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Never trust the concierge
OK maybe that’s an overstatement, but I recently finished a stay at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi and had a story to share. The Ritz is right across the street from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, has breathtaking views of the Mosque, and is 30k points per night. While we were staying at the hotel the cash rate would have been $300+. It’s showing it’s age in places and could use a facelift, but considering you can sign up for a Marriott personal and business card right now and get 180k points…I thought it a steal. One little bump in the road occurred when I called to make reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Emirates Palace. See In order to enter the Emirates Palace you need a restaurant reservation, stay at the hotel, or schedule a tour ( more on this later).
I’d contacted the Emirates Palace 2 days prior to our preferred Afternoon Tea and they’d requested I fill out a credit card form to hold the reservation
I don’t really like doing this, plus we were out and about a lot in Dubai with very slow internet. They emailed twice and I ultimately didn’t send the form in and we lost our held reservation at 4pm. I know, I know. But, I really wasn’t too worried because how many people could possibly be going to Afternoon Tea on a random Monday, AND I figured the Ritz Carlton Concierge could lock us a reservation.
The Ritz Concierge told me no such reservations could be made until 6:30pm.
Tea stops at 6…
When I asked him about it he told me that we could just do a la carte at that time. I didn’t want A la Carte and neither did my parents who were asleep when all this was happening. At this point I was kicking myself for not just sending in the credit card form. I also suspected something wasn’t quite right, and maybe the Emirates Palace was mad at me for not responding to their credit card email and blocking anyone with my last name from making a reservation…Paranoid, right?
Then I discovered that the Emirate Palace does tours for 100AED. Then we could at least see the place and stop by the cafe for a TWG tea and a scone.
I called the Emirates Palace for a tour.
Sold out for a week. Crap.
I called the Ritz Concierge asking for help maybe squeezing us in.
Sorry sir, they don’t do tours anymore…
Wait, what?! I just spoke to them on the phone and they said they did…maybe this concierge is trying to keep us and our spend on site.
I hung up and skyped the Emirates Palace myself about Afternoon Tea.
“Yes, I’m inquiring about Afternoon Tea for 3.”
– We have availability at 4pm sir…
“We will take it…”
Then I gave them a different last name and they never asked for a credit card.
Two lessons I learned. If in doubt, call yourself. The 2nd…I’m mad I didn’t know about the Emirates Palace Tour ahead of time because it’d be awesome. They tour the Suites and everything! I’ll try and sweet talk my way in 😉
- As a funny aside…I went to my parents room in the morning. Mom asked if tea could be comved from 4 to 2. HAHAHA after all that! Called over – 2 pm tea was no problem.
Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers