Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Best Hotel Upgrade I've Ever Received

I haven't had much time to update the blog while traveling through Australia, but I simply had to write about this. Today, I arrived in Gold Coast and took the public bus up to Surfers Paradise, where I had booked a one-night stay at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa. An award night costs a hefty 30,000 points (Category 6), but since typical rates run about $200-$300 USD per night, I thought it was a passable redemption in terms of value.

I walked through the beautiful grand lobby and approached the reception with my large backpack as usual, and made some chit-chat with the friendly agent. I find that checking in at a nicer hotel while looking like a dirty backpacker typically generates one of two extreme reactions: disdain and annoyance, or genuine interest in where I've been and where I'm going. This lady definitely fell into the latter category. She asked about my month-long trek through the country, and what I thought about Australia so far.

Finally, she smiled and quietly said that she had given me a complimentary upgrade to an Ocean View Executive Suite. At first, I didn't really register what that meant, so I just said thank you and went on my way. When I arrived at my room, I was absolutely stunned. I have never received an upgrade beyond the usual "higher floor" or "better view" room. This was simply unbelievable. She upgraded me to a one bedroom suite, with one and a half baths, living room, dining area, two double beds, a walk-in closet, etc. After getting settled in, I made sure to go back downstairs and thank her profusely.

Even more amazing is the fact that I am not a Platinum or Gold Elite Member, but a lowly Silver Elite. Even without the crazy upgrade, I was already impressed with the list of benefits, including complimentary in-room WiFi, late checkout, and 15% off all dining at the resort. I almost never eat at the hotel when traveling, but I made an exception this time because I was kind of in awe of this place. Of course, I will be writing a full review in the forthcoming Australia trip report, but in the meantime, here are some pictures.

 Living room and dining area


 Master bathroom

 A walk-in closet... in my hotel room. WTF.

 From the balcony

 From the other balcony

Saltwater lagoon on the lush resort grounds

Surfers Paradise beach

1 comment:

  1. That’s awesome! They didn't give you a reason as to why you were upgraded to a luxurious suite? Perhaps they were amazed by your trekking adventures in the country, and this is their way of rewarding your patronage to their country’s tourism. Bon voyage on your future adventures!

    Jeff Riley @ Happy Guests Lodge