Top tier members of hotel programs are often greeted with a complimentary Welcome Amenity in their room, usually a bottle of red wine. But what if you don’t like it?
I know many people (myself included) who don’t like to drink alcohol in the hotel room, especially when traveling alone. A good workaround is to ask for a nice bottle of sparkling / still water and ask to set it as a preference for future stays.
We know they saying of ‘don’t look a gifted horse in the mouth’ and I agree that actually complaining about something like this might come across as a bit decadent.
But look at it from the hotels perspective as well. Some of these red wines costs quite a bit of money especially if they need to be imported (red wine in Asia can quickly run into 20$ a bottle, even cheap one through wholesale). If they can make you happier with a nice bottle of Pellegrino sparkling water for a fraction of the price that’s a win win situation for both.
Hotel chains like Hyatt offer welcome amenities in a variety of ways. Either as Diamond Welcome Amenity which you choose at the time of check-in, a Suite Amenity which is given to any suite guest irrespective if you choose points as your amenity or not and then the usual VIP / Frequent Guest amenity as a ‘welcome back’ from the management.
I think for myself, there are probably 2-3 occasions per year where I would drink wine in the room and usually it’s when traveling with company on a leisure stay and in hotels without a club lounge. If I desire an alcoholic beverage I’d rather go to the bar and pay for it while having a bit more entertaining atmosphere around me. For this reason it would probably be a loved Royal Ambassador at IHG because in room alcohol doesn’t interest me.
How should you handle it? That depends on the situation. If you’re a frequent guest or plan to visit the hotel more frequently talk politely to the Manager and thank them for the gesture. Ask if it would be possible that instead of a red wine it would be possible to receive a bottle of xyz water, 2 bottles of Heineken (whatever you prefer) on future stays. That usually takes care of it.
Hotels choose these red wine welcome amenities because it’s a classic and popular with many guests. However, you can’t satisfy everyone and in fact many of these bottles are never opened.
The big hotel chains have permanent comments on guests files even if they visit a new hotel. Talking to the right person could make sure you have your preferences embedded in there and those will be considered IF someone takes the time to read the notes.