Behind every benefit there is a business looking for an engaging customer. One of the tricks that we live by is that whenever we are about to go to a hotel, restaurant or join a group membership, we will contact the company responsible and discuss upgrade options. Most of the time it simply happens via email, but the end result is a) the business gets a loyal customer who remains true because he/she believes they’ve scored a good deal and b) said scorer of a great deal will likely show off what they’ve managed to arrange to their friends.
From airlines, executive clubs and airport lounges to car rental companies, hotel chains and even restaurants; every business requires return customers and will be willing to work to engage and retain them.
My top tip for you is to always keep in mind that life is too short to have a disappointing experience when travelling. Or settling for one.
Recently, I was invited to a business meeting in Madrid and opted, upon the suggestion of a colleague, to stay at The Hotel Catalonia Gran Via. It is a highly recommended hotel, with a terrifically central location. However, the room they initially gave me had a wonderful scenic view…of a wall.
Position and location of rooms aside, if you pay for something, you shouldn’t have to settle for less, so I returned to the lobby and requested a different room; something with a view from which I could enjoy Madrid. Their answer was to put me in a room of the same size, but this one had a balcony overlooking the swimming pool and offered an amazing view of the city rooftops and pretty much made my business trip to Spain. Below are some of the socials I put up about it.
Now, before I book a hotel I send a simple email, including the below paragraph:
…I am looking forward to my trip to your city and have heard many good things regarding your hotel online. I am hoping you may be able to provide me with a room that has a nice view so that I can get the most out of my time with you. Is there someone I could speak with regarding this?
Simple. Easy. Polite. Moreover, this step is important.
You deserve to always get the most out of your travel, regardless of whether it’s for business or pleasure, so don’t short change yourself.