Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC is the only Starwood affiliated hotel in this South American metropolis of more than 11 million people.
Sheraton has made a decision to display its room prices on US dollars on Starwood’s websites due to the instability of the local currency Brazilian reais.
You can access Sheraton Sao Paulo’s website here.
The problem with the Sheraron Sao Paulo is that they also want to use totally fake exchange rate when converting the USD price to BRL. The exchange rate used was off by 11.7% last week obviously for the hotel’s benefit.
Here’s the screenshot from Opera that shows the conversion rate used 3.74:
And here’s the spot rate from Google:
Obviously this didn’t go down too well with me and had a heated conversation with the front desk manager who said that he was offended when I was accusing them of stealing money from guests. He claimed that all the hotels in Sao Paulo would be using this rate (false).
He claimed that the rate used was something called “Tourism Exchange” rate that is published on a local newspaper. The “Tourism Exchange” rate on the newspaper for that day was 3.5 and the exchange rate 3.4. The real exchange rate would have been 3.35.
The manager then claimed that the “Tourism Exchange” rate had been that 3.74 the previous day when I had checked. Impossible! Currencies don’t move violently within days.
He finally admitted that there was something wrong with the “Tourism Exchange” rate that they were using to come up with the BRL charge and that someone would be coming down to fix this. I had car waiting and told them to fix my folio and email me an update.
Does anybody really believe that they wouldn’t know what they are doing here? They are trusting that most of the guests are dumb and cannot use a calculator or that they don’t care when expensing these stays. I have never seen a hotel trying to jack up the rate by close to 12% by using fake FX rate.
Someone came up with an idea that let’s inflate the exchange rate used by more than 10% so that we can pocket it (by stealing from the guests).
It is sad that Starwood allows hotels to engage fraudulent activities such as this. I guess that they are so desperate to have at least one property in Sao Paulo that they turn a blind eye.