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Arkaba Station, Australian outback - not run to make money!

Arkaba Station, Australian outback - not run to make money!

Old Oct 25, 19, 3:54 am
  #1  
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Arkaba Station, Australian outback - not run to make money!

I wanted to share with you my experience of trying to book a stay at Arkaba Station for next September. Even though booking almost 12 months out my preferred dates were partially unavailable. To cut a long story short, I figured out the reason my weekend dates were blocked out was because the property runs multi-day walks during that time of year and the final night of the walk is spent in their lodge. They only have 5 rooms and 10 participants on the walk so two people in a room.

As the income from 2 people on the walk would be substantially less than I would be spending to stay at the lodge, I thought I would call the property and ask them to release a room for me. I called and explained this to a reservations agent who said she would need to speak to her supervisor. I then asked to speak to her supervisor directly and explained this to him using actual numbers to illustrate that I would be spending 3x what they would get if they gave me the room vs. allocating it to someone on a walk. In addition, the hotel takes a 20% deposit at the time of booking so they would be sitting on cash from me on Day 1.

The supervisor told me he would need to speak to his director. At this point I imagined someone in senior management would see the logic as I assumed this business was run to maximise profit.

After a day, I got an email saying they could not release the room but would I like to join their walk!

So to summarise they turned down a booking and deposit from a confirmed guest 11 months in advance in favour of a future booking which may or may not materialise for the walk and which would earn them a third of the income. To each their own I guess!
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Old Oct 25, 19, 9:13 am
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Why don't you book the room with the walk ... and just don't take the walk!
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Old Oct 25, 19, 9:47 pm
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DavidO has the right idea.Like when I asked room service for breakfast at 4PM and the reply was it was no longer possible. I asked for a plated deconstructed club sandwich with only toast, eggs and bacon. That was available.
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Old Oct 25, 19, 10:06 pm
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Why not shift your dates? Were I already booked on the walk ang got bounced out of my room, I’d be pissed.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 12:42 am
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Chances are they are local stuff not trained in tourism and simply don't understand the financial gain so are sticking to their policies. As above, book the walk.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 12:52 am
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
DavidO has the right idea.Like when I asked room service for breakfast at 4PM and the reply was it was no longer possible. I asked for a plated deconstructed club sandwich with only toast, eggs and bacon. That was available.
I've ordered a steak and eggs breakfast plate without the eggs.

I've also ordered a fish sandwich without the bread or bun in order to get a small portion of fish fillet.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 1:31 am
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Seems like the walk includes accomodation at the homestead only on day 3 (if I am reading correctly) so Iím gonna take a wild guess and say perhaps the homestead itself is not staffed on the weekend?

they seem to be a reasonably experienced operator- they have a property in the NT that I am more familiar with. You may have encountered a place that is genuinely into what they do and doesnít worry so much about the money, as long as they break even? All of their properties strike me as conservancies first and foremost, luxury tourist destinations as a secondary focus
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Old Oct 26, 19, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
Like when I asked room service for breakfast at 4PM and the reply was it was no longer possible.
Btw I canīt understand such replies by hotels. In such moments I always remember the legendary scene with Michael Douglas in Falling Down (if you donīt know it just Google "Falling Down - Breakfast at Whammyburger").
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Old Oct 26, 19, 4:56 pm
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1. Our dates are not flexible. My wife is in Australia for work and I wanted to tack on the visit to Arkaba at the beginning or end of her trip. Both involve a weekend and when they have the walks on every weekend is booked.

2. The lodge is staffed on the weekends as Day 3 of the walk is either Saturday or Sunday night since the walks depart on Thursday and Friday.

3. Booking 2 walks to get the Day 3 I need ( Sat and Sun) does not make financial sense as the cost of the walk is slightly more expensive than one night (no problem there) but you need to pay a single supplement for the walk to avoid sharing a room on the 3rd night which is A$1,500. So I would be paying an “extra” A$3,000 for Sat and Sun for the room. I’m was already doing a bunch of activities which I was happy to commit to and also pay a deposit on which as I mentioned was going to earn the property far more than people doing the walk and paying an extra $3k does not make sense on top of that.

4. I wanted to try Arkaba with this lack of flexibility and financial sense on their part I prefer to go elsewhere now.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by samuelo View Post
I wanted to share with you my experience of trying to book a stay at Arkaba Station for next September. Even though booking almost 12 months out my preferred dates were partially unavailable. To cut a long story short, I figured out the reason my weekend dates were blocked out was because the property runs multi-day walks during that time of year and the final night of the walk is spent in their lodge. They only have 5 rooms and 10 participants on the walk so two people in a room.

As the income from 2 people on the walk would be substantially less than I would be spending to stay at the lodge, I thought I would call the property and ask them to release a room for me. I called and explained this to a reservations agent who said she would need to speak to her supervisor. I then asked to speak to her supervisor directly and explained this to him using actual numbers to illustrate that I would be spending 3x what they would get if they gave me the room vs. allocating it to someone on a walk. In addition, the hotel takes a 20% deposit at the time of booking so they would be sitting on cash from me on Day 1.

The supervisor told me he would need to speak to his director. At this point I imagined someone in senior management would see the logic as I assumed this business was run to maximise profit.

After a day, I got an email saying they could not release the room but would I like to join their walk!

So to summarise they turned down a booking and deposit from a confirmed guest 11 months in advance in favour of a future booking which may or may not materialise for the walk and which would earn them a third of the income. To each their own I guess!
Maybe I misunderstood but are you suggesting that guests should get walked each time someone else offered to pay a higher rate for their room ?

Can't say I agree. If the hotel accepted your booking even though that room was committed, how would you feel if between now and your stay the hotel cancelled your booking because they had the financial sense to accept another booking on your dates because they were offered more money ?
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Old Oct 26, 19, 8:18 pm
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Iím absolutely not suggesting anyone gets walked. That would be wholly unprofessional of Arkaba nor would I ever ask them or any hotel to do that.

Arkaba has blocked out all rooms every single weekend for 3-4 months for people who will book the walks since as previously mentioned the walks always end with a night at the lodge.

For the weekend I was looking at the walks are not fully booked. My logic is that the bookings should be on a first come, first served basis. If I am prepared to book a room now for those weekend dates as part of a longer stay and the hotel will be no worse off financially, it makes sense (at least in my opinion) for them to take my booking and just reduce the number of available slots on the walk since they now have only 4 rooms rather than 5 available.

However, instead of doing this, they have chosen to not take my booking and instead keep 10 places on the walk which may or may not all end up being sold.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 1:21 am
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As the OP has decided to go elsewhere, and as the topic has pretty much been fully covered, I am going to close this thread.

If anyone has a good reason for re-opening it, feel free to PM the mods.

Thanks,
RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels and travel
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