Is the following an unreasonable request???

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Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:33 PM
  #1
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Is the following an unreasonable request???

OK...as I may have reported 2 or 3 HUNDRED times before, I was the winner of an auction on Luxury Link.com that entitles me to four nights at The Michelangelo Hotel in Joburg in a Junior Suite.

I will only use two of the four nights and have communicated the following requests to The Michelangelo Hotel/Legacy Hotel Group:

1. I would be willing to trade two nights of the Michelangelo for a single night at The Commodore Hotel in Cape Town in a suite. Commodore is a member of the Legacy Hotel Group.

2. I would be willing to trade two nights of the Michelangelo if my 2 nights that I am actually at The Michelangelo are upgraded from the Junior Suite to a 1 Bedroom Premier Suite with perhaps complimentary pay per view movies, or his and her massage.

3. A one year extension from my December 31, 2003 deadline to use the two remaining nights so I could use them next year.

4. If The Michelangelo is unable to accomodate any of the above requests, I have requested that they provide me with a concurrent two night stay with two rooms, side by side. Most likely one room would sit empty but then again maybe I will offer it to a Fodorite that happens to be in town?!

I realize that I should not have bought this package but even if I only get two nights in a junior suite, it does include a free dinner and airport transfers making it nearly a $600 USD value just for two nights. However, I do think that they should do something for me for the two nights I will not be staying.

Agree??? Disagree??? Am I being a smart consumer of just petty??? Either way, please respond. Thanks.
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Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:05 PM
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DE
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Hi Rocco,

As a matter of creating good PR, I would think that the hotel might want to make some kind of effort to help accommodate your request to make changes in your stay, even though I would think they are not obligated to because of their arrangement with Luxury LInk. We had a similar situation last Sept. on a prepaid stay in a couple of Pearl Resort Hotels in French Polynesia. We were in the Marquesas Islands and chose to shorten our stay on one island by 3 days and they were good enough to transfer those nights to another property on Moorea that we had no reservations at, with no additional cost to us. That type of goodwill goes along way with the travelling public and we appreciated that they were more than willing to accommodate us.
We also have reservations at the Michaelngelo in July and booked them through The Leading Hotels of the World. Were originally going to stay at the Grace but it was just more convenient for us to book there as we were already doing reservations with another LH property in Cape Town. Hope we won't be disappointed. Let us know how the hotel was after your return.
 
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 03:38 AM
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I am surprised that they were unwilling to accommodte any of your requests. I don't think you are being unreasonable and you have given them many options which could easily be accommodated. In addition, I don't think that the Portswood is of the same calibre as the Michelangelo so it is not as though you are being unreasonable there either.

If you want us to "politely" e-mail the Michelangelo so they get a hint of the bad publicity this could generate, I would be willing to.

Waverley
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 04:41 AM
  #4
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Rocco-
Due to recent lessons I learned, ahem, ahem, ahem, I do not think they feel they owe you anything. They put up for auction something they couldn't sell any where else. You bought. The probably felt, "good for us".
We'll just see if the South African attitude holds here. Liz
 
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 04:57 AM
  #5
LizFrazier
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My goodness but I do not like the sounds of my last post. I thought I was over that, I will be quiet in the future. Mercy! Liz
 
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:44 AM
  #6
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Just to clarify...the Michelangelo has not turned down my requests yet. Actually, I am still trying to figure out how to fax from the USA to South Africa.

The telephone operator tells me that I simply have to dial 011-24 and then the local 7 digit number but it isn't working. I'll figure it out today.

Legacy Hotels and The Michelangelo have been passing the buck. I have emailed each of their reservation departments and nobody wants to take the responsibility and they finally told me that I had to call or fax somebody at the Michelangelo's reservation department that they didn't have an email address for. Guess it was too much trouble for the person I emailed at the Michelangelo to print out my email and give it to this person. If I ran my business that way, I would not be taking any Africa trips anytime soon.

I think each of the requests I have made are reasonable. I am hoping that they will upgrade me to the 1 bedroom premier suite with some other free amenities such as a massage for my wife and I (wouldn't that be great after 24 hours of travelling in economy class??).
Really the price of 1 bedroom premier suite for two nights is the same price as a junior suite for three nights, so you basically have about $250 - $300 left over, rack rate.

The reason why I am only asking for 1 night in Cape Town, is because that is all I have in my schedule. Because I haven't faxed the letter yet, I think I will take this suggestion off the list. I would much rather spend my final night at a place like The Grande Roche or someplace else over the top in The Cape Winelands. The Grande Roche sounds good because their restaurant is supposed to be one of the best in South Africa and it would be nice to have a great dinner, a bottle of wine and then not have to worry about driving back to Cape Town or another Cape Winelands hotel afterward. Plus, their rates are really not that bad in June.

