It’s great when information learned in early life can be put to good use later on, like a gambler it’s always good to have an edge.In my younger days managing hotels over booking was an everyday occurrence. Remember the old days with no Internet? We had huge reservation departments taking bookings by phone and fax and no way of taking deposits, consequently there were numerous no shows and most nights the 10% we were overbooked largely sorted it self out. Occasionally as Night Manager I had to find hotels for guests if we had no rooms. It was a case of what is the least we can get away with, ideally they went quietly, bundled into a cab before they could make too much fuss and promised a room the following day when I was safely off duty and it became someone else’s problem.
These days it happens far less mainly because the hotel either has your money or at least a credit card number. So here we are in sunny Majorca with a confirmed booking, made in November last year at a rather smashing looking 5 star bijou property. Stunning views and beautiful grounds. Not cheap but hey time for someone else to look after us. My spooky sixth sense which has rescued me from many a situation, was flashing red warning lights for at least a month before we departed, perhaps you should drop them an email to tell them your arrival time it said. After all there has been no communication since November. It’s fine I have a confirmation I say. So off we fly, jump in the hire car, arrive at said beautiful property, walk into reception introduce ourselves and are taken outside for a welcome drink, wow it is beautiful all seems well…..a man arrives asks for our passport and confirmation, slightly unusual particularly as I see his pen hover over our arrival date and then start to shake a bit. I have a bad feeling about this I say to Gordon as the minutes tick by. The man returns looking stressed, we have a problem he says, we do not have your booking, yet you definitely have a confirmation. I think I better have another glass of champagne I say. So now starts the negotiation, a double for one night, a junior suite for 2 nights, the dreaded book out for two nights, the best room in-house for the last night, plus free dinner, a boat trip, champagne, so it went on. Play hard to get I though, know how this works.
As I write this we are on our two nights booked out, actually in a modern design hotel virtually next door, in the best room which turns out to be the penthouse with private roof terrace and jacuzzi. We are being treated like VIPs and it turns out it’s costing us very little if anything. Actually we think a lot of things about this hotel are actually better than where we should be, naturally that bit of information is between you and me, after all we have tomorrow night yet to look forward to in a suite that normally costs £1000 a night. I guess every cloud has a silver lining!