How can a traveller be sure that a hotel is what it claims to be?
The accommodation-booking website Wotif.com sells rooms at a hotel called the “Shreaton” in Khalidiya, a district of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Bookings.com calls the same premises the Khalidiya Hotel. Locally, the hotel is known as the Sheraton Khalidiya and, as the photo on the Bookings.com website shows, it has the Sheraton name and logo on the side of the building.
However, it is not an official Sheraton Hotel, nor is it part of the Starwood group that controls the Sheraton franchise.
The hotel apparently has a high standard and it gets good reviews on independent websites, but it doesn’t award or redeem SPG points. And, presumably, it doesn’t afford the protections you might associate with one of the world’s biggest hospitality groups.
The last I heard, Starwood — which has since merged with the Marriott chain — had initiated legal action against the Khalidiya property. While that remains unresolved, customer confusion persists.