Review: Intercontinental Monterey the Clement

The Intercontinental Monterey the Clement is located right on the historic Cannery Row of Monterey, directly overlooking the water. It is a relatively new property, and arguably one of the finest hotels in Monterey. I stayed there for two nights during late April, and I had what can be best described as a weird, but all-around good stay.

I paid $324.04USD for the two nights by using Priceline Express deals (note that it’s really easy to figure out whether the chosen hotel on Priceline Express deals is the IC or not in Monterey). Before my stay, I made the decision to buy Ambassador status for $200USD. I gave them my credit card information, and they on-the-spot upgraded me to a Partial Ocean View room.

A day before my stay, I happened to check my credit card account. There were two charges for ~$390CAD, and one for ~$800CAD from the IC Monterey. I did not authorize these charges. I called the hotel and explained the issue. They were absolutely mortified and very responsive. My understanding of what happened is when I called to buy Ambassador status, the hotel erroneously changed out the Priceline credit card with my personal credit card. When the hotel went to bill Priceline, they billed my personal card instead (when I had already paid Priceline). For some reason, they billed it twice, hence the two charges of ~$390CAD. The agent then noticed the error and tried to refund the card, however, they ended up billing the card instead of filing a refund, hence the ~$800CAD charge. The manager with whom I spoke told me that the card was refunded the entire amount, and that I would receive the following compensation: upgraded to a Junior Suite with Oceanview, free breakfast for both nights, and a jazzed up welcome amenity. They would have also waived the nightly valet parking fee, but I was bussing in from San Francisco so it didn’t matter much anyways. They also indicated that they would refund any difference of foreign exchange for the charges and the refund. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the compensation.

When we checked in, two different managers who were extremely apologetic greeted us. That was a great start.

We were in room 414. It was beautiful. It had a large living room with a pullout bed, and a huge bedroom with doors. There was a gas fireplace that didn’t really emit any heat, and a tiny balcony that had a stunning view of the ocean (I swear I saw an otter!). The welcome amenity was very nice, inclusive of a bottle of red wine, and a cheese plate. They were generous with the free water, and the included Wi-Fi was fast.

Our view!
The bed… and a stuffed otter (~$22).
Living room.

The hotel itself was lovely. Very airy, clean, and modern, The comped breakfast was very good, and I enjoyed crab eggs benedict on the first day, and berry-stuffed croissant French toast on the other day. It was a little pricy, but luckily I didn’t have to pay for it!

On the second day, I went to my credit card statement to see if the refund had gone through. To my surprise, there were two new additional pending authorizations: one for ~$1500CAD, and another for ~$800CAD. At this point, I was a little peeved that it happened again. I went to the front desk, and they didn’t have any record for those charges. However, they spoke to my bank and confirmed with my online banking that there were indeed two unaccounted charges. All in all, there was just shy of $4000CAD of unauthorized charges on my credit card by the hotel. Immediately, the hotel waived the $200USD Ambassador sign up fee, and later offered a credit of $100USD on my statement, and after further discussions, added 10,000 IHG points to my account. It bothered me that the hotel had absolutely no record of these two new charges, but luckily, they eventually dropped off my statement. It tied up my credit, which was definitely irritating.

The Intercontinental Monterey the Clement is a beautiful hotel. It is well designed, and very comfortable. However, there were nearly $4000CAD of unauthorized charges on my credit card on a prepaid stay through a travel agent. That is simply unacceptable. I feel the compensation was adequate, and that I was made whole. Nonetheless, it still really bothers me that (a) the unauthorized charges happened a second time, and (b) that the hotel had absolutely no record of the second instance of charges. Everything worked out in the end, but I hope the hotel does a thorough investigation on the second set of charges, as it’s totally unacceptable for something like this to happen. Further, although I felt I was adequately compensation, it took awhile to get that compensation, some haggling, and I don’t believe they were proactive enough.

One Comment

  1. Compensatoin adequate? There was ZERO chance you were going to get charged on your credit card — just the hassle of getting the charges removed was all that was involved. Instead, you recouped so many benefits that the stay was virtually free.

    I’d say you did extremely well.

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