Just Because You Make A Reservation At Holiday Inn, Doesn’t Mean The Hotel Exists

In September 2021 a reader made a reservation at the Holiday Inn LaGuardia Airport for the nights of August 28th at 27,000 points and August 29th using a credit card free night. The reader shared, “we were so excited to be at the US Open this year, we booked almost a year out at a hotel I’ve stayed at and liked.”

That’s not the Holiday Inn Express at LaGuardia, or another nearby Holiday Inn. It’s the one that used to be at 37-10 114th St in Corona, New York. Used to be.

This hotel apparently closed at some point and went into foreclosure in March. There’s no reason that the hotel guest would know this. In fact they went into their account to print a copy of their reservation to have it with them on arrival a day before check-in. The bookings were there.

Here’s what happened when they arrived,

There was a make-shift tarp over the Holiday Inn sign, and very questionable people on the stoops smoking pot and glaring at us. I somewhat shocked asked if this was a Holiday Inn, and they laughed and said the whole thing was closed. These folks didn’t seem like hotel guests, but it seemed like it had been converted into some public housing, so we quickly left and booked an expensive Hampton Inn nearby.

This building ceased being a Holiday Inn and was rebranded as “The LaGuardia Hotel,” still associated with IHG based on reviews and a management response as recent as July 20. However it no longer appears to be bookable. It’s unclear how many other guests have shown up at the hotel like it was some sort of scam Airbnb?

Based on the most recent reviews closing it was probably a good idea (though telling future guests would have been better!),

The decor was obviously a conglomeration of stuff from other hotels, and we could hear the person next door coughing/throwing up at 4am through the walls.

…the room has no hangers, the shower is broken, a guy come in to my room… tv remote control doesn’t work

…Front desk personnel were trying to give out sheets and towels to those whose room had not been cleaned.

Hotels sometimes change from one brand to another. That means you may have a reservation at a hotel, it leaves the chain, and you won’t be able to earn points, elite stay credit, or receive elite benefits when that happens – although if the hotel joins a different chain you’ll be able to participate in the other program’s points and benefits.

Award guests can find themselves in a tough spot with hotels that do not honor points redemptions. When the Le Meridien Tahiti left Marriott they didn’t want to honor future award redemptions, and started wrangling for Marriott to pay them more to do so.

But I haven’t seen a case where a hotel just closed, reservations remained active, and nobody said anything. So before your next Holiday Inn stay you may want to check that the hotel still exists?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Back in 2006, I had a friend who booked a Knight’s Inn in New Orleans, but 6 months before he booked, the hotel had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

  2. And that was a good holiday inn
    The bad ones just have deceased guests waiting to be transported as permanently checked out

  3. It has occurred to me twice that IHG hotels left IHG after I had made
    reservations with them. In neither case, IHG notified me about the
    reservations having become invalid. To make it worse, they didn’t
    automatically refund the points, nor were they keen on doing so when
    asked.

    IHG has a web form, but they never replied to my inquiries. When
    calling IHG rewards, the agents put me on long holds, saying they had
    to ask a specialist to refund the points. The phone calls were dropped
    after a long hold. Still, you would think they could fix the issue
    even if the customer was not on the line, but no, they did not refund
    the points.

  4. Something like this actually happened to me for a stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Deauville, France for 1 October 2022. It’s changed hands TWICE since I originally booked it. Fortunately, I discovered on my own this had happened, because my itinerary had changed and I no longer needed the stay. IHG never notified me the hotel was no longer with IHG. I was unable to cancel the reservation online. The reservation agent was unable to cancel the reservation. A supervisor initially contacted the first hotel it had become and got a message to call back after 4 p.m. local time to speak to the manager and subsequently the supervisor received no answers to phone calls because the hotel had switched hands for the second time. Finally, I was able to figure out to which chain it had switched hands (from matching the address after doing an online search) and then the IHG supervisor was able to cancel the reservation with the new hotel directly and I was emailed a cancellation number. The IHG supervisor informed me there is no way to remove a stay as being an upcoming stay in my account once the hotel is no longer part of IHG.
    Clearly, IHG needs to improve its technical system.

  5. I had a similar experience with a non-existing Fairfield Inn in Battle Creek Michigan. Showed up late the evening of my confirmed reservation, and found a construction lot. The hotel wasn’t finished.

    No worry I thought, Marriott has a good reservation guarantee for Gold Members if you get bumped. But the fine print said that it does not include things like non-existing hotels. So after a contact with the owner of the hotel, I got some BonVoy points as compensation.

    That a hotel chain refuses to take responsibility for misdeeds of owner is incredible from a customer service standpoint. But hotels and airlines “terms and conditions” have as their primary goal to protect that operating company, not the consumer.

  6. The same thing happened at Hyatt Place in Panamá. The hotel was sealed up, but incoming guests were not informed.

  7. Did the correspondent even try getting IHG to honour their room guarantee?

    IHG is supposed to be booking them another hotel at a comparable property.

  8. Happened to us this summer in downtown Baltimore. Fortunately, I tried contacting the hotel several weeks ahead of time to change to an accessible room. No answer at the hotel. When I talked to corporate, they tried to contact the hotel, and had the same results. I cancelled our reservation and booked and a non IHG hotel.

