I have a Platinum Visa Card, which means I can use their concierge service. (The types of cards that qualify for this service might be called something different where you live. Check it out).
Basically, I can ask them questions (I just email them) and they will track down the info for me.
Types of questions I ask
I usually ask fussy questions that I’m too embarrassed to call hotels etc and ask myself. Or, if I’d just rather someone else make the phone call (due to time zone issues or wanting to avoid the expense of an international call).
– What time does the pool/gym at the hotel close (sometimes pools close at 7pm which is no good for me)? What temperature is the pool? (I like a warm pool!)
– If the hotel doesn’t have a pool, do you have any arrangements with sister hotels for guest to use their pool? (Can happen when book a hotel through Priceline). Or, is there a gym nearby that has a pool? Can I get a free or paid day pass to this gym with pool?
– Can I buy an unlocked iphone without a contract? Can I buy a prepaid SIM card with data for my iphone?
There are others questions I’ve asked, I just can’t remember what they are. I ask about swimming pools a lot!
What are the results / Is the info reliable?
The funny thing is that the info is often different than the info I get when I show up and ask. BUT…. sometimes the info the Visa Concierge gets is better info than I get. A recent example, was I was told by multiple people at the hotel there was no option to use a sister hotel’s pool, but I had the email from the Visa Concierge confirming it was. Yay!! I got to use an amazing pool at the W hotel in San Francisco.
I wear tshirts and shorts everywhere, including fancy hotels. By having the Visa concierge check info in advance, I don’t risk getting looked down on because I’m in sports wear or because it’s a Priceline booking.