Curious case of Agoda 4* Delhi Mahipalpur fake hotel for 600 INR - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Curious case of Agoda 4* Delhi Mahipalpur fake hotel for 600 INR

March 2024 I was scouting for a place to stay near Delhi Airport. As I was checking different websites, Agoda showed a hotel for just 600 INR which felt like a great deal. The hotel name was Hotel Good Vibes. Agoda had rated this hotel at 4 star, which was too good to be true.

I am familiar with how budget hotels in Kolkata were tricking customers- I've written a separate post on it. The Delhi one I decided to take a chance.

Soon after my booking, property owner sent me this message- he didn't want me to take any taxi on my own but let him arrange a taxi for me. I declined this as I could reach Mahipalpur via Aerocity metro station and walk down.

Thankfully I was in a unique position to verify hotel's identity and location in advance. I was already staying in Dwaraka area as I was in Delhi to attend a fintech festival event, so I decided to physically visit Mahipalpur and check this hotel Good Vibe while I still had a chance to cancel it for free on Agoda.

Hotel good vibes was showing up on Google maps, so I followed it. Unfortunately there were absolutely no hotel by the name anywhere around. Locals also had no clue. I checked all adjacent streets and nearby areas, just in case google maps location isn't very accurate- but no signage of the hotel, no one knows about it. Most likely hotel is located somewhere far or too interior and owner is trying to trick people into booking it thinking it is close-by.

I shared this concern on twitter, but Agoda didn't offer any response or help apart from a template reply. Messaged property on Agoda that I am not able to locate the hotel- got no response. So I cancelled my booking.

Eventually I walked in into few hotels and asked for their prices. While most mid range hotels were asking for 2000-3500 INR a night, found one hotel costing 1200 INR, which felt OK, so I opted for it. 

Before my second booking I got one notification from Agoda that hotel has changed its name to Amenda. But no update on its location, no response to my earlier concerns. So cancelled second booking as well.

Booking sites allow people to list their property without any due diligence- hotel should exist at the location stated, there should be clear paperwork for business license, registration, ownership etc. I am not sure how reputed sites like Agoda completely ignore this basic sanity check. If they don't have manpower to physically check each property first customer who books it should be given some reward for his/her feedback.

Update: After this blog post and follow up on twitter Agoda customer care has promised to look into this issue. Will update here if I hear anything further.

Always be extra cautious if something is too cheap. Cross check hotel's existence, review by other users, talk to property owner to confirm the booking and keep in mind a plan B if some things do not go as per plan.

Similar: Cheapest place to stay in Delhi *

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