Celebrations: Why you should let the hotel know in advance

Earlier this year I celebrated a rather important birthday, the age which I am going to keep telling myself for the next nine years or so at least. In the UK, the grand old age of 21 isn’t really something; but over in the US and other parts of the world, it’s pretty significant.

I love to use social media, as do many people of my age. In this day it’s great to see many brands jumping onto the social bandwagon and actively using platforms such as Twitter to engage with the online community and resolve any issues in a timely and efficient manner. Whilst I was at the airport waiting to board my flight, I may have sent of a subtle tweet mentioning two hotels that I’d be visiting as part of my birthday trip – which went something like “Looking forward to celebrating my 21st birthday adventure at Hotel A over the next few days!”. Of course I know that for a hotel, it can be very hard to reply to every mention or comment generated on social, so I didn’t expect to hear anything.

After a long flight and a relatively average check-in experience, I opened the door to my guest room only to find a bottle of champagne and a chocolate cake on the desk with a little personalised note wishing me a Happy Birthday. It was a lovely surprise and one that I did not expect, especially for a hotel which I had not previously engaged with on social prior to that little tweet earlier in the day. For me, it was living proof that there are still staff members out there who are willing to “surprise and delight” their guests and a reason why I would probably return to that hotel again in the future.

Of course it’s not to say this may happen to everyone, but it’s always worth letting a hotel, restaurant or even airline know that you are travelling for a special occasion. Some brands even give you the option to leave a little note or request at the time of booking, otherwise a simple tweet, email or phone call is harmless. But remember, always expect nothing and then if something happens, you’ll be surprised.

Have you ever received a celebratory surprise from a hotel? I’d love to hear your story, let me know in the comments below.

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