Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

2 Hotels and 3 Rooms in 3 Days

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This has been an interesting week, and it looks like I’m not the only one. I’m down in Miami for work and had trouble finding a hotel. I eventually came across a place called the “Fortune House Hotel”, which was cheap and didn’t look too bad - it’s condos that they’ve converted into apartment suites. If I had a wife and two kids, this would be a great place for me to stay. But I don’t. I’m traveling on business. And it wouldn’t have been so bad…it really wouldn’t had it been for a series of incidents that just made it unbearable.

The first strike was the lack of Internet access in the rooms. There was wireless in the lobby, but I enjoy sitting around in my room and hacking. I can live without Internet, though. It was when I pulled into the garage after my first day at the client to find somebody in my assigned parking spot that things really started going downhill. I swung into an employee parking spot, thinking I’d just run downstairs and get it taken care of. I swiped my keyfob at the elevator, but just like the night before…it didn’t work for some reason. So I walked down to the 4th floor of the garage and it worked just fine. I went to the hotel desk, explained the situation and they assigned me a new spot on the third floor. I got back in the elevator, back up to the 5th floor, and moved my car back down to the 3rd. I got out, swiped my keyfob at the elevator…and it didn’t work. Great. It only works on 4 for some reason. Also note that I’ve been carrying my laptop-backpack bag with me all this time with two laptops and many accessories. So I walked back up to 4 and hopped on the elevator to go back down to the lobby and get another parking spot. On the way down…the power went out, and I get stuck in the elevator. After a few seconds it powered back on, but wouldn’t go to any floors…until it went up to the 2nd floor and somebody got on. As I still needed to go back down to the lobby, I hopped off at 6. There was a maintenance guy there that said I probably shouldn’t take the elevator back down…so I walked all the way back down to the lobby. I was pretty tired and not impressed with the hotel at this point, so when I got to the lobby I let off a little steam at the poor person at the reception desk who gave me a new parking spot on the 4th floor. The keyfob worked fine and I took the elevator up to my floor. I was just about to put my key in the door to my room, when I noticed the door wasn’t locked…the cleaning staff had left it open when they left. Wonderful.

This is where it gets good…

When I got back from dinner, the hotel looked a little dark. Yep…power outage. No elevators. No Internet. And only mild illumination in the rooms. I was so done with this hotel. I found a deal on Expedia and checked myself out the next morning and it shall forever remain in my mind as the mis-Fortune House Hotel.

Just to keep count…that’s 1 hotel and 1 day.

I found myself that night at the Mercury Resort on South Miami Beach (hotel and room #2), one or two blocks off the ocean. It was a bit difficult to get the room, between fluctuating rates and the hotel running out of the Junior suite, but since I had found the Expedia rate I actually got the Execute suite for a really good price. Parking was $25 and the Internet was $15…but at least there was Internet and the bed didn’t feel like a piece of cheap plastic. The rooms were actually quite nice…stylish, King beds, and quite the ahem ammenities (remember…south beach…yyyyea).

As I headed to bed, it seemed a little warm in the room, but it was bearable. I woke up the next morning and headed out.

I returned that evening to a 90-degree hotel room. My A/C was busted and it was unbearable. The hotel was very good about it, however, and attempted to fix it. It wouldn’t be so easy, though, and they eventually put me into an even nicer room…a Deluxe Suite, complete with kitchen and seperate seating area.

So that’s 3 rooms, and 2 hotels.

Now, South Beach being what it is…the area around the hotel is a little rowdy…but more than comfortable enough for me…not to mention I’m paying about half what I should be!