Tuesday, May 08, 2007

American Quilt, Part 1- Reservations

So a few weeks ago, I decided to take a four-day weekend and spend some quiet time in the mountains. I eventually got my wish (more or less), but the path leading up to it was pretty damn funny, so I thought I would share it here:

Like many adventures of our time, it all started with a web search. A search for "hot spring resort colorado" yielded several results. After sorting through the reviews, clicking on web site images, and comparing prices and distances, I chose "Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort." Their web site featured pictures of a happy lad of nine or ten, joyfully slipping down a hot springs water slide, glistening bare backs of pronate women receiving luxurious massage services, clean, well-lit bedrooms overlooking the mountains, and happy couples enjoying brunch on a wood deck. Perfect.

One day before my departure, I received a phone call from Mt. Princeton resort. The woman on the line informed me that there was a slight problem with my reservation. "You chose the poolside room for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights," she questioningly scolded, "but the room is scheduled to be remodeled on Sunday."

I apologized and informed her that I didn't consciously pick a "poolside room" and would be happy to change my selection. I simply took what the web site offered. She responded by informing me that there were no more rooms in my price range and suggested that I either cut my vacation short by one day or pay to upgrade my room to one of the "cliffside rooms."

Annoyed, I told her that I appreciated her suggestions, but the option that seemed best to me was that the hotel give me an upgraded room, free of charge, or shove it (though not quite using those words). After all, they were the ones who both chose my room and scheduled it for remodeling. After much sighing, she told me that she would "get back to me" after she spoke with her manager to see what they could do.

Two hours later (I guess it was a tough decision), the woman called me back and told me that I would need to switch rooms in the middle of the weekend because they were overbooked and couldn't find a room that would be available for the duration of my stay. While the prospect of packing and unpacking four times in as many days did not seem appealing to me, I reminded myself that my real reason for going was the hot springs, not the room, and accepted her offer.

I should have taken this as an indication of things to come, but at the time, it seemed like a small snag. Perhaps the woman who called me was just a little... untrained in customer service techniques? How was I to have known that my resort getaway was secretly planned out by John Hughes?

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