Sunday, March 25, 2012

Things You Learn The Hard Way At a South American Hotel

1. If you do not drop off your copy of your room key at the front desk when you leave, they do not clean your room.

2. "0" on the elevator panel stands for Planta Baja which is the first floor lobby. "1" is the first floor above the Planta Baja.

3. The shady looking character who watches you park your car in the Hotel lot and actually looks in your car windows while you are unloading your luggage is the Hotel's parking lot security.

4. The restaurant: (1) does not open for dinner until 8:30 pm; (2) is on the first floor unless it decides it will set up the tables and chairs outside and behind the Hotel; and (3) may or may not allow you to charge the meal to your room depending on who your waiter is and how he feels about you.

5. You need to ask beforehand if the Hotel takes credit cards...many in this part of the world still operate on a cash only basis...especially if you are staying for 3 days!

6. Apparently the Hotel ranking system "spots" Hotels around here four stars, as in Michael Jordan saying to you "Ok, we are going to play one-on-one basketball and the first one to score five points wins and to make the game fair we will start the score with you having four points and me none."

7. Different Hotels use different types of electrical outlets. Straight prongs, angled prongs, skinny round prongs or thick round prongs are all fair game. Sometimes one room will offer a variety of outlets (I bring spare converters with me).

8. BYOBW! (bring your own bottled water)

9. If you say, "Buen dia!" to guests and they do not say anything back, they usually speak English or Portuguese.

10. If you open the drawer to your nightstand (if you have a nightstand) looking for something to read you quickly realize that neither Gideon nor J. Willard Marriott ever stayed in a South American Hotel.

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