Many posts on Consumer Traveler are about problems or airlines, hotels and car rental companies treating consumers and/or travel agents badly. But, this week I had a resort, Miraval Resort and Spa, make an exception that benefited both my clients and the agency. So figured I would share a good story for a change.
The client in question is a very occasional traveler, but a relative of one of my best clients. She had emailed to ask about flights and a four-night spa vacation in Tuscon. I spoke to Miraval Resort, and found out that not only did they have rates that fit my client’s budget, they were offering a fifth night free.
In addition, as part of a consortium program our agency belongs too, the hotel was including a free gift and an upgrade if available on check-in. I did not mention the last two things to the client, figuring it would be a nice surprise.
The client was very appreciative for the help, but emailed me to say, “Thank you so much, I called them and booked this morning.” (She didn’t want to put me to any extra trouble.)
But most hotels, the Miraval Resort included, pay travel agents. Besides the fact that with her direct booking she wouldn’t be eligible for the upgrade and the gift.
So, not expecting much, I contacted the hotel and explained what had happened. And they immediately replied that if she called and approved it they would let our agency take over the booking. Which when I in turn explained the situation to the client, she was happy to do.
And as it turned out, the client also didn’t realize that the hotel offers free private transfers, so after I booked her flights, she was delighted when I emailed details about the program where a member of the resort staff would meet her and her friend at the airport.
Particularly in tough economic times, too often different members of the travel industry seem to be in an adversarial relationship. Especially as direct bookings cost hotels nothing in commission. Kudos to the Miraval Resort, however, for making both a travel agent and a client happy.
photo of room at Mirival resort by plums_deify on flckr.com/creative commons