Oddly Enough

Hotel mistake creates rush for 1 cent weekend

A gondolier rows his gondola in front of San Giorgio Maggiore church in Venice August 29, 2006. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

ROME (Reuters) - Hundreds of holiday makers struck lucky when they chanced upon a very special offer -- a mistake in a hotel booking system which offered a romantic four-star weekend in Italy’s lagoon city of Venice for 1 cent.

The offer, a tiny fraction of the Crowne Plaza Quarto D’Altino’s normal rate of up to 150 euros ($214) a night, was quickly withdrawn when staff realized the mistake, Italian state TV reported.

In just a few hours, some 1,400 nights had been booked under the tariff, costing an estimated 90,000 euros for the hotel, part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group, the world’s largest chain, media reported.

Staff at the hotel, some 25 km (16 miles) outside Venice, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Intercontinental Hotels Group was not immediately available.