when things go bump in the night...

Like the movement of a finely tuned clock, everything about the perfect hotel stay happens behind the scenes. Your booking goes smoothly. Your visit is VIP'ed. Hotel staff discuss your stay during the hotel's daily "morning meeting." Virtuoso amenities are explained at check-in. Hopefully you'll be surprised with an upgrade to a higher room category. Your room is ready when you arrive. Hotel staff greet you by name, and service requests are handled promptly. Your bed is comfortable, the pillow to your liking, and you wake up well rested after a great night's sleep... And, of course, the final bill is correct, with things like breakfasts, internet, and hotel credits properly reflected.

But sometimes there's a wrinkle. To err is human, said Alexander Pope. Everyone — even I — mkae mistkaes. And that's when a great hotel and its team shine. A recent hotel stay enjoyed by one of my clients is testimony to that.

Nothing about this booking was easy (through the fault of no one in particular). Starwood and Marriott, as you may know, have finally completed the massive integration of their reservations systems, and details remain to be perfected. For instance, Starwood's Luxury Privileges amenity program has a new rate code, but it's not yet active in my GDS, making it more time-consuming to book that rate. Marriott's call center had issues making a simple revision to that reservation. At check-out, the guest Folio showed charges for in-room internet, and the F&B credit hadn't been applied to a restaurant bill.

The good news is that the Marriott Luxury team was phenomenal. The national sales team got me to the right individual at the hotel who did a superb job in working through the hassles of booking and revising. The guest was never aware of any of this. He arrived at the hotel, checked in, and enjoyed his visit. And when I noticed a couple of mistakes on the Guest Folio that had been emailed to me, I emailed my colleague at the hotel. The bill was corrected and only then did I forward it to my client.

My client had the perfect stay — with never a hint of any of these issues — because so many people were working SOOOO hard behind the scenes to deliver on a great hotel experience. I want to express special thank you's to Marissa, Ly, and Travis.

copyright (c) 2018 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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