‘Special-occasion travel’ tip

This item appears on page 58 of the February 2011 issue.
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For our 10-year wedding anniversary, in October ’09, we decided to go to French Polynesia. About seven months before our arrival, I booked a garden room (the lowest in quality) for three nights at the Hilton Moorea. I used points I had accumulated for the Hilton.

As our arrival date approached, I began to regret having such a low-quality room, so I called the hotel in Moorea. I asked the reservations agent if there was any way I could upgrade to an over-water bungalow. I was told, ‘Yes,’ but it would cost me $200 more per night.

I felt this was reasonable, as I had paid for the original room using points, so I agreed. I also informed the agent that we were coming to the hotel for our 10-year wedding anniversary. (Actually, I reiterated this point many times during the flurry of e-mails and faxes that we exchanged. I really wanted to make sure they didn’t forget.)

When we arrived and were taken to our room, I couldn’t believe it. Not only did we have an over-water bungalow, but we were given an “end of pontoon” bungalow, which means it was at the very end of the dock. These rooms are the most expensive and coveted because of their views and privacy.

Anytime my husband and I are traveling for a special occasion, I go out of my way to inform the reservations staff about it. I did this several years ago when my husband turned 50. We took a one-month trip to Asia and I made it very clear to all our hotels that we were taking the trip to celebrate his birthday. Some hotels didn’t do anything, but others did.

For example, we stayed at the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. When we arrived, they had a delicious chocolate cake waiting for us.

We continued on to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and stayed at the Raffles Grand Hotel. They gave us an incredible room with a view. This was definitely an upgrade, as I had booked the cheapest room.

On a trip to the Maldives, we stayed at the One and Only Reethi Rah Kanuhura, where “Happy Birthday” was printed out in fresh flowers on our bed.

It can really add enjoyment to a trip.

SARA KRAS
Glendale, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

For our 10-year wedding anniversary, in October ’09, we decided to go to French Polynesia. About seven months before our arrival, I booked a garden room (the lowest in quality) for three nights at the Hilton Moorea. I used points I had accumulated for the Hilton.

As our arrival date approached, I began to regret having such a low-quality room, so I called the hotel in Moorea. I asked the reservations agent if there was any way I could upgrade to an over-water bungalow. I was told, ‘Yes,’ but it would cost me $200 more per night.

I felt this was reasonable, as I had paid for the original room using points, so I agreed. I also informed the agent that we were coming to the hotel for our 10-year wedding anniversary. (Actually, I reiterated this point many times during the flurry of e-mails and faxes that we exchanged. I really wanted to make sure they didn’t forget.)

When we arrived and were taken to our room, I couldn’t believe it. Not only did we have an over-water bungalow, but we were given an “end of pontoon” bungalow, which means it was at the very end of the dock. These rooms are the most expensive and coveted because of their views and privacy.

Anytime my husband and I are traveling for a special occasion, I go out of my way to inform the reservations staff about it. I did this several years ago when my husband turned 50. We took a one-month trip to Asia and I made it very clear to all our hotels that we were taking the trip to celebrate his birthday. Some hotels didn’t do anything, but others did.

For example, we stayed at the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. When we arrived, they had a delicious chocolate cake waiting for us.

We continued on to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and stayed at the Raffles Grand Hotel. They gave us an incredible room with a view. This was definitely an upgrade, as I had booked the cheapest room.

On a trip to the Maldives, we stayed at the One and Only Reethi Rah Kanuhura, where “Happy Birthday” was printed out in fresh flowers on our bed.

It can really add enjoyment to a trip.

SARA KRAS
Glendale, CA