Every hotel we’ve stayed at in China — the Marriott Great Wall in Beijing, the Xi’ An Hilton, the Chengdu Shangri-La and the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai — has upgraded us to a far nicer room than we paid for. We can’t figure out why.
For example, here in Shanghai the guest relations manager showed us to our room and said, “This is my favorite room in the hotel.” Then she opened the drapes and showed us the remarkable river and skyline view out our window.
We can’t figure out why we’re getting special treatment. In Beijing we thought it was because we’d come all the way from Moscow on the train and they felt sorry for us. Then in Xi’ An we said, “Well, maybe it’s because we have a lot of points on our Hilton credit card.” But the Shangril-La in Chengdu is an independent hotel with which we had no prior connection. In other words, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for our upgrades.
Maybe this is it:
I’ve mentioned Bob Colombatto, my first creative director, more than once on this blog. He hired me over the phone without having met me in person because he liked something funny I put on my pathetically thin resume.
When I showed up for my first day of work he said, “I’ll be damned. I thought Jim Lee deYong was going to be Chinese.”
Maybe that’s what all the Chinese hotels thought, too.
UPDATE: We left China, went to Hong Kong and the upgrades have ended. Hmmmmm.