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Your Afternoon Delight Comes For Free At The Hyatt Palm Springs

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  Site Where: 285 N Palm Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
August 22, 2014 at 9:33 AM | by | Comment (1)

You’re in your room in the middle of the day, taking shelter from the aggressive Palm Springs heat. There’s a knock on your door: “Housekeeping!” Urgh. What do they want?

You open the door. There is a man with a cart outside it. “Hello!” he says. “I’m part of the management team. I was wondering whether you would like anything from the cart? I have fruit, soft drinks, water and cookies.”

You look at him, suspicious. Is it a new, cookie-shaped travel scam? Is he going to murder you? Or just your wallet, once he tells you the markup he’s put on the cookies (don’t forget room service charge, service charge plus ‘optional’ gratuity)?

And then he notices your hesitancy and says a weird thing. “It’s complimentary.”

And once you ascertain that it is indeed free, and that he has not roofied the cookies, you pillage his cart as best you can and take your spoils back to bed and eat until the sheets are crackling with cookie crumbs.

This is no hotel-cookie-fetish fantasy, though. At least, it’s not if you’re staying at the Hyatt Palm Springs. Their “wow cart” (so called because that’s what most people say when they’re told it’s free) does the rounds of every room on property each afternoon, starting around 4pm (depending on how many people are in their rooms, it can take anything from 20 minutes to two hours to make the full round). It's normally staffed by management, like Josh here, who's Director of Operations. This is so they can also find out how your stay is going (this is a brilliant idea, since we had issues during our stay and chatting about them over a cookie would have been a much more pleasurable experience than having a go at the front desk staff in front of other guests).

When we saw the cart, it had apples (both red and green), oranges, pears, three types of cookies (white chocolate macadamia, oatmeal and raisin, and chocolate chip), along with water, Mountain Dew and various Pepsi-brand sodas. You can take as much as you like, within reason. The only problem with it? If you’re not in your room, you ain’t getting a cookie. Take it from us: this can sting.

A room at the Hyatt Palm Springs tonight costs $189 ($149 plus tax and $15 resort fee), dropping to $110 ($82 pre tax/fee) on Monday. Cookies: unlimited, apart from general etiquette.

So far, we only know of Palm Springs, Albuquerque and Atlanta running a cart service (they’re operated by the same franchise), but if you know of any other Hyatts (or other hotels) doing this, let us know in comments below!

Disclosure: Julia stayed at the Hyatt as a guest of the hotel

[Photo: Juliab for HotelChatter]

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The Wow factor to improve customer satisfaction

I agree that this is such a great idea. Having management connect with guests on a much more personal level with such a simple thing as offering free cookies that many hotels offer in room anyway.

The downside, as Julia said, was that you'd have to stay in your room the whole day in hopes of catching the cart. Wouldn't it be great if you listed timings of your cart's route through your hotel app or on your hotel website and social media pages. You could even allow guests to "register their interest" via your hotel app if they were planning to be in their room.

A great way to get some real guest interaction and genuine feedback.

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