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Traveling to Las Vegas (for the first time) for a conference, I already had hotel nights booked for Friday and Saturday night, but needed a hotel for Thursday. My first thought is always to try and track down a stay at a hotel program that has a Best Rate Guarantee where you can get a night free. Free is always good, right?
Best Western has one of the best programs if you can find a deal, since you actually PAY for your room, but then get a $100 Best Western travel card (like a gift card) that you can use on your next stay. Since most (many?) Best Westerns can be booked for less than $100, the math works out very favorably. Stay for the first night, but after that, you can make money on every Best Western BRG stay.
Securing the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG)
Now, you notice that I said that Best Western has one of the best programs if you can find a deal, right? And by “find a deal” I don’t mean actually find a deal that meets their published criteria. I mean find a deal that meets their published criteria, then jump through 5,000 hoops to get them to actually AGREE that it’s a deal.
The airport shuttle
The airport shuttle was super late – it took over an hour for them to finally come get us, which frankly, is pretty unacceptable. It was so annoying, in fact, that I had to write a whole separate post about it 🙂
I’m not a big DYKWIA (Do you know who I am?) guy, but I do expect hotels (and airlines) to comply with the listed benefits that they publish for their members. In Best Western’s case, here is what they say about Elite benefits.
I am a Diamond member with Best Western (thanks to a status match from Hilton Gold). I guess I received a “Best Western Rewards branded key packet” – the key itself doesn’t say anything about Best Western, though the piece of cardboard wrapped around it does? I don’t even know what that means but whatever.
I can’t say if I got the “best available room” or not. It is a suite but it has 2 queen beds and when I asked if there were any rooms with king beds, they said no. I guess I’ll give them a pass on this one as our room is pretty nice.
I did not receive my welcome snack and beverage either. Again, if I had to pick, I’d take the 250 bonus points no-brainer, but it was not even mentioned. I even tried to give them a way out – I asked if my rewards number was on the account, and they just said “Yes it is”.
Again, it’s not a big deal to me, but I think that is not how the corporate Best Western folks would want the check-in procedure to go.
Again, we had a suite with 2 Queen beds. Here’s a few looks at the room – it’s pretty spacious.
It has all your basics besides the bed – a desk, a TV, even a separate couch that has a pull-out bed in it (though I think it would be a tight squeeze if you wanted to put more than 1 person on that, even a kid.
I stopped by the Fitness Center in the morning. It had a bike, treadmill and even an all-in-one weight machine which is not something I often see in budget hotels. I used it for 30 minutes and the bike gave me a nice workout.
The only bad thing to say about that is that the paper towel dispenser that’s supposed to be used to wipe down the machines was all dried out.