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I booked a package holiday to Brazil through a German travel agency. The hotel was supposed to be of high standard. It turned out to be shabby and noisy. I was not able to get a single good night’s sleep during my holiday. What should I do?

If the hotel does not match the description provided by the tour operator or if there are issues that you were not told about beforehand, you should talk to the hotel staff or your tour operator straight away. If you do not complain about any issues that you encounter while still at the hotel, you usually will not be able to invoke these later on.

If the tour operator or the hotel staff fail to rectify the problems, you should send a written complaint to the tour operator as soon as possible after your holiday and ask for a discount on the basis of defect. Germany’s package holiday laws stipulate that all complaints must be made in writing and within one month of the end of the holiday. Any claims made after this deadline will not be entertained. Many other countries have also chosen to impose a relatively short deadline for complaints, usually between one month and a couple of months. 

I booked a hotel room for a weekend in Barcelona. My travel plans changed and I had to cancel my booking the day before I was supposed to arrive. The hotel refuses to refund me. How is this possible?

The right to cancel a hotel booking without incurring any costs generally only applies if this is specifically mentioned in the terms and conditions of the booking. 

It is always worth reading the cancellation policy carefully before making a booking online. Even if you end up not using your booking, you may still have to pay for it under the terms and conditions. 

Updated 26.1.2015 Print