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One of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog, nearly four years ago to the day, was a piece titled 3 reasons budget hotels destroy “nice” ones. It was one of my most popular posts in the early days of the blog, and the reasons are just as true today as they were back in 2014.
The so-called “nice” hotels seem to all
- Charge for parking
- Charge for breakfast / food
- Give rooms that are just as small if not smaller
It used to be that they also tacked on outrageous charges for Internet as well, but those at least seem to have gone away now, with Internet being free at most hotels (sometimes you have to be a member of their loyalty program but of course that’s not a problem for me 😀 ). I assume that one if not most of the reason for this is that many travelers at these hotels are business travelers who just charge everything to their company / client. Still, it’s annoying when I can just go to a random Holiday Inn Express or whatever and get that stuff for “free” (free in quotation marks because you’re still paying for it, just in a different way)
My stay at the Sheraton Grand Taipei
I always know a hotel is going to be a “nice” hotel if it has a ton of big conference rooms, an in-hotel restaurant or a fancy lobby. Historically I’ve tended to avoid these types of places but I’ve booked a few recently hoping for my ragtag combination of hotel statuses to get me into the executive lounge and/or upgraded
It’s not all bad
I mean I know I like to complain, and I’m sure I’m going to get yelled at in the comments, but it’s not all bad. I got the room I “paid” for (with points), and was not charged extra to check-in at 5 a.m. straight off my flight from Chicago. That was appreciated as we used it to just take a quick 3 hour “nap” which synced us up with a reasonable wake-up time on Taipei time. I also got an “upgrade” that looks just like a regular room but maybe has a couch in it so it’s considered an upgrade?
But the irritating thing is that I was denied lounge access (“that’s only for Platinum status”). Also the swimming pool that my daughter was looking forward to after a long day walking around Taipei was closed for renovations, though that’s just one of those things. They did offer to pay for a 20 minute taxi ride to use the pool at their sister hotel but we declined.
I know I only have low-tier status (Gold) at Marriott (from a credit card), so I shouldn’t expect much. Though I did get an “upgrade” at the last Marriott hotel I stayed at in Copenhagen.
(SEE ALSO: Cmon Marriott – stop your lying upgrade games)
(SEE ALSO: Copenhagen Marriott hotel review)
I guess if I think about it my motley tier of similar credit-card-only statuses has been getting me lounge access pretty regularly. To the point where I have been looking for these hotels counting on my status to pick it up for me. Guess I should just stick with Holiday Inn Expresses and Hyatt Houses….