My Life as a Traveler

Room Roulette

Today we move from our apartment to the Sheraton Brussels. I’m sad because I love the space and the location. Morgan and I hang out at the apartment until it’s time to go. I catch up on my reading. We pack up and roll our luggage to our new home. Most of the pictures above are places we pass as we roll.

We arrive at noon, but they don’t have a room ready. No worries, they have a club lounge with a fantastic view of the city on the 25th floor where we can wait. There are snacks, drinks, and internet. What more could you want? This is why we stay at the Sheraton. When you’re a Starwood Preferred member (25 stays/year), they upgrade you to a slightly bigger room and give you free access to the lounge, which has breakfast in the morning and hors d’oeurves at night. It’s nice, cause then we don’t have to go out to eat, sometimes for either breakfast or dinner, if we had a big lunch, which makes it money-saving and convenient.

When we arrive in the lounge, the concierge remembers us from our previous stays. Nice to have a friend in town.

At about 2pm, we go to our room and find that there is one king instead of 2 doubles like we requested. We go back to the lobby and request a different room. Yes, they have one, but it won’t be ready for another hour. It’s on a higher floor, though. Did we want a room right now, on the back side of the hotel? No, thank you, we’ll wait. Oh, and now we’re 6 floors higher. Does it matter? Kind of. Higher floor equals better view and more prestige – if only in our own minds.

One of the guys that George frequently travels with claims that he can always get a better room by finding something wrong with the first room he’s given. Granted, when you travel a lot, you become rather picky when you know that a place has perfectly good rooms along with the rooms that have leaky windows, a slightly-off smell, or are next to a really loud elevator mechanism, especially when you’re paying over $200/night. And, every time you ask for a new room, it usually means a better room.

It’s always a challenge to know when to go all the way back down to the lobby and wait for a better room. Sometimes it’s late and we’re just too tired to deal, sometimes it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I am more likely to ask for the better room than George, who will put up with more.

We go to our 2 bedded room and wait for George to arrive. We missed lunch and I got crazy hungry and went to the mall food court across the street to get some Chinese. I also get some snails from the snail cart outside. Morgan says he’s too tired to go out to live music at the Botanical Garden next door. We stay in for the rest of the night, happily ensconced in our Sheraton, the winners of Room Roulette.

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