Rookie Misplay #7: I did it for the points! Best Western Bay Harbor Review
Slight delay in posts, but I’m back! A couple weeks ago I was able to attend the Frequent Traveler University event in Tampa, Florida. It was a weekend full of sessions about points and miles with great bloggers speaking and sharing their knowledge. I talked to several new people and learned a lot. This was my first event in this community, and I have to say it was amazing to go somewhere and have everyone want to meet new people (and learn from them)! Everyone was very welcoming and there were many people just walking up to tables and sitting down with strangers. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in this stuff (which hopefully you do if you’re reading this blog).
The event was held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, but as we had already stayed there this year and I was targeted for an SPG promotion I went ahead and booked nearby at the Westin Tampa Bay for the Saturday night. We didn’t book Friday night as we weren’t sure when we would be getting into town or if we would stay with friends/family.
The week of the event I saw a post by U Can Fly Free 2 about a Rocketmiles.com promotion for new customers. Rocketmiles is a service where if you book through their site you can get airline miles – but usually not hotel points. I had looked into the site a couple times on past trips, but always found the prices to be high and therefore decided to book directly through hotels instead. This time, however, I saw the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel was within $10 or so of what I had seen it priced at (and what I was planning to pay at the Sheraton Tampa East instead). Since there was a special promotion and I need miles for my upcoming Australia/New Zealand trip booking I went for it.
I booked a room at the Best Western through rocketmiles.com and figured for one night with 5,000 bonus airline miles we’d give it a shot. It had 3.5 stars on tripadvisor.
Let me preface this: I don’t consider myself overly stuck up about hotels. I haven’t been doing this long and haven’t stayed at many super fancy establishments. This is meant more as humor, as I pretty much got what I paid for in this situation.
We arrived at 11:00pm, and from the exterior we were actually impressed. I was thinking I had the wrong impression of Best Westerns. We checked in, and I asked if there were any king beds available as I had booked two doubles. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask since it was so late. The front desk attendant said yes, but they’d have to charge $10. I’m sure this is just standard hotel policy, but he didn’t quite present it that way. We decided to keep our original double beds instead. We walked up to the room and on first glance it wasn’t bad.
However, shortly after entering the room we noticed water dripping from the ceiling in the room at the edge of the foyer. Looking more closely, there was also water dripping down the walls!
We decided to go back to the front desk and ask if another room was available. This was the point where the difference between some other hotel brands we’ve recently stayed at and Best Western seemed to be apparent. We’re not rude complainers, I understand stuff like this happens. My boyfriend simply asked if there was another comparable room available, since ours had water dripping down the wall.
The front desk’s response: “well aren’t you boring.” Not meant to be overly rude or anything, but not the standard “sorry for the inconvenience” response you might get elsewhere. At this point, he handed us keys to another room and said “I think you’ll find this more to your liking”. I was kind of hoping we might have gotten a king bed, but we got a harbor view instead.
The second room was still double beds, but was much better and had dry walls. Our only complaint this time was the fact that it looked like the room had been broken into and the lock was somewhat wobbly.
The room was fine, and we went to sleep as we had to get up early for FTU the next morning. We woke up to a pretty harbor view, which was nice.
The one really nice thing the Best Western Harbor Bay Hotel had going for it was a gym with a great view of the harbor. I had a run scheduled for Saturday morning, and was excited that it would be with such a great view. Unfortunately, I’m not that bright and didn’t think about the fact it would have to still be dark out when I was running in order to make it to FTU around 8:30am. But that was completely my fault.
I booked this stay for the bonus miles through Rocketmiles. I wasn’t expecting an amazing stay, and I appreciate that they did switch our room to fix the problem – but I wouldn’t stay here again. We got the impression it was a great spring break hotel though, if anyone is looking for that.
Stay tuned for the Westin Tampa Bay review up next!