Speak your mind

by Sue Carden

This story is part of our 'Travelling with Kids' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition.

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A few years ago, six intrepid explorers (Granny, Granddad, me, husband and two daughters) set off to visit family in Australia. Our first stop was two nights in Bangkok – something I was a little nervous about, particularly as the girls were only 7 and 10.

Having already paid for accommodation in advance at the Landmark Hotel, Bangkok, and been told by other travellers to be wary of “free” upgrades, I was surprised to learn that we had received such upgrades for both our rooms.

The upgrades meant that we were staying in two of the most fantastic suites I had ever been in! Me, my husband and one daughter had a corner suite on the 11th floor; Granny, Granddad and other daughter had the same corner suite on the floor above. The rooms were enormous and comprised an office area, spacious seating area with two huge sofas and a big-screen TV, dining area for at least 6 people, large “mini-bar”, hall-way, huge bedroom and luxurious bathroom.

Once we’d explored every inch of the room and found no spare bed, we decided that the bed was so large our daughter could jump in with us and off we all went to explore shopping and eating in Bangkok – which was experience in itself!

On our return to the rooms, we found that the dining table and chairs had been rearranged to accommodate a large single bed, which the staff were just making up. My 7-year old daughter took one look at the bed and proclaimed “This hotel is rubbish! I’m not sleeping in a dining room.” I was shocked and hoped that the staff did not understand her – only to find that the staff started giggling! I can only imagine what they were thinking as they went away!

On checking out and asking whether there were any additional charges, we found our room upgrade was definitely free and so were the wonderful and varied breakfasts we had consumed on both mornings we were there. I’m still not sure whether they were trying to improve on the “rubbish” rating my daughter gave them or it really was a “free” upgrade, but my motto now is “Learn from the children and speak your mind.”

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