there is no place like ~

Booking a room in the Izmailovo hotel in Moscow (or trying to...)

For my holidays from 11 to 17 July I was looking for a hotel in Moscow. I found a couple of interesting hotels, one of them was Izmailovo (Gamma-Delta). The hotel had good marks in my travel guide, so I decided to book there. On 16 May 2007 I went to their homepage, clicked on the booking button and filled out the necessary fields in the HTML form (including, stupid me!, the credit card details). The web page claimed the booking was successful, and that an e-mail confirmation would be sent to my address, but I never received this confirmation.

A day later (17 May 2007), I sent a mail to hotel@izmailovo.ru, asking if the booking was successful, and requesting other information, but I did not get any reply from them. In the following days I tried to call them several times during different hours but I never managed to get a person to pick up the phone.

After further three days without any notice from the hotel, I wrote another mail (on 20 May 2007), explaining the situation. I stated that I neither got a confirmation to my reservation nor any reply whatsoever to my mails and phone calls and I wrote that the reservation (if there was any) was to be considered cancelled. Needless to say that I did get not a reply to this mail either, but for me the situation was settled.

The surprise came two months later, on 16 July 2006: my credit card was charged twice with 1000 roubles, for the total amount of 2000 roubles. I don't know what the technical term for this behaviour is, but to me the way of operating of the Izmailovo hotel could easily be interpreted as scam.

Their way of dealing with guests seems to me very unprofessional to put it mildly. I recommend to avoid the Izmailovo Gamma-Delta hotel in Moscow, unless you find a satisfactory way to communicate with them before booking the room.

A possible alternative

At the end I booked a room in Maxima Zarya hotel. The staff was helpful from the first moment, I had no problems in getting information by e-mail, and the their support for getting the visa was professional and very fast. The people at the reception spoke a perfect English (unlike me), and the rooms were nice and clean. The hotel is at walking distance to the Vladykino (Владыкино) metro station.