Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Business Elite

So, DH is off to Chicago for his business convention. (I miss him.) He just called and we talked for an hour or so (actually more now that I look at the clock.) He talked about the cab ride. Going into Chicago from out takes and hour. Going out from in takes 30 minutes. Why? "There are too many people in Chicago," says the cab driver.

At the hotel, he is staying at the ... rhymes with Rilton ... they had two lines for check in. One for Rilton Elite members and one for the regular schmoes. He and his coworker were in the Elite line (by decision of whoever booked and arranged everything.) DH said after a few minutes it became obvious that the Schmoe line was moving faster.

Coworker- (leaning in to speak privately) You watch. They (Schmoe people who arrived at the same time as DH and DH's Coworker (let's call him Brian) will be served before we are.

Man nearby- The line you are in is for people who are willing to pay more in order that the hotel take the time to do anything they want. Not to move through quickly.

Sure enough, checking in took longer in the Elite line.

He also commented that his room was much smaller than the room we had stayed in in Tupelo. It was at the ... rhymes with Rarriot. I have no real illusions that it is specifically the hotel chain. I bet the Rilton in Tupelo has bigger rooms (for comparable class) than the one in Chicago and the Chicago Rarriot probably smaller. Anyway, my point is his room is small.

Said small room was reserved at the exact same time as Brian's room. It has the same confirmation number. They were on the same receipt. For some reason the desk clerk said Brian's room is $350 and DH's $450. They worked out what was going on there. Good thing they were in the Elite line, I guess.

DH also said that he didn't have free internet in his room. See, now that I have a laptop we have begun to notice and appreciate (on the rare occasions we travel) that most hotels now offer wireless internet access. One thing I have appreciated is the fact that at the Rarriot (in Tupelo, at least) and the Romfort Inn said internet access has been free of charge.

Not at the Rilton in Chicago. Apparently, the wireless internet access is part of the Business Perks package (no italics for lack of actually being able to quote the name of said business package) For a mere $17.99 per day the traveling businessman can enjoy wireless internet, free unlimited local calls, and they can drink the water in their room.

That last bit caught my attention when DH said it, seeing as how he is in Illinois, not Mexico.

You can drink the water in your room only if you buy the Businessman package? The sheer mechanics involved in having two water systems, one safe, one not were an interesting thought. The fact that they would charge to have you switched from one to the other rather than installing only the safe ...

No, no, of course that is not it. There is bottled water in the room. Normally, if you drink it is runs about $13 per bottle (because apparently the Rilton Hotel chain only serves water from a cool mountain spring in the French Alps that has been poured into the Holy Grail and from there into cut crystal bottles with gold foil labels that say Je suis plus que tois.)

However, if you pay for the business package your bottles are included in the $17. Nifty

He opened his curtains for the first time while on his phone, to see what sort of view he had. He got the fine privilege of looking out onto the courtyard space in the center of the building and the windows of other rooms. Good thing I didn't bother sending the digital camera with him.

So far he said he wasn't too impressed with the Rilton experience.

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