The customary practice in North America with hotel bookings, especially done on-line, is to allow 24 hours notice of cancellation without charge.
Not so with the Holiday Inn Express at Kelowna, BC (maybe with any HIE booked through the same web-site). Once you book, you are authorizing the hotel to charge you in full for service they may not have to provide. I was charged more than 100% of the room charges for the full period of the intended stay, even after the booking was cancelled.
On May 29 2012, I booked on-line for four rooms August 4th to 7th for our Ruby anniversary. The webpage authorizing payment by credit card did not contain any warning that the payment is non-refundable. The only note on this page is "Cancellation fees are non-refundable". Shortly after the booking, my children selected Osoyoos, a better place for the winery tour. I cancelled the booking on-line early June, again there was no warning that the payment was non-refundable or indication how much the cancellation fees were.
On July 4th, I received my credit statement which showed Holiday Inn charged me C$2303.53 + C$767.51 (which is more than the amount C$2965.28 shown on the website when I booked). I called 1-800-465-4329 and the agent told me it was the hotel's policy not to allow any refund for cancellations.
Had I booked with another hotel and then cancelled the booking well in advance, I would not have to fight with the establishment to get my money back. In the present case, I had given the hotel more than two months notice of cancellation and yet I had to pay the hotel C$3075.04.
500 Cook Road, Kelowna
2429 Hwy 97 N, Kelowna
2592 Hwy 97 N, Kelowna
1070 Harvey Avenue, formerly Alpine Lodge Motor Inn, Kelowna
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Address: 2429 Hwy 97 N, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1X 4J2, Canada