Although traveling for nearly free with rewards points never gets old, there are always times when it feels good to be pampered. When we travel, we normally fly economy and stay in 3 star hotels but for our honeymoon we wanted to do something special. After all, a honeymoon really is a once in a lifetime event and for most of us, it’s the only time where we can justify living it up a little bit.
So with that being said, we booked some nice properties in Europe and ended up paying for 2/3 of our trip with miles and points. This was a huge windfall for us since we never would have been able to take this kind of honeymoon without all those credit card bonuses. But regardless of whether you pay with cash or points, today I’m going to give you the full scoop on how to get the royal treatment when you’re on your honeymoon.
What Can You Expect?
Any time you travel, it’s important to keep realistic expectations. If you expect a first class bump and free suite upgrades, then you’re going to be in for a lot of disappointment. But if you’re polite and courteous and don’t mind mentioning that it’s your honeymoon, you’ll definitely have some nice treats at most stops.
Most hotels will leave a bottle of champagne on ice for you and some will even throw in something to eat if you’re lucky. We stayed at 5 different hotels during our honeymoon and got a bottle of champagne at four of the five. My favorite welcome gift though was from the Westin Excelsior in Rome since in addition to a bottle of champagne, they also gave us these little Italian pastries that were to die for!
This was really the first time I have ever traveled for a special occasion and I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed checking into a new hotel and sipping on a glass of champagne. It made us feel really special and it was just another perk of getting married 🙂
How To Get These Benefits
So now that you know what kind of benefits await, you’re probably wondering how you can get them. It’s actually a pretty straightforward process but the reason why most people don’t know about this special treatment is because they assume that these hotels will somehow know you’re on your honeymoon. The only way to get this type of 5 star treatment is if you tell them.
That might be a little awkward for some people but I can tell you it’s well worth it. You don’t have to make it seem like that’s the only thing you’re after either. Before our trip, I e-mailed each of our hotels and stated the following:
Dear X Hotel,
Our visit is just two weeks away and we are beyond excited to stay at your lovely hotel. My wife and I will be celebrating our honeymoon and I just want to make sure everything is in order with our reservation. I want this trip to be perfect in every way so I really appreciate all of your help.
This type of e-mail is probably a good idea anyways but it also lets them know that you’re coming for your honeymoon. Any good customer service agent will take a note of this in your file and make sure that there is a nice surprise waiting for you in your room upon arrival.
(Brad’s note: If you can find the email address for the hotel’s general manager through Google (search for something like “hotel name general manager email address”), let them know about your honeymoon and that you picked their hotel for your special vacation. They might be able to give more than a standard customer service agent; we had luck with this when we visited a top-tier Hyatt in NYC)
Social Media Is Your Friend
A lot of airlines and hotels now have some of their best and most helpful staff on their social media teams. In addition to e-mailing, I also made sure to tweet something similar to each hotel brand. Clearly, I didn’t want to take any chances with our welcome gifts and it worked. I got 3 out 5 to respond to me on Twitter and they all assured me that everything would be in order for our stay. We were especially impressed with the Hyatt Concierge twitter account and recommend that you ping them if you need assistance with any Hyatt hotel bookings
It Pays To Be Genuine
The only thing you’ll want to watch out for is being too demanding. Hotels and airlines offer this treatment as a perk so it should never be expected. Obviously it’s a nice surprise when it does happen but you never want to approach the situation as if something is owed to you because you’re on your honeymoon.
I think the best example of this came on our flight from LAX to Rome. Since I work in the aerospace field, I always find myself chatting it up with the flight attendants and talking about airplane stuff. On this particular long flight, I was in the back waiting to go to the bathroom and I started talking to two male attendants. We chatted for a solid 10-15 minutes and eventually I mentioned that I was on my honeymoon and they congratulated us, offered us some complimentary food; I passed but said how thankful I was.
About 30 minutes later, the attendant came to our seat and handed us two warm chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of champagne. It was an awesome treat and the best part was that I wasn’t looking to get anything out of talking with them. I was just genuinely interested in chatting with them and they did us a really cool favor by hooking us up with cookies and champagne. Those were two awesome AA flight attendants and it was only the beginning of a great honeymoon!
Readers, have you ever experienced 5 star treatment like this while traveling on your honeymoon or for another special occasion? Are there any tips or tricks that you would use?
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