroves. The villa design was inspired by the pitch-roof style of the local Jawarawa huts and the culinary offerings will include global grills and fine dining experiences. Ampersand Travel offers a ten-night Andaman Islands itinerary from £3,300 per person, including seven nights at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa.
Designed to connect its guests to London's historic trading past and the highlights of the modern day capital, Vintry & Mercer's 92 bedrooms range from intimate doubles to suites with glass-panelled balconies that overlook the Southbank skyline. Its design was inspired by the historic trades of the area, with bespoke fabrics and old trading maps displayed throughout the building. The hotel will boast three distinct dining destinations, including modern Mediterranean restaurant Vintry Kitchen, the Mercer Roof Terrace and decadent underground cocktail bar, DND (Do Not Disturb). Rooms start from £192 per night.

The first Hilton in glamorous Lake Como will offer personalised service, a unique view of the lake from the sky bar and a rooftop pool. Guests at Hilton Lake Como will also enjoy a wellness spa, restaurant, fitness centre and stylish event space. Located just a short walk to local landmark Villa Olmo and close to the city centre, the 170-room hotel will provide a marvellous spot to explore the upscale Italian resort. Rooms start from 230 euros (£204) per night.

Beautifully integrating marina, beach and town, new boutique hotel Lido House will be a fashionable celebration of the SoCal lifestyle. With 130 rooms, a central location within the brand new Lido Marina Village and rooftop lounge, the hotel is expected to be the hottest address in Newport Beach when it opens. It will be the first time in 50 years that a hotel has been developed from the ground up on the famous peninsula, and guests can expect Cape Cod-style architecture, seasonal coastal dishes at restaurant The Mayor's Table and a sun-kissed pool. Rooms start from $273 (£206) per night.
The first luxury tented villa encampment for the hotel group, Rosewood Luang Prabang will offer eight deluxe villas, three garden villas, six private pool villas and five luxury tented accommodations. Each villa will feature a private dining area and wrap-around deck, with unique decor using indigenous materials and accents of locally inspired artwork. Located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the resort will be completely immersed in a virtually untouched natural environment, set within a thickly forested setting blessed with natural water features including a meandering river and waterfall. Rates TBC.
Nestled within the community of Al Mouj Muscat and encompassing over six kilometres of outstanding coastline, Kempinski Hotel Muscat will be an unparalleled luxury destination in the capital of Oman. Guests can expect 310 elegant rooms and 77 apartments at the Kempinski residences, as well as three swimming pools, ten dining venues and a PGA standard 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman. The 1,540 square-metre Kempinski Wave Spa will provide heat experiences and a VIP treatment suite. Rates TBC.

The Dixon will be London's newest boutique hotel with a focus on art, heritage, culture and design. Located in Tower Bridge on Tooley Street, an area which is considered the city's centre of artistic creativity (with the new Bridge Theatre just a few minutes' walk), the stylish hotel is set to become a new cultural hub for the capital in 2018. Design details cleverly reflect the building's purpose as a courtroom, showcasing local artists' work in all spaces, and with art and culture the primary theme of the hotel, a diverse cultural programme will be available for guests. Rooms start from £199 per night.

Set on the silver-white sands of Grand Anse Beach on the island’s southwestern tip, Silversands Grenada will be a sleek and contemporary boutique property comprising 43 suites and nine villas. Anchored by a 100-metre pool, the longest in the Caribbean, the hotel will be defined by its offering of an unpretentious luxury experience radiating with the warmth, originality and energy of the 'Spice Island'. There will be a beach club, a chic Thai restaurant and a striking spa. Rooms start from $800 (£603) per night.

The popularity of the laid-back White Isle is set to continue in 2018 with a new luxury hotel opening on the west coast of Ibiza. Nestled on the edge of a pine forest bordering the sea, Seven Pines Resort Ibiza will offer the height of luxury and Ibizan flair. The all-suite clifftop resort set in whitewashed Ibizenco-style homes will provide 195 spacious suites, exceptional food, a spa and a 24-metre Pershing yacht for guests. Rates TBC.

The Royal Yacht Britannia's new hotel will provide the ultimate luxury experience: a floating hotel berthed at The Shore in Edinburgh. MV Fingal's 23 beautifully styled cabins, all named after Stevenson lighthouses, are inspired by Fingal's rich maritime heritage. With a cabin for every occasion, guests will be able to choose from having their own private balcony, a duplex cabin or the stunning presidential suite. All of this is just a short stroll from two Michelin-starred restaurants in the vibrant Leith neighbourhood. Rates TBC.
Nobu Restaurant Marbella opened in 2017, introducing the resort’s discerning guests to world-renowned cuisine and specially-created dishes unique to Marbella. When Nobu Hotel Marbella opens, it will offer bespoke Nobu-designed guestrooms, luxurious amenities and a private swimming pool. Guests can look forward to priority access to the Nobu restaurant, Natura Bisse amenities and Nobu Matsuhisa's exclusive in-room dining menu. Rates TBC.

Nestled in the southeast corner of Corfu, MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas will make a splash on the island in 2018 as its newest adults-only hotel. It will not only offer a cosy and intimate atmosphere with a blend of Corfiot heritage and chic comfort, but the property will echo Corfu’s natural charm, making guests feel at home during their stay. Each of the 70 rooms is complemented by sleek design, modern amenities and breathtaking scenery at every turn. Guests will be able to enjoy a spa and gym, direct access to a private beach and a fabulous pool. Rooms start from £135 per night.

Set in The Duke of Marlborough's former country estate, The Langley will be an exquisite 41-room boutique hotel and spa, located within 500 acres of idyllic Buckinghamshire countryside. The hotel will comprise two buildings: a historic mansion that was once the estate of the Duke of Marlborough and a Grade II-listed 18th-century building which was formerly used as a stables and brew house. Guests will enjoy a world-class spa, a fitness centre, elegant dining experiences and landscaped gardens. Rates TBC.
Belfast will be a must-visit destination for 2018 when Northern Ireland's largest hotel, Hastings Hotels' Grand Central Hotel, Belfast, opens in June. The Grand Central Hotel will see an additional 104 bedrooms, bringing the total number to 304. The original Grand Central was built in 1893 and was the thriving hub of Victorian Belfast, as well as the finest hotel in Ireland. Along with more than 300 luxury bedrooms, the hotel will now feature a restaurant, bistro, rooftop lounge and retail units. Rates TBC.

Sheltered by a cove of golden sand and fringed by coconut palms, AVANI Sunset Coast Samui Resort & Villas will provide a secluded coastal hideaway. The design of the Thai resort focuses on great craftsmanship and contemporary decor. Set among expansive tropical gardens leading down to the beach, the lobby and all day dining restaurant will lie at the heart of the resort, surrounded by a collection of 58 stylish rooms with private balconies and sea-facing villas with plunge pools. The resort will feature two swimming pools, a gym and a chic beachside bar and restaurant. Rooms start from £105 per night.

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