Our two main hotels for our Western adventure of 2007 were the El Dorado Hotel and Spa in Santa Fe and the Valley Ho Hotel and Spa in Scottsdale.
The El Dorado hoped to get thirty or forty dollars extra during our stay for the use of the Internet. Only it didn't work in our room and it was inconvenient to change rooms when they offered. I felt a little put out at them over that. OK, a lot put out. FFP had a massage in the spa (in fact he was getting it when they offered the room change which was after I'd found a cafe and checked email) but other than that we didn't give them one penny more than the room rate (which was plenty) and the taxes and the eighteen US dollars a day to park. We eschewed the mini bar. We didn't dine in their fancy restaurant (although the menu posted looked good). We didn't have drinks in their rather cold and cavernous lobby lounge. We didn't order room service and drank the (free) coffee from the little pot in the room. We went to the Internet Cafe pictured for free Internet access and bought coffee and other drinks from the cafe. We ate and drank at other restaurants.
Now at the Valley Ho they gave us a mega upgrade. The wireless access worked flawlessly. And is free. It might follow that I
- drank a beer out of the mini bar
- ordered expensive pots of coffee from room service
- let FFP buy a T-Shirt, watch and sun block in the gift shop
- bought an over-priced insulated cup in the gift shop for myself
- ate two meals on the patio in the ZuZu restaurant
- had drinks at the associated Trader Vic's
So word to the wise, hospitality guys: if I feel well-treated and not ripped off then I spend money on the other stuff. And, hey, I was actually willing to pay $9.95 a day for wired access. You just had to make it work in a timely fashion. Of course, free access would have been better. The free apples in the gym, The New York Times (so much better than USA Today) and all that loosen up my credit cards. El Dorado: I might have dropped some other bucks in your hotel. Except. It just felt like a rip. Your loss.