I am going to try and act like a grownup on this trip and eat at the finest restaurants, unlike last year when I was staying at even nicer places like Singita/Mount Nelson/Matetsi/Victoria Falls Hotel/Table Bay Hotel and I was eating at pizza joints and even a "Mexican" restaurant. I don't know what kind of food that was, but it sure wasn't Mexican!!! (At least not to this Mexican-American from Los Angeles)

Besides a visit to Panama Jacks and a couple restaurants in Camps Bay, I didn't eat at the best places last year. I could use my fellow Fodorites recommendations for my 4-5 nights in Cape Town, my two nights in Joburg (already received one for a place next door to the Michelangelo) and my possibly 1 night in Cape Winelands (leaning towards Bosman's at The Grande Roche).

Never mind...just found out that the Grande Roche is closed June through August!!! Remind me to double my prices for my business so that I may close it for three months a year and come to South Africa!

Next choice will probably be Lanzerac Manor where I can stay in a junior suite for $210 USD per night (rate courtesy of E-gnu). A regular room is only $110 per night and a luxury room is $157 per per night.

I will need that Cape Winelands restaurant recommendation after all, unless Bosman's stays open all year round.

Thanks for the continued feedback...I learn more everyday.
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:48 AM
  #7
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By the way, let me give credit where credit is due. Unlike The Michelangelo, The Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town has been great. I have had no problems with them with my four night Luxury Link package and they have even switched the dates for me with no complaint after my stay changed from the beginning of the trip to later on the trip.

The Twelve Apostles is part of a group of hotels that is mostly in England, I believe. Anyway, thought I would share that.
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:51 AM
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Rocco
For what it's worth, I think your requests are reasonable but certainly all would be goodwill gestures rather than entitlments since, as you said, you booked through a no-cancellations-no-changes auction site.
The only thing I think is unreasonable is to expect extras such as massages - to upgrade you in terms of accommodation, or to swap part of the reservation to another property costs them little.
To give you both massages means paying the masseuse (unless she's permanently employed there, but many hotels use consultants for these kinds of services) or blocking out her time and losing out on potentially paying bookings.
I'd pull for the change of accommodation grade/ location but I personally wouldn't be too disappointed if you were not offered things like massages, though, don't rule anything out yet!

GOOD LUCK!
Kavey
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 09:01 AM
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Re: The faxing - you need to dial 27 first That is the country code.
golfer
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 02:30 PM
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Dial 011 27 11 and the 7 digit number
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Apr 3rd, 2003, 07:59 PM
  #11
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Waverly,

Thanks a million. I knew there was more to it than just dialing 27 11.

I will be completely at peace once I know how Michelangelo is going to handle my request.

I decided to make it easy on them and just request a Premier 1 Bedroom Suite, which is about 50% more per night than a Junior Suite, plus ask for free pay per view movies/internet service. The pay per view movies/internet service really cost them nothing to provide me (or very little).

I really have no desire to stay at their Cape Town hotels - The Portswood or The Commodore. I have seen them both and I am not very impressed. Nice 4* hotels, but not to be a total snob, but the last time I stayed in anything less than a 5* hotel, I didn't have a very good time (in Chile, where out of four different hotels/lodges, only one was a 5*, two were a 3* and one was a 2* although they had the nerve to call themselves a 4*.

If The Michelangelo refuses the request then I will consider my other options.
Anyway, I am glad that my trip is 95% booked with only one night in Cape Town to fill in. I refuse to pay the Twelve Apostles 2,400 ZAR ($315 USD?) for a single extra night, as they have quoted me (and this was discounted about 100 USD per night!!!). I only paid $570 USD for my entire four night stay in the same room, so there is no way that I am going to pay 55% of that for one extra night.

Anyway...nice to be returning to real life. Went to the gym tonight and had a much better workout than I should have considering I haven't really worked out since the end of January (maybe once a week average since). Got four miles in and I am considering suicidal thoughts such as running the Rock N Roll Marathon on June 01st, which would guarantee me a lot of pain!
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Apr 4th, 2003, 10:22 AM
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The thing I can't figure out, Roccco, is why you'd want MOVIES on your South African trip. It's lots more interesting to just sit at one of the cafes on Sandton Square and people-watch!
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Apr 4th, 2003, 10:37 AM
  #13
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Celia,

I will do my share of people watching but it would be nice to order a nice dessert via room service at the end of the night and just cuddle in bed with my wife and watch a pay per view movie without getting charged $15 USD.

Trust me, we will get in three or four movies and still have time to people watch, Soweto, shopping, etc.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 04:36 AM
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Any news?
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Apr 7th, 2003, 07:28 AM
  #15
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Kavey,

I just got an email this morning, confirming my request had been approved for two nights in a Premier 1 Bedroom Suite w/ free pay per view movies and internet access!

Now all I have to do is book my single night in the Cape Winelands and I am done!

Rocco
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Apr 7th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Great news Rocco!
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