2 July 2007

Amsterdam Hilton Weekend!

As I had to cancel our trip to Gouda a few days ago after months of planning, we were left with a Shuttle booking that I need to change before the Gouda trip, this Friday (the 6th July) or lose the fare as a no-show.

We both thought we'd like to go to Holland again. On the Gouda trip our chosen day out was to have been Amsterdam, so we decided to make this new trip to Amsterdam.

It so happens that Arsenal are involved in the Amsterdam ArenA Tournament over the week of 2nd and 4th August, which fits in nicely when we want to get away. Although getting one of the 1800 (!) tickets allocated to Arsenal supporters may prove a problem as it is so close and the away ticket people get first bite at the cherry over us mere Gold members. Okay we have paid at least £885 for a season ticket this year.

I've re-booked the Shuttle for 3rd August earlier than we were going with the Kent Centre to Gouda. This is purely so we can plough up the motorways to get to the hotel ASAP and then do some sightseeing.

<--- I even bought a Rough Guide to Amsterdam on Saturday!

As for hotels, I checked on the Net for loads that are mentioned in the Rough Guide. Even those considered "budget" are not what I call budget priced!

Then I had a small brainwave. Tesco Clubcard points!

Checking the Clubcard website showed that choosing the Hilton option meant that you could book into selected European destinations as well as UK. Aha! And yes, Amsterdam is one of them!

The Marriott scheme allows you to book online and then order the deal tokens, and when you check out you pay with them. There is a code you have to enter to get that price and to use Deals. However, the Hilton requires a phone call. Ugh! I hate using the phone. I do it all day at work, so why would I want to actually talk to someone on a weekend?
Anyway. I dialled the number, unobtainable. Then I checked the website again, right number. Then entered some feedback (more of that later!), and then went to Hilton's own website. Dialled the number. Scottish voise says that calls will be recorded... squeek, click, click, and I am through to the US.

Booking was very civilised. My idea that the US reservations would have no idea about Tesco or Clubcards was unfounded. Booked a non smoking Queen room for.... €220 a night. Gulp! Two night plus high rate Dutch and local Amsterdam taxes came to €488 or £348 according to my calculator but only £329 according to Marriott. Reservation backed by my VISA card.

Next to go through the pile of Clubcard vouchers to get the right number. A bit short though! Sweat. Got enough. Logon to Tesco to buy the Deal Tokens that have to be sent to Hilton in Glasgow within a week, surely more time added on for booking on a Saturday when there's no post....

Today have to sit back and wait for the Deals to arrive so we can get them delivered "next day" to Hilton. I assume they amend the computer that shows we have paid the best part of £325 already and anything over we have to do ourselves on VISA.

So it's a month away. Where to go what to do? Arsenal Gold members can't even attempt to buy tickets until 13th July for the ArenA Tournament. If we get lucky, so be it, but we'll go anyway.

1 comment:

Highsider said...

Great, we'll see you in Holland then!

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