What a memorable experience I had this past week during my visit to our nation’s capital and enjoying the hospitality of the Churchill Hotel. It began on my car ride down when the hotel called me to let me know in advance that they were in an oversold situation and they were going to be forced to relocate me. This is known in the industry as “walking” a guest. But what makes this situation far better than the typical walk scenario is that they warned me well in advance. So I would not arrive late at night, as many guest do, to find out that the reservation they thought was perfectly guaranteed with a trusted confirmation number, was indeed, not going to be honored. For me, it was a matter of driving to a different hotel upon my arrival.
That different hotel was the Melrose Hotel where I stayed not too long ago and blogged about in November. I shall not blog additionally about the hotel but I must make mention of my almost serendipitous encounter with a celebrity not once but four times in my brief stint at the hotel. It began when I was checking in, late at night, kind of a disheveled mess from a long day in the car. When up saunters none other than the Richard Simmons. As he made his way down the long lobby of the hotel, some ladies who saw him pass started making a bit of commotion, shouting, “Do you know who what is?!” When Richard approached the desk I greeted him with a simple nod and a “Good evening.” And then I put him at ease when I joked, “Oh, they’re talking about me.” That was a good start! I would later assist him by taking his picture with the ladies a few moments later.
The next morning I was descending the elevator in my gym clothes when the elevator doors opened on the sixth floor. Of course, in enters Richard Simmons with his entourage from the night before. What a better environment to meet the Richard Simmons then when en route to the gym. At this time he asked me what I did but I barely had time to explain it. My elevator speech was not as well practiced as I remember, and ironically, not well suited for the… elevator?! After cleaning up when my time in the gym was through and I was set to depart the hotel, not half a block from the entrance to the hotel I run into Richard once more. This time I’m dressed business casual. He’s still dressed in pink velour track suit. This time I was prepared with my business card so I could perhaps glean some business from my new friend. He said, “Why are you giving this to me, you’re married?” I didn’t expect that reply necessarily but our conversation continued another ten minutes and included him reading my “aura”. He said I’m not yet doing what I’m supposed to be doing, but that I’ll know within three years. Oh really? He said he can read auras because he’s from New Orleans. And when I told him that my baby was likely conceived in that fine city, he embraced me. And that concludes encounter number three. The final encounter would be that evening when I ran into him one final time, this time all dressed up. In an effort to satisfy all of my fans, I got a picture taken with Mr. Simmons. Ta-da.
This saga really takes away from the blog’s intent, to describe my experience at the Churchill Hotel, the sister property. Located up to hill from the Dupont Circle metro, the Churchill is a charming, historic hotel with large guest rooms and a real flair for taking care of international groups and government groups alike. I cannot tell a lie, my check-in experience here did not begin smoothly. It was wonderfully hospitable, I could tell the hotel had anticipated my arrival, especially after having been relocated two days prior. So they had registered me into one of their largest suites. When I got up to the suite, to my surprise, there was already a couple in the room. They weren’t as surprised to see me as I was to see them, because in their room was a gift bag filled with baby gifts, and it had my name on it. So this couple, who were likely checked in only moments before, needed to be relocated. That was my suite. It had my name on it after all. From that point on, there were no issue whatsoever. I enjoy the extra space very much. My eyes were glued to the TV for a lot of my stay since it was just after the Boston Marathon Bombings and coverage was by the minute. I could tell the staff sincerely cared that my stay, and other people’s stays, went well. Despite some tricks, I would surely endorse the property.