Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Intercontinental Hotels Priority Club
I've been working away over the last month (which is why my posts have been silent). My temporary home was the Holiday Inn near Ipswich. It felt like a long time and clearly it was, because yesterday the parent group Intercontinental Hotels upgraded me to Gold Elite Status - which you earn after 15 nights as a member of their loyalty programme.
'Have a Free Night on Us' announced one of the too many flyers scattered around the room. 'Stay 2 nights and have the third on us'. I never had time to read the small print or discover exactly how many free nights I might have earned to my account.
I did get a free night though, in fact not just 1, but 8.
On Easter Monday, at 10.45pm just as my team was heading for bed, we were perturbed to see a coach load of guests arrive for a party in the bar. By 3am there was a considerable disturbance in the hotel among some of the more drunken guests, kicking bedroom doors. I telephoned the duty manager and explained that if he didn't quieten things down I would call the police. He begged me not to do this and in return he agreed that the manager would meet me in the morning.
At 07.30 I met the duty manager and explained that we had checked in on the holiday so as to be rested for an early start. I pointed out that the hotel had made a commercial decision that they preferred to take the bar revenue from a coach load of revellers than the room revenue for 8 paying guests. At what time did they imagine a bar party which only began at 10.45 might end?
Later that morning the manager's PA telephoned me to offer my party dinner by way of apology. I politely but firmly declined. I explained that it was a good night's sleep which we paid for, and as the hotel failed to provide it nothing less than a full refund for all 8 of our group would satisfy. To their credit the Holiday Inn agreed.
I hope the previous night's bar profit outstripped the £450 loss to their room revenue account.