Holiday Inn Express

Over the past few years, the best hotel experiences I’ve had have come from Holiday Inn Express. Well-appointed rooms, comfortable beds with pillows in an assortment of firmnesses, towels that haven’t had all the softness laundered out of them, a desk I can work at, decent cable tv and a DVD player, and solid, free high-speed Internet access. Some of them also have a decent free breakfast.

Last weekend, I decided to spend Saturday up in San Francisco, before heading to a friend’s house in Campbell on Sunday, so I booked a room in Redwood City for two nights. I’ve stayed in that particular HIE before, and gotten good service.

Unfortunately, Saturday morning, there was no hot water anywhere in the hotel. They were sorry about it, and had it fixed by mid-day, but by that time I was already up in SF, enjoying the taiko drumming in SF Japantown (part of a film and cultural festival I hadn’t known about). [side note: pretty girls banging on big drums appeals to me…]

Last night, my mailbox contained a Starbucks gift card, the hotel manager’s business card, and a humble apology for their failure to provide perfect service.

[oh, and the Holiday Inn membership rewards system feeds directly into the JAL membership rewards system, building up miles for a seat upgrade on a future trip to Japan]