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Back in 2015 our family was searching for some temporary housing options between two jobs. We had toyed with the idea of extending our lease a few months in Virginia or moving early to Utah but didn’t like either option. One night, my husband jumped out of his chair and ran upstairs saying he may have found the solution.
American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program had posted a mistake in rate for the Grand Hyatt Santiago. There was an error with the conversion rate and rooms that went for over $250 a night were selling for $5 a night.
We ended up booking two rooms, one in each of our names, for four months. We expected American Express to cancel the reservations but decided to give it a shot anyway.
After waiting to hear from American Express, we finally got a phone call. They were going to honor the reservations as booked. The only caveat was that we couldn’t make any changes to them other than cancelling. Since we had each booked four individual 30 day reservations, we had rather limited flexibility.
What Our Rate Included
Often, bookings through American Express FHR include extra benefits. Sometimes it is daily breakfast or a resort credit, you also generally get a room upgrade and early check in.
The particular rate we booked included daily breakfast in the restaurant and a couples massage in the spa. Since we both held Hyatt Diamond status (the equivalent to Globalist in the World of Hyatt program) we also had access to the Grand Club for breakfast, mid-day snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres, and nightly dessert.
Thoughts on Living in a Hotel
I’ll forever be glad that we were able to spend those months in Chile. I was able to improve my Spanish skills and expose our kids to another culture for an extended period. The hotel staff were incredibly helpful and it was fun to experience spring in the southern hemisphere.
There are things about home that are easy to miss during an extended hotel stay. The kitchen in our suite was old and outdated. I burned just about everything I attempted to cook. Laundry can only be done in a sink for so long…luckily laundry services are plentiful in Santiago.
I would love to go back for another three months now that the kids are a little older and could appreciate things more. I think my oldest would also love the opportunity to practice his Spanish a little and I’ll gladly live like Eloise any day of the week.
Have you ever taken advantage of a mistake rate? Tell us about it in the comments!