A visitor to London has unveiled a photo that highlights just how starkly different promotional images of hotel rooms can be from the real thing.
Tourist Jerone Tan checked into the five-star Tower Suites hotel in London, located just yards from the Tower of London, expecting a ‘floor-to-ceiling perspective’ in his room, as shown in the one of the photographs displayed when he booked it.
The promotional photo showed the Tower of London beyond the windows, fresh flowers on the coffee table and desk, and patterned cushions. Mr Tan posted a photo of the actual room on Twitter alongside a promotional image, with his reality check photo showing how an exterior wall extends halfway up the windows and a complete absence of Tower London. The flowers, on the other hand, are conspicuous by their absence.
This promotional photo is used by the Tower Suites hotel in London to advertise its Signature Suite and one-bedroom apartment. This is the photo tourist Jerone Tan saw when he booked the latter.
Mr Tan posted this photo of his one-bedroom apartment on Twitter to highlight the differences from the promotional photo
Mr Tan, 46, who lives in Singapore, told MailOnline Travel: ‘I didn’t expect a great view. What I expected was perspective – floor to ceiling windows.
“What we got was a wall covering most of the outlook. It was really claustrophobic.
The company that manages Tower Suites, Blue Orchid Hotels, tweeted Mr Tan that “images on our website are for reference only and not all rooms are the same, including the view”.
But Mr Tan argued: ‘At the end of the day everyone will agree that he’s not even close to any of the images on the website.’
Mr Tan paid £1,138 for a three-night stay at Tower Suites in a ‘one-bedroom apartment’ but was upgraded one step to a higher ‘Signature Suite’ after check-in.
He made the reservation on booking.com, which shows a photo of the identical living room for the one-bed apartment and the signature suite, with Blue Orchid Hotels explaining that this is because some one-bed apartments in Tower Suites offer the same Tower of London. view as Signature Suite.
The booking.com page for a 1-bedroom Tower Suites apartment that Mr. Tan looked at
The Signature Suite is advertised as having “magnificent views of the Tower of London”.
But Mr Tan pointed out that his had a wall partially blocking the view.
He explained that he was moved twice to different rooms after checking in on Wednesday June 22, after filing complaints.
His second bedroom – a one-bedroom apartment – had a ‘full view of the train lines’, but was marred by ‘electrical humming noise’, which he said made it difficult to sleep.
Mr Tan, who works in banking, saw a return of the exterior wall covering the windows of his third room – another one-bedroom apartment – which is the room he photographed and posted on Twitter.
Mr. Tan decided to leave and stay elsewhere after just one night and was fully refunded for the two unused nights, but only, he says, “after a whole series of complaints via social media and numerous exchanges with “Guest Relations””.
Mr Tan added: “They never apologized or admitted there was a problem.”
Tower Suites told MailOnline in a statement: ‘We regret that Mr Tan remained dissatisfied with the genuine efforts of the staff to understand and resolve his concerns and chose to leave earlier than planned. The comfort of our guests continues to be our top priority and we hope that Mr. Tan will reconnect with us to resolve his isolated issue.
The hotel has hundreds of very positive reviews on Tripadvisor. But Mr. Tan’s experience was not totally isolated.
Tripadvisor reviewer “ti_boo34” wrote on June 9 after a stay at the Tower Suites: “We booked by phone directly with the hotel, requesting a room with a nice view. [But] our room (724) overlooked a very ugly building/wall. There was also a loud electrical hum which was constant and very annoying at night.
Asked if the experience deterred him from visiting London in the future, Mr Tan said: ‘London is one of my favorite cities in the world. So much energy, good and varied food – yes, I totally believe that – and things to do. Unprecedented.
‘I would visit London again but I will be very careful in choosing hotels, especially with the crazy prices at the moment. I would watch out for local brands/chains.
“I will probably stay at hotels where I have had a good experience or stay at international chains in the future.”