Attention: room move confusion detected in our hotel

I often come across funny situations in the hotel, not because I am particularly funny, but more because I deal with those situations impulsively. This week, I came across one of those situations, which I have to laugh about, after the stress is gone.

After our guests have checked in, they receive an email, called a service check. As the name already implies, this of course is to check if everything is according to their liking. We send this email to provide guests with the opportunity to inform us immediately if something is not in order in the room. We can solve the issue right away, this way.

A service check came in this morning, an unhappy guest said that the he was disappointed because he had got a room with two single bed, instead of the one bed he had asked for. Guests can state their preference in their reservation, however this is only possible if the type of room is available upon arrival.

We called the guest, let say Mr. Smith, in his room and asked whether he would rather to be moved to a room with a double bed. And of course he wanted to!
The room was already cleaned and my colleague offered to bring the new key to Mr. Smith, so that he wouldn’t have to come down to the reception to get the key himself. Just as my colleague entered the one elevator, other guests walked out of the other. Nothing special, you might think. However, these guests, let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. Witt, came down to say that they were going to move to another room. I tried to joke around that my colleague had just left to give them their new key, but it wasn’t much of a success. I made new keys for the same room as before and let Mr. and Mrs. go to their new room. Meanwhile I texted my colleague that ‘’the guest were already on their way’’

Problem solved? No, not really. As it turns out, about half an hour after the guest moved, Mr. Witt, who I had earlier given the keys, called from his former room to ask whether his room was ready. How odd! I had given him his keys already, I answered, surprised by this question. Yes, said Mr. Witt, however, when we entered the room, there was still a suitcase in it! More surprised than I already was, I went up to the room.

And indeed, when I entered the room, I found the suitcase there too. My eye catches the key card to the room, that lies on the desk, the key I had just given him! But then I figured it out. I called the colleague, who went upstairs, to ask whether Mr. Smith was still in the room when she brought the key and yes they were… Oops… but who did I just give the same key to?

Luckily we have a digital agenda at the reception, to keep track of all the important things. I looked at the other guests who wanted to move right away and yes, Mr. and Mrs. Witt, who I had given the keys to, also wanted a room with a double bed. They had come downstairs to change rooms at the same time! A total miscommunication! Mr. and Mrs. Witt were still in their ‘’old’’ room waiting, while Mr. Smith from the service check, was in possession of the same key!

And very luckily, I like a challenge. In the moment I pretend I am in a game in which I have to find the solution as quickly as possible, I run through the hotel like a crazy person, look for clues and almost cheer when my challenge, with unknown level of difficulty, is solved. Okay, okay, maybe the last bit is a little exaggerated, but my arms go up in the air. And maybe a soft YESSS with it.

Conchita Beltrán, Assistant Hotel Manager at the XO Hotels Park West