I’ve now spoken 8 times here in New Zealand. And my daughter’s endured my budget conscious lodging choices. So we decided to splurge on a “real” hotel while here in Wellington and make these three days a real vacation.
I’d tried to book a room online from the Top 10 Park but I really wanted my daughter’s input in the decision. (Not so much because I was feeling generous. More so that I wouldn’t be saddled with all the blame if she didn’t like the next place!)
Well, booking the room didn’t happen. I did narrow it down to a couple locations. We got to Wellington, had a delightful lunch with James and Susan from the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, and then got down to finding a room. Not surprisingly, many of the hotels had filled up since this morning.
As quirky as having a mobile internet connection can be, it does come in handy. After talking to hotel clerks at the Wellington Intercontinental on the phone, I was assured they only had 5 rooms left–rooms that were decidedly out of my price range. On a whim, or just being stubborn, I decided to check Orbitz. Orbitz still showed rooms available at a great discount. I quickly booked the room and drove to the hotel.
My daughter had asked for a “real” hotel, but hadn’t expected this. The woman at the front desk took a fancy to her so upgraded us to a much nicer room with a harbor view and “club” access. I did have to pay more, but I ended up saving money because I would’ve had to pay for internet and parking and meals anyway.
After so much do-it-yourself travel, this level of customer service overwhelmed my homesick child. The woman had made it clear she was doing it for my uber-cool kid, not me.
The room was great. Shortly after getting settled, the woman at the front desk called again. She hadn’t been able to do something she’d wanted to do (I didn’t really understand what that was) so she was sending up a chocolate platter for my daughter as an apology.
Free chocolate, free drinks in the Club upstairs, free hot breakfast, free wifi, free parking, free laundry facilities, awesome location in the center of Wellington, no tipping expected. I could get used to this.