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Inconvienienced by Hotel- Who Pays ??

Inconvienienced by Hotel- Who Pays ??

Old Apr 16, 08, 7:30 pm
  #1  
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Inconvienienced by Hotel- Who Pays ??

Not sure where to post this or if it has been addressed before, but in a situation where a hotel 'suggests' you get a cup of coffee, a drink, etc while you wait for a promised room/reservation... who pays???

The reason I ask is, this past weekend at a hotel property in Europe, where I am a top tier, I had reconfirmed an early arrival. Upon registering at the hotel early (9am), I was told the room wasn't ready, but I was allowed to check in, and was told my room would be ready soon ( major European city/Sat arrival)... No big deal, as I had planned a trip to a nearby city. I returned after 3pm. At that point I was told, not only was my room not ready, but there were no upgrades available, and I could 'wait in the bar area for 30 minutes and "have a cup of coffee". I did do just that, but paid for it myself (4 euros)-- not that it is a big deal, but in these circumstances, and dealing with an Elite member, how do you go about asking if the hotel will pay for your coffee, wine, drink etc. As it turned out, after my coffee, my room was still not ready, and they told me to wait another 30 minutes in their restaurant. I finally got my room at 4:40pm and it was an upgrade with a view etc..
But my question is, how do you know when the hotel is paying, or you are paying ? They merely said, "please wait in the restaurant and have a cup of coffee".???? What do you say to that?? ( PS- I am a woman who is generally not very agressive when it comes to freebies)
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Old Apr 16, 08, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by mauld View Post
( PS- I am a woman who is generally not very agressive when it comes to freebies)
Don't let the woman thing be part of it - women can be aggressive about bad service.

It's probably too late for much result (you should have asked on the spot), but I would have said, upon receiving the bill for the coffee, "the front desk is comping my drink since I have to wait for my room to be ready." Upon the second delay, I would have asked what the problem is and, if the problem was that an upgraded room wasn't available, I would have asked if a regular room is available. If not, I would have told them I'm having a second drink on them.

It's better to resolve this sort of thing on the spot. That said, you *might* get some results writing to HQ or the hotel manager since you are elite.
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Old Apr 16, 08, 9:03 pm
  #3  
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If they don't state

Let us buy you a cup of coffee

or

Have a cup of coffee ON US

I would assume they are saying something like "Look, why don't you go someplace other then in front of me for a while, OK?"

I'm actually trying to remember if any hotel has ever given me anything for waiting, once they sent a wine and fruit basket up later saying "sorry for the delay" .

I would follow up with a note or e-mail saying not for nothing, but you would have expected better treatment given the situtation that you had confirmed early arrivial, etc.

You may get something, you may not, but if you don't let them know they are screwing up, they won't care.

I'd also post your experience on some of the peer review sites, hotels monitor those constantly.
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Old Apr 16, 08, 9:32 pm
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The hotel in question (Dom CGN) did send up a bottle of champagne later in the day, and just today I received an email saying I can be upgraded the next time I am at the property, but my question is more to the etiquite and what to say/expect during these instances. More to the point, how do FT'ers react when in these type of situations? I myself, would find it difficult to say to the desk agent-- Are you paying? when they suggest I sit in the restaurant while my room is being cleaned? And to the point of getting rid of me, I was not making a speciacle of myself at the desk, merely quietly waiting for them to find me a room
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Old Apr 16, 08, 10:29 pm
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The most aggressive action I would take would be to explain the situation to the MOD at some point during my stay and ask if the charge could be credited off my bill.
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Old Apr 16, 08, 10:45 pm
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You should have exited the hotel and walked around the back side to have a beer

After a Kölsch (or 10) you won't care who was paying!
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Old Apr 16, 08, 11:21 pm
  #7  
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In general, in life, always assume you're paying unless otherwise stated.
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Old Apr 16, 08, 11:27 pm
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That's not to say the power of suggestion (read: suggest in no uncertain terms that they pay) is not of key importance here as it quickly determines who is picking up the bill.

Oh, and don't feel bad about doing it. Ever.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 12:37 am
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I'll often try to check in earlier than planned, esp. if seeking an upgrade. In return, I'll tell the desk staff that I'd be delighted to wait in the lobby or run some errands, so that the hotel can have some time to see if a nice upgrade is available and ready it without undue pressure. (Often times, the upgraded rooms aren't ready 'til later as the elite previous occupant may have used an elite benefit of late checkout.) In my typical case, I'm at the hotel's bidding as I don't have the early res. confirmation and expectation you had.

