So let me just say from the start that Hawaiian Airlines is fabulous! I'm a big Southwest fan, but Hawaiian really knows how to treat their guests. It was a lovely, smooth flight. We even arrived about 30 minutes early!
Grabbed a shuttle to the hotel. Surprising amount of traffic at 6am, so it took awhile. The last time I was here was in 1990 - after we dealt with the pancreatic cancer scare - and it has definitely grown. We arrived at Stay Hotel Waikiki which I booked through Booking.com - first time. Definitely the last time. This is the room they showed on my reservation email:
And this is the room we got:
I was standing right at the back wall when I took this photo. Teeny tiny space. We were so tired, we just both laid down and fell asleep. When we woke up a few hours later, Jer made arrangements to meet up with his friend and headed off to the beach. If I were 40 years younger and planned to spend all day at the beach and only land at the hotel to sleep, then perhaps I could have just made the best of it. But I'm 65. And while I don't stay in 5 Star hotels, I do like a little space and comfort and this room had none of that. Not even any room to open the suitcases except on the beds.
Let me add that the Booking.com reservation was non-refundable. And a gal from the front desk had called to see if we needed anything and when I shared my disappointment that this room was not at all what I had expected, she offered nothing. So I felt trapped. I thought I had gotten a good deal (which is why I did the non-refundable reservation) - but as I sat in the tiny hot space and started feeling depressed, I decided to check the hotel web site to see what they would charge for the room I thought I was going to get. It was cheaper than what I had paid. Argh!!!
And I missed Vern. He would have handled this mess. He should be here, ya know.
And then I got angry. And I wrote my very first ever bad review.
I posted it on the FB pages of both Booking.com and the hotel. And decided to suck it up and learn from this mistake ... and headed over to the beach for a mai tai to give me the strength to do just that.
I ordered my drink and sat there looking out at that lovely beach with the ocean at my feet and I missed Vern. And the tears started. Thank the dear Lord for sunglasses and paper napkins.
And then my phone rang with an unknown local number. I don't usually answer unknown callers, but thought maybe Jer had lost his phone so I answered. It was the hotel's general manager. And she had seen my post and was very kind. And here's the room we're in now:
Just a little bit of a difference, eh? Still not like the photo, but quite nice. And there's a desk and a bathroom you can actually walk in and shut the door.
So all's well that end's well, huh? A good lesson learned. I'm now starving and going to meet Jer and his friends at a sushi restaurant. I've never had sushi ... may be time to give it a try.