  9. I had it with the Doubletree Frankfurt Germany. They postponed the opening but did not see a need to inform. I had luck that the Hilton representative put enough points on my HH account and arranged a rate at a different at another Hilton venue and paying just the same like I would pay for the Doubletree. I asked later the Hotel Management and no reason to excuse for their mistake not to inform their customers with bookings that they were not opened yet.

  10. The entire Hotel industry within the U.S. has become so bad as to wondering when there will be regulatory oversight either on state or federal levels. At the very least we see the airline industry being somewhat tampered. But it’s clear hotels need a wake up. It’s incredible, the hotel industry in the U.S. was once an incredible balance of value and service that was the envy of the world. Now, wow, we have truly become a third world country as to hospitality.

  11. Happened to me at the Chicago Holiday Inn in October of 2021. Arrived at hotel with confirmed reservation and finally had a security person tell me that the hotel was closed for renovations.

  12. We showed up for a vacation night at aHI Express on Amelia Is only to find out the hotel was still under construction. Even when I called IHG the agent said she would call the hotel to see what she could do to get us in that night. In not sure what part of “the building isn’t built yet” she didn’t understand.

  13. The exact same thing happened to me last year at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, CT. The main difference is that I had made the reservation with points a few days before and not a year out so this was even crazier. To make matters worse, my flight was delayed so I arrived at 230 am only to find the hotel completely shuttered. I ended up paying $400 at a nearby holiday inn express. The sad part was that the hotel was closed a month before I made the reservation yet it was still bookable when I made the reservation. To throw fuel on the fire, IHG would not book me with points at the HIE that I ended up paying $400 even though they initially stated they would. Businesses have become a mess in the USA and they can get away with anything. Then they are surprised when the government steps in

  14. US business owners are entitled crybabies. Our social culture empowers them, because anybody who complains about anything, even rightfully and legitimately, is termed Karen.

    F**k I’m not sure what to do.

    It’s probably best for Kim Jong-Un to take over the world.

  15. “Any honest evaluation of the response to the pandemic reveals that politicians and bureaucrats continue to play with objective facts. The unvaccinated have remained convenient scapegoats, blamed and punished for no other reason than to cover for the errors and misdeeds of the U.S. government.

    Sadly, Djokovic, whose stance is noble, honorable and heroic, is a pawn in this game.”

  16. We had a disgusting dirty Red lion hotel in Twin Falls Idaho. It should not be open. We contacted HQ and they gave us points. No thank you!!

  17. It’s not new, and not only IHG. For July 2nd 2021, my wife had a reservation at the Radisson RED Portland Downtown, which was made a month in advance on June 3rd. Turned out that the hotel was closed due to COVID, and there was no intent to reopen.
    We found out a couple of days in advance by happening to look at Google Maps. Not only was there no notification from Radisson, the reservation was still active, the hotel phone # was disconnected, and Radisson’s central reservations was clueless when I called, so I had to additionally call and deal with “customer care” to ensure we weren’t charged one night’s rate + fees and taxes because she “didn’t show up”.
    We found another hotel and when she walked by the RED’s location saw that it was shuttered tight, no sign of any recent activity.
    It was with some amusement that I noted recently that Choice Hotels has acquired Radisson Hotels Americas — wonder if they did an audit of the properties before closing the deal.

  18. You ever wonder why hotel owners are apart of the 1%…. I can’t even begin to put a number on how much money has been; shall I say “stolen”, by way of very shady dealings and “fine print” horse manure these dirty rat bastards schemed many many years ago.

  19. I used to stay at a very clean, friendly very reasonable rates/points Marriott Fairfield Inn on a tiny patch of land next to Silvercup studios very close to LGA. Perfect for a night out in the city and romantic interludes afterwards on the cheap. Suddenly they closed and became homeless housing for the City at some tremendous reimbursement rate. Likely this happened here too.

  20. The big Holiday Inn in Buena Park, CA, near Knott’s Berry Farm has rebranded to Double Tree by Hilton as well as the nice Tempe, AZ Holiday Inn Express to a Sleep Inn of all brands. My IHG credit card is now effectively “useless” at these properties.

  21. Something was missed in this senero and it wasn’t the guest that made an error.
    I have seen/ experienced hotel closures and/or name changes. The brand themselves contacted all excisiting reservations looking to help relocate them to another branded hotel. Especially rewards members as they want to maintain your business.

    So you and I can only speculate reasons how this happened, but for sure it’s not a standard for brands to not notify excisiting reservations.

  22. To be fair….that screenshot for the “You were recently interested in this property” looks like a third party website.

    Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Orbitz and of those other wack sites.

    As an employee of a hotel I always discourage guests from booking through these sites. Their version of information is not always accurate [clearly] and their confirmation numbers are usually not the same ones provided by the hotel – therefore locating a guests reservation is quite a challenge.

  23. Hey, Choice auditing Raddison guy, umm have u seen choice hotels??? If radisson had a sh*tty hotel, it would still be a 4 star compared to choice!!

  24. Last visit to a brand that is now in the Choice stable was probably 15+ years ago, can’t remember if it was a gem near MIA or the Quality Inn in Ukiah CA. Whatever, the zero balance in my Choice Privileges account will stay that way, forever.

  25. It just happened to me at the Marriott Residence inn in Montreal. Had reservation, showed a with printed confirmation, the agent said they could not help me and made me go find a room on my own.

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