Two weeks ago I embarked on my first girls weekend (and sans Leah weekend) with my two good friends Katie and Christine to travel up to Savannah to see our friend Shannon get married on an absolutely GORGEOUS April Saturday. The trip was an absolute blast. Not only did I have an awesome time exploring downtown Savannah and Tybee Island (where our hotel was) with Katie and Christine, but the wedding was beautiful, the bride was glowing and the cake was delicious (and, let’s be honest, that’s the part we all look forward to the most, am I right??) Although the weekend was a huge success, we had a bit of a rocky beginning. It has become one of those stories that we now tell to friends and family, laughing and adding in “oh and remember this?” details as we talk over each other, each wanting to share the funniest parts, but in the moment it was anything but hilarious. And with that I give to you: The Great Hotel Debacle.
Setting: Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island (about 25 mins outside of Savannah).
After a long 7 1/2 hour drive from South Florida, we pull up in front of the hotel around 9:30 pm, tired and ready to check in. At this point we’re already looking forward to crawling into bed and finding a good chick flick to watch until we fell asleep. Katie runs into the lobby and checks in, comes out with the room key, and we set off to the room. As we walk I’m already complaining that it’s a first floor, over looking the parking lot room (aka cheap) because I’m convinced that someone will break in and kill us during our sleep. (You never know). We arrive at the room, I have the key. I scan the key, it works, and I begin to push open the door. Immediately I notice a Hawaiian shirt hanging in the open closet. “Hmm…that is so weird,” I think to myself, as I continue to push open the door. Suddenly, the stench of strong liquor wafts out and the worry starts to set in. I push the door open a little more and see two people, completely passed out on the bed. “People! There are people in there!” I hiss to Katie and Christine, as I slam the door shut. “Quick!! Let’s go before they come out!” My friend Christine exclaims, as we go running down the hall, back towards the lobby. (Side note, they never did come out or even seem to realize strangers had entered their locked room. They were really passed out). We go back to the front desk. “Umm, so there are people in our hotel room?” Katie tentatively says to the front desk staff. “What?!” The woman exclaims with a bewildered expression on her face. “Drunk people. In the room you gave us?” Katie explains. “What?!” the woman asks again. “Yes…..drunk people” Katie patiently says again. “How did this happen!?” The woman asks. “Umm….I’m not sure?” Katie starts looking concerned at the staff’s ability to know what is going on in their hotel. The assistant manager comes out. She too is equally perplexed at the thought of people in our room, and yet she doesn’t seem too concerned about actually checking to see who they are and how, in fact, they got in there. “I’m sure it’s all fine….” she nods. Then comes the kicker, they are booked at “100% capacity” (lies). “Umm, okay…so, where does that leave us? With the drunk people in our room and all?” we ask. No worries, the assistant manager has a plan! We will be staying in the Hospitality Suite for the night! (she says with a reverence that shows just how lucky we are!) And then they will put us in a normal room the next day. Well, okay, great! Fancy us! Let’s go! And then the assistant manager did something somewhat odd. She walked us OUT of the hotel and proceeded to lead us across the parking lot. We begin to get worried. Where is this special Hospitality Suite, if not the hotel? She brings us to a dingy looking office building across the parking lot. We walk into a dirty, dark, old elevator (a PRIVATE elevator! She exclaims). Our worry begins to heighten. She pulls out an old door key and starts fiddling to open a dirty door. We walk inside. And are greeted with….a conference room table? And through there, into a plain room with 2 double beds against the wall. No nightstand, no telephone, no television. Just two beds and two mismatched dressers. “Okay! Goodnight!!” the assistant manager all but screeches as she runs from the suite. We continue to stand in the middle of the room. Do we laugh? Do we cry? Are we being punked?? At this point we’re really not sure. Katie attempts to take a shower. The water comes out in 2 lukewarm trickles. We start to realize that this is not a joke, and that we really are expected to stay in this dirty room that we are currently paying almost $150 a night for. Katie points out some dead flies. Christine calls her mom, and after a good pep talk (no matter how old you are, you always need a good pep talk from your mother) we decide to man up and march back down to the lobby. We have rights, gosh darn it!! I do the talking, because, let’s be honest, I can really be a stubborn pain in the butt when I want to be. There is much eye rolling on the assistant managers part as I loudly (and quite passionately) explain how we can NOT stay there and that we are young women staying alone and safety is an issue, thank you very much!! And there is not even a telephone! Or a television! Or a PAD OF PAPER! It really won’t do. We somehow finagle a full nights refund. They explain again and again that they are “100% full” (lies. again). I exclaim that it is not my problem and they need to figure it out. They said they will see what they can do. 45 minutes later they call Katie’s cell: “A magical room has suddenly appeared!!” We get the key, go up to the 4th floor (no murderers breaking in there!) and enter a beautiful room overlooking the ocean. Which we all know they had the entire time, but never wanted to give us. And that’s how we ended up with an upgraded beach front room in which we stayed in 2 nights, but only paid for 1.
Moral of the story? Just because they call it a Hospitality Suite, doesn’t mean it’s fancy. Also, argue at hotels, you tend to always get your way in the end.