Another headline caught my attention today while things were quiet from the LH Front.
According to a DailyMail UK piece including video evidence, a Canadian business traveller stumbled across a safe in his hotel room that has a default passcode that can be entered to override any combination and open the safe. The traveller suggested that the hotel staff told him the default code is 000000 when he called the front desk to ask them to reset his safe after he had forgotten his code. The article goes on to explain other ways to bypass hotel safes as well. None are difficult to master.
I’m not sure if this is a big problem and one that extends to a variety of safes in hotel rooms around the world. But if it is possible in a hotel room somewhere in Ontario, then it may be likely to be possible anywhere.
So the next time your in a hotel, try it out. See if the passcode default is nothing but 0’s, thus rendering the protection of your valuables fairly worthless.
Most of you have probably come across this opportunity, but for those of you who have not, here is a way to add 100 miles to you Miles & More balance for each of your Hotel stays.
I’m referring to the relationship that Miles & More has with HolidayCheck.de, a German-based hotel and travel review website. By simply visiting their website and spending no more than 5 minutes reviewing a hotel, you’ll earn 100 miles.
The website lets you add your review for any stay that you have had in the past 25 months and is based on the honor system in that there is no verification made regarding your stay. The website simple reviews your review to make sure that it meets their criteria for being informative and complete.
The process is fairly easy. Once you set up your online profile with HolidayCheck, all you need to do is go to their Hotel Review page, search for your hotel, and provide your ratings and comments. You’ll have the option to provide either a brief review or one with more details. Once complete, you enter your Miles & More number and once approved, your miles are credited within 2 weeks.
Considering most hotel stays offer only miles based on dollars spent or flat rate per stay, using this program can increase your actual miles earned from hotel stays by upwards of 30-100%.
A word of advice: I would not attempt to create a bunch of fictitious stays just to run up your miles balances. If they catch on to a pattern that suggests fraud, it can result in your account being closed and it could ruin the program for everyone.
A few caveats about the program:
You are limited to 10 hotel reviews a month, so basically if you have 120 hotel stays to review, you’ll earn 12,000 miles each year. When I do the miles per minute calculation (assuming 5 minutes per review), you will earn about 20 miles per minute spent providing your feedback. I’m not sure there are many of us that could claim 120 hotel stays in a year, but this the limitation of the program.
You’ll notice that the website is in German so you may want to enable your browser to automatically translate the webpage for you if German is not your forte.
Normally I don’t write about hotel offers, but when it involves one of my favorite properties I’ll make an exception.
In an email that I received today from the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui / Kowloon), they are offering what they refer to as a Winter Celebration package. Bundled in this package are a few perks and amenities that you normally would pay for.
The package covers any stay between November 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015 and includes these benefits:
A full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel’s Cafe for each day of your stay.
One MTR (Metro Transit) Day card per guest per stay.
Discount Coupons for the K11 Mall (The hotel is attached to it).
Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks from your minibar.
Summed up, the value of the perks is fairly attractive. Just the minibar snacks, soda and water alone can add quite a bit to a bill, especially if staying for a few days. I’ve eaten Breakfast several times in the Cafe and have no complaints, they provide a large variety of options….both Chinese and International choices. The MTR card is a great convenience and the discount coupons to the mall can be useful since the Mall has several good stores, including a large grocery store. An additional benefit to staying at this property is that the hotel will PROVIDE YOU with a cell phone for you to use during your stay with unlimited local calling and data access. Its the only hotel that I’ve stayed at that offers this convenience and it saves me quite a bit of money that would be spent on prepaid sim cards for my phone.
We’ve stayed at the Regency twice a year for the last 3 years and have had great experiences each time. I already have my annual Hong Kong Plane Spotting Pilgrimage booked and am taking advantage of their promo.
The staff is extremely friendly and gracious, and the hotel’s proximity to fantastic shopping and convenient transportation options make it a desirable place to stay while visiting HKG. ‘2 thumbs up’ for this place!