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I have a very short “vacation run” booked to St. John later this year. The price for the flights was something silly like $120 RT or similar on United. When there is a crazy silly price on “my” airline to a place I actually would like to go, it is hard for me to not pull the trigger. I don’t really book “mileage runs” (trips taken for the sole purpose of earning miles), but I’m happy to indulge in a “vacation run” from time to time.
Anyway, on our upcoming St. John trip, we used Starwood Preferred Guest cash and points to book a couple nights at the Westin St. John Resort and Spa on an old cash and points rate before the chart changed. Since booking, we have been notified that the hotel will be undergoing some renovations during our stay and that the main pool area will likely be closed from some time in September – December. Our booking falls squarely in that time frame. While that is a little bit of a bummer, it really will have minimal impact on our short stay. We will likely have enough time to enjoy some of the beautiful Caribbean waters, but a pool isn’t high on my “must do” list for this trip. However, I totally understand that there are many trips where a functioning pool would be quite important, so I am glad the hotel is being proactive about this issue.
Recently I got another email update from the hotel confirming the pool’s closure and stating that, “The main pool area and Snorkels Bar & Grill Restaurant will be closing on September 23, 2013 to December 18, 2013, as upgrades to the pool deck are made.” The email goes on to describe some of the other activities that will be available during that time and then informs us of the following:
All hotel guests who will be staying with us during our pool area renovation will receive a 2- night gift certificate to return to The Westin St. John Resort & Villas. This certificate can be used to return to our resort upon completion of the beachside and poolside hotel room and pool area renovation. You will receive the gift certificate upon check-in.
Two really free nights you say? Nice! Of course, there are real costs associated with getting to the resort, and most normal people wouldn’t go for just two nights, so there would likely be additional charges incurred for the additional nights. The email does not mention the expiration date associated with these free nights. However, I am still very impressed with the idea of proactively offering pretty generous compensation for guests who will be visiting during the renovations. Obviously not everyone will be able to use the gift certificates, but it is very nice to have that option for two free nights.
Have you received something similar when visiting a resort that was not fully operational during your stay?