That said, I never feel an obligation to spend for food and drink just to pass the time and I've never had the hotel expect I do so.

What I would have recommended in your case is to have asked to speak with the manager at the first step when you were told your room was not ready, to explain the steps you took to secure the res. for the time you needed to occupy and to explain that you assume the manager can meet your reasonable expectation. In similar cases, I've had when room readiness has clearly lagged the hotel's protocol, the manager has often extended him/herself to expedite room readiness without me having to feel obligated to purchase food and beverage.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 12:54 am
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I've been in that same awkward situation a number of times. It's always been an international hotel, where I hate to be the brash American, trying to get it clarified. I'm hoping they mean they are going to cover it, but I'm truly not sure.

Last summer, we arrived at the Maria Christina in San Sebastian, Spain. It was 4pm, after the scheduled check in time. We had been upgraded to a suite - and the person who had had it before only checked out at 4pm. Late departure is a published benefit for elites with that program, so I was happy to wait for the suite.

We went to use the internet in their business center. The computers were not working, and their IT team couldn't get them online in a timely fashion. It was now near 5. We went back to the front desk. The room was still being cleaned. They told us to go to the bar and have a drink. I was frustrated enough to ask if they were giving us the drink. They said yes, and went to the bar with us to tell the bartender.

However, generally, I don't like to ask. It feels so crass. And yet it feels rude to sit in the lobby and refuse to go to the bar.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 1:08 am
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Here is a lovely account of one who had to wait for her room for 45 minutes, post arrival...if only all hotels adopted this policy. Such a nice way to be welcomed and introduced to a hotel.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=802760
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Old Apr 17, 08, 1:23 am
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
I'm actually trying to remember if any hotel has ever given me anything for waiting, once they sent a wine and fruit basket up later saying "sorry for the delay" .
At the Le Meridien Bora Bora on my honeymoon (I was SPG Gold at the time), we checked in (around 12:00PM, so before the technical check-in time) and our room wasn't ready. They said it would be about 30 minutes and a representative of the hotel walked us to the bar, ordered us a drink each and then took us on a tour of the hotel. When we returned to the front desk, the room still wasn't ready, so she took us down to the restaurant and offered us a complimentary lunch. We ordered a few alcoholic beverages, expecting to pay for them, but when we asked for the bill, we were told it was complimentary--I even checked on the alcohol afterwards (again, was going to pay for that) and they came back saying it was their treat. We then finally checked in (not that I cared much at that point), and all was well.

Granted this was the only time this happened to me (Hilton in Berlin once gave me two drink coupons for my 20 minute wait, but not as dramatic). Lunch in Bora Bora is expensive, so this was a nice freebie.

Anyhow, 99/100 times, this will not happen, but it does occasionally.

To the OP, I unfortunately think that you would have needed to raise the coffee issue at the time, but it does sound like they compensated you anyway with the champagne.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 1:31 am
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Most hotels will comp you if your room is not ready. A cup of coffee is the least they should do, especially after a redeye.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 8:53 am
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As others have said, if the statement was "why don't you go have a drink or coffee and check back with me in 30 minutes" then YOU pay. If the statement was "let me give you a room credit for $50 so you can go have lunch on us while we finish cleaning your room", then it's on THEM. If it was after the stated check-in time, then I never would have let the desk clerk put the bill for coffee or drinks to me. If it was before check-in time, I don't think you have as much leverage. This situation happened to me at the RC Grande Lakes in Orlando last fall and they provided me with $50 for lunch in their restaurant, which they kept open beyond their normal closing time for me and my family. And I was trying to check in at noon. Simply put, I was stunned and amazed and have already booked a return trip for the family this fall.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 9:21 am
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I agree with the OP, especially considering that the agent suggested a specific drink. If the agent had said "if you'd like you could pass some time in our cafe" or something like that I would feel differently, but I think the OP had every right to expect not to pay. Of course it ultimately comes down to a combination of things, probably a language barrier and a different customer service mentality, but in general I think you should have explained that the coffee was being comped, and even if that wasn't their intent I think they would have sided with you.

At Peninsula Bangkok our room wasn't ready and they invited us to have a drink at the bar, and of course that was comped. I guess they have a different mentality though.
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