Thursday, January 22, 2009

A hotel or a bed and breakfast?

Hotels or bed and breakfasts? For once we chose a hotel on a recent trip to Toronto. It made sense, being on the airport strip close to the trade show exhibition centre we were attending, with a shuttle bus connecting them.

We selected a leading international chain and booked through their central reservation service; well, tried to. We had emails and telephone calls with numerous people, never the same twice, as they tried to accommodate the mere fact that our flight arrived after their check-in time. We could not call the individual hotel (do they have telephones?, just like a bank). Hmm! Anyway all was settled.

Toronto has always been a place of miserable, money-grabbing people in my jaded mind but this hotel proved me wrong. We were pleased and grateful to them.

But like all hotels they did have a lot of "extra" charges. When we returned to our bed and breakfast and cleared our mail I found a promotional flyer for Whistler, BC. A hotel there from a chain which considers itself Canada's best, though owned by a Saudi, informed me that "For the Ultimate Experience" I could have these complimentary: a private check-in, private concierge, an exclusive lounge, a deluxe continental breakfast and high speed internet.

In our B&B, guests only deal with one of two people who are at the end of a telephone or email. When here all these complimentary items are indeed free as well as parking (a big one hotel extra), movies, local calls etc. Now I know why I prefer a bed and breakfast!

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