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Carlton Al Moaibed Hotel, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

I stayed 7 nights. First night stayed in suite (arrived middle of night). Refundable, booked online at Expedia. Expedia collected nothing; all charges are to hotel. I was charged 1 night's lodging at check-in; balance due at check-out.

Suite was sub-standard in many ways. Retrofitted with odd design; armoires in a tiny alcove with bathroom door across and "door to nowhere" (see photo) in this alcove. No desk in living area, rather in a dark corner of dark bedroom. Next morning I moved to get consistent internet (suites in far corners), a window with drapes that would open more than a tad, and something to look at other than a concrete wall a few feet outside the window. Also, only clothing rack higher than I could reach without a chair. I moved my things myself to a regular room on same floor, same side of hallway: pool view, better internet, a normal height clothes rack, and even had nicer/newer furnishings. It was just one room instead of two but that was fine; bathroom was identical. See photos of windows with drapes that would not open more than a little; door to nowhere with permanent lock; tacky, too tall armoires.

During my stay I twice asked about adjusting the price down to a regular room for remaining 6 nights. I was told (incorrectly) that because it was booked through Expedia, only Expedia could change it. Expedia said this was bogus; that because hotel was charging me directly Expedia was not in the mix. As a courtesy, Expedia tried each time I called to get hold of a hotel manager but could not. Finally, when Expedia reached someone they were told I had waited too long to complain! At checkout I asked again and got same story from hotel and pressured to settle the bill --- as a foreigner I did not want to make too many waves. I have disputed with my credit card and that is dragging on.

Monetary Loss: $160.

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