Loew's Royal Pacific Resort
Well to continue with our little family vacation I am going to report on luxury hotels. We stayed at the Lowe’s Royal Pacific Resort, a 4 star hotel, on the property of Universal Studios, for convenience. The theme of this hotel was Hawaii and, when we got there, a man came running out to give us each a lei. Very nice touch! At the front desk, they asked my husband if he wanted a complimentary newspaper delivered every morning and he said yes. Check in went very smoothly and all our questions were answered about park tickets and express passes to the parks.
On the dresser were four boxes of expensive “snacks,” clearly labeled by price ($10 for 3 ounces of cashews) and two $7 bottles of water, for our convenience. I was afraid to use the Keurig coffee maker because it didn’t specify if it was complimentary or $10 a cup. I didn’t want to ask the concierge and look like a pauper either.
It seems that luxury hotels charge guests for everything. They nickel and dime you every step along the way. Nothing is a courtesy. For example, for me to make a local phone call to arrange for transportation back to the airport, they charge $1. My husband ordered a turkey club sandwich at the pool which was priced at $15, AND the bread wasn’t even fresh! He told me that at the end, so I couldn’t very well complain about it, but I did remember to put it in my survey comments. The wifi in the lobby was free, but in your room you would have to pay $10 a day for the privilege to use it there. Let me just say that the room was about $300 a night, so I would have expected some of these things to be gratuitous. I guess rich people don’t care how they spend their money, but we do. Ordinarily we would have stayed at a more spacious, wifi and local calls for free Holiday Inn, but we wanted the close proximity to the parks since we only had four days. Holiday Inn also provides less expensive meals and they are just as good. An all you can eat breakfast buffet at this place costs $20 a person. I ordered from the menu instead and got two eggs, toast, bacon and potatoes with coffee for $10...which I considered a bargain. Breakfast for four, without the buffet, ran us about $65 with tax and tip. I think that’s a lot of money for eggs, but we haven’t had a vacation in a long, long time. I tried not to let getting royally ripped off bother me too much.
We never did get the complimentary newspaper every morning either. My husband went to the lobby every day and got it himself. No big deal. The hotel advertises several dining rooms, but because of the low occupancy this week, they neglected to inform us they would not all be open regular hours. We accommodated this inconvenience by eating at the parks before returning to the hotel for the evening. The Hard Rock Café, the larger, closer to the parks, more expensive resort, had a more varied and reasonably priced menu. It was situated where we board the water taxi to get back to our hotel. We took advantage to that to have our dinner there.
There have only been maybe three times that we took the extravagant route with luxury hotels. The first time was on our honeymoon in Hawaii. I remember a little balcony outside our room with an ocean view and we watched the sunset as we had cocktails. They served every meal with sweet, delicious pineapple too. They provided bath robes and all kinds of amenities that I wasn’t expecting. The second time was in Cape Cod for our 25th anniversary. The room had a Jacuzzi in it, a fireplace and canopy bed. It was spacious and beautiful. The only thing I could complain about is that we were in a rush to leave at the end of our stay and my toasted English muffin took over 45 minutes to get to me. The reason being that our server took off for an emergency and they did not replace him or let us know until I started complaining. Of course they didn’t charge us for breakfast, but they ended my little trip on a sour note. And this last time, at Universal, we decided to go with luxury and convenience. All in all, I don’t think luxury hotels are worth it, even if you can afford to throw good money away.
We all have dreamed of being rich and staying at expensive hotels and eating at the finest restaurants. I’m not so sure we would be happy. It sounds good on the face of it. They want you to feel like you are getting pampered and your every need is being met. I’m not used to my every need being met so I wouldn’t know how to use these places to my advantage. What I am used to is getting what I paid for and not being made a fool of. When I see $15 for a turkey club sandwich, I think this is outrageous! Unless of course, they just went out and shot the turkey that morning, roasted it all day and carved it up to put in some nice, homemade, freshly baked bread. Then, in that case, $15 would be more than reasonable. When your whole hotel is wired for wifi and I have to pay $10 a day to use it in a small room that costs $300 a day already, then I don’t feel pampered, I feel screwed. Just make the room $310 and throw in the damn wifi, would ya?
I really think Holiday Inn gets you the best bang for your buck and I have yet to leave one of their hotels dissatisfied or feeling robbed.