A little improvisation goes a long way

by Catherine M. Cuzzone

This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition. Photo by Joisey Showaa.


My funniest hotel experience was last year in SOBE Miami when my boyfriend and I were staying "off the beaten path" at a place where I had stayed previously with a favorable experience.

We had just reconnected after we mutually relocated for work in late 2006 at opposite sides of the country. We were planning a romantic get away to start fresh and pick up where we had left off, simultaneously. I selected a room which had an outside porch with a porcelain tub and curtains, so we could take a bubble bath later that evening and then have a nice dinner served in our plush, terry bath robes sitting outside with candles, the sound of the surf and watching the sunset. Simple, yet perfect ambiance, which seemed ideal for our reunion.

We checked in, had a couple of ocean front cocktails then scurried back excitedly to our room for our bubble bath making all the preparations - towels, candles, wine, music - only to find the tub had no running hot water.

My boyfriend called the front desk, and they said they could not get engineering until the next day. I sat sipping my wine outside staring dejectedly at the tub. Before I knew it my boyfriend emerged from the room with a waste bucket filled with steaming hot water from the shower, which had a detachable spray head. He filled the tub with alternating buckets, running back and forth while I emptied the water. We eventually filled our bath and while the water cooled prematurely we were so content with the last minute improvisation that we enjoyed ourselves more than if we had running hot water outside to begin with!

The next evening we decided to take advantage of one of the outdoor hot tub/spas. We noticed one spa happened to be rather crowded so we literally jumped into the deeper spa thinking it would be comparable to the other. Only to find it was a freezing cold dipping pool. I am very slim, with not much body fat, so I yelped and jumped out and the guests in the hot spa laughed hysterically before quickly made room for me. The next evening we decided to watch the sunset from the heated, outdoor pool overlooking the ocean, have some pool side drinks and then dine out. The pool side grill had closed but I discovered the bar had some nibbles in a cone shaped, almost vase like, deep martini glass. When I returned to the pool and mentioned this to my boyfriend he jumped out of the pool and returned a few minutes later having swam all the way across to where I was watching the sunset holding what almost looked like a torch up in the air, so the nibbles would not get wet. It reminded me of the Olympics as I smiled and thanked him for being so innovative, yet again, and thoughtful! The pita chips did get a few splashes here and there, however, were even more enjoyable given the added effort and innovation, again!

Our final evening we stayed pool side reminiscing, ordering off the grill menu. We started back to our room later and decided to take a short cut pool side rather than the usual grass pathway. The cement surrounding the pool was soaked, and very slippery, and we could not see very well because it was dusk. I bumped into a chair, stubbing my toe, and my boyfriend whacked his already bad knee from a football injury in high school. We limped and hobbled back to our room and proceeded to administer first aid then levitated my foot and his knee/leg while watching movies inside for the remainder of the evening. By the time we departed while tanned we probably appeared as the walking wounded but agreed it would always be a time to remember!

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