The Four Seasons for $100? Yeah, There's A Story...

"Deej, is the guest in room X staying tonight? His bags are still here." 

During my days in the hotel business, this was a fairly typical conversation between myself and the hotel's Executive Housekeeper. Guests would often extend their stays without informing the Front Desk, or sometimes they had a continuing reservation for the next evening that we hadn't noticed. However, the moment I heard these words from my cohort, a great deal of panic set in, and it was all I could do to not drop the phone.

Let's just say the gentleman in room X was a very important guest, and was part of a very important group staying in our hotel. His group departed our hotel for an event, and while they were away our bell staff was to visit each member's room and retrieve their bags. The luggage was then to be loaded onto the group's bus, which would pick them up en route to the airport for their charter flight. This was a process that our hotel did so often, it was all but routine, but even the best of routines can have their flaws. For the first time in nearly three years, we missed a bag....

By the time the bag was discovered, our group was already on their charter flight, and well on their way to Atlanta. Complicating matters further, they were only due to stay in The ATL for one night, before moving on to their next stop in New York; not to mention the fact that the guest from room X was also without all of his belongings. Any way I sliced it, this was a bad situation, and I spent the next few hours attempting to figure out how to fix it. After speaking with my General Manager, it became clear that there was only one choice....I'd be driving to Atlanta to hand deliver Mr. X's bag. 

After a quick trip home to grab a toothbrush and change of clothes, I headed back to the hotel to pick up the rental car they had arranged for me. My roommate decided to make the road trip as well, and I was pretty glad he was coming along, because otherwise it would have been a lonely 8 hour drive. In all the frenzy, I failed to line up a hotel for us once we arrived in Atlanta, so I called a colleague while on the road and asked him to find us something within the $100 budget I'd been given. I had no idea just how well he would tackle this task...

As we made our way a little north of Valdosta, my coworker calls to say he's found us a place for the night...The Four Seasons Atlanta. I started to flip out because we only had a $100 budget, but he was quick to cut me off. He had taken the liberty to call The Four Seasons, where our group was staying that evening, and explained the dilemma. He found very sympathetic ears, and they agreed to book us a room for my $100 allowance. Suddenly, things were looking up, and this hotel guy was on cloud nine, but also incredibly impressed. The Four Seasons certainly did not have to help me out, yet they went above and beyond in the same manner for which their service has become legendary.

After an obligatory stop at The Varsity, we arrived at the Four Seasons after 11pm, and checked into what I'm sure was the cheapest room their desk agents had ever seen. I gave Mr. X's bag to the bellman, ignoring the irony that such an action is what had led me there in the first place. Up to that point, I'd always wanted to experience a Four Seasons hotel, and here I was finally given the opportunity, yet all I wanted to do was crawl into bed...

Four Seasons Atlanta
 The Building on the Right. Photo Credit: Four Seasons

Our wake up call came far too early the next morning, but I still awoke completely refreshed. The day before had been incredibly stressful, but something about waking up at The Four Seasons had made it all worthwhile. During my time in the hotel business I created countless memorable stories, some which would come close to rivaling this one, yet none that could ever surpass it. After all, it is the only one that landed me a $100 room at The Four Seasons.

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