Monday 23 January 2012

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Stretching the Truth at Hotel Check-In

I sometimes wonder just how often front desk people roll their eyes at some of the stuff they're told when people check in to their hotel. I can't count how often I've stood beside somebody who's trying to convince the agent that it really is the fourth anniversary of the day he first met his wife's sisters future ex-husband, and in consideration of that could they possibly upgrade him to the presidential suite? I've actually never used the "It's a special occasion" line with a hotel, although my favorite ones already know when my birthday and anniversary are. I may be guilty of stretching the truth on a couple of other occasions though. Here's a few stories that fall under that category, although please note that the names have been changed to

"I need a fridge for medicine"
I really like having a fridge in my room, especially when I'm traveling with children, but unless I'm using one of their fancier rooms, I'm usually stuck with filling a sink full of ice. Once when I was traveling with some prescription medicine that had to be refrigerated, a bellhop offered to bring me up a mini-fridge at no charge to keep the medicine cool. Apparently this is an option that's available at lots of hotels, although they don't really advertise it. I don't use it often as I'd feel terrible having a fridge when somebody who really needed one was stuck without, but on the other hand, Diet Coke should probably qualify as some sort of healing concoction. It definitely makes me feel better, especially when it's cold.

"Oh he's not my kid"
I think I've expressed my non-enthusiasm for rooms with a capacity of four in the past. I understand that the hotel has to obey fire regulations, but if I'm just looking for a place to crash for a few hours before a flight, one room is plenty for the five of us. I doubt that the hotel really wants to make an issue out of it, but sometimes it's just easier to claim that one of the kids belongs to my sister who isn't there yet. That's my sister...always running late!

"I didn't order that movie"
Look, there's five of us in two rooms, and to be honest I'm never really sure who presses what button. Is it possible that my kids pressed the order button when flipping channels? Sure. Do I think they sat there and watched "An Investigation of the American Revolution - Part IX"? I'm pretty sure they didn't. That's the same story I use when "Jessica Rabbit Unrated" shows up on the bill for the grown up room. Still can't argue with the intimacy kit though.    

"How did that towel get in there?"
Despite the apparent popularity of the activity, I'm not usually one for stealing hotel towels. To be honest, towels aren't all that expensive, and if I want a nice one I'll just go down to Bed, Bath and Beyond and pick one up (or my wife will. She's there every other day anyways.). There was one occasion however, where I really wanted to keep my hotel towel as it had the hotel logo covering the entire length, so I claimed that the front desk had shorted me one towel card at check-in. It worked fine, and then when I got home I noticed that I had been charged for a movie that we didn't order - really this time. I decided that karma had evened things out for my grabbing the towel and called it a fair trade, but I'm still mad that even though I've paid for it, I've never seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

"Yes, I'm married to her, her, her, and him"
Ah Vegas, where anything goes. Lori and I host some friends in Vegas every summer, and on the first few trips we would accept enough offers from different casinos that everybody got their own free room. Of course, since the offer was directed at me, I had to check in for each room, but I didn't really want to have holds put on my credit card for all four rooms. The solution was that I would check in with the wives of each couple, and they would give their credit card for the room deposit. One couple only had one credit card, and it was in the husbands name, so I had to check in with him. I love that the front desk never blinked when the two of us checked in and requested one king bed. I'm pretty sure that if I ever get on the wrong side of Lori, there's enough hotel receipts out there with my name and other women (and one man) to let her win any lawsuit she wants to file.