It never hurts to ask

I'm often surprised at people who are willing to take what life gives them, which runs the gamut from "Well, I was born poor, so I'll just stay poor," to "I was given a dumpy hotel room, so I'll just take it." Nonsense. Whether it's learning how to get out of poverty or getting a nicer hotel room, it never hurts to ask.

I arrived into San Francisco last night during a month when hotel occupancies may hit 60% if they're lucky. Granted, knowledge is power, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist or a seasoned hotelier to know that demand for hotels in San Francisco is soft in the middle of January when temperatures are unseasonably cold (in the 30's), the midwest is covered in ice (limiting the ability or at least the desire of corporate road warriors to travel), and a nice 4* full-service hotel like The Argent is available on a Monday for just over $100 a night.

Upon checkin, the front desk agent asked the usual questions. As I offered her my credit card for incidentals, I asked one of my own, "Do you have an upper floor corner bay view room with a king bed?" I'd booked a room with two double beds because the rate was cheaper, but I prefer a king bed. The front desk agent's response was one I've heard innumerable times, "In fact we do. Would you like one key or two?"

And for those like me whose favorite hotel brand is Westin because of their heavenly beds, heavenly showers, and smoke-free air, you'll be happy to know that The Argent will soon become The Westin San Francisco Market Street.