Whining over spoiled wine…

Admittedly this is entirely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, though discussing the minutiae of travel is what we do around here.

Does anyone else not drink red wine, yet consistently receive it as a welcome gift every time they stay at a Hyatt outside the US? I end up just leaving the bottle in the room and I guess that works out for the hotel because they can reuse it for another guest, but at the same time I feel like seeing if they’ll swap it out for something else.

I don’t want to be tacky in telling them what I’d like as a “gift,” but at the same time the “gift” is a published benefit.

So has anyone ever requested not to receive a certain type of amenity, and if so, how did you go about it? Leave it in the comments section of the reservation, ask at check-in, etc.?

Surely I’m not the only one that seems to face this problem with virtually every hotel stay. If only the other major hotels were more like Kimpton in this regard, which lets you choose your food and beverage amenity as an elite member.

Bonus (and creeper) points to anyone that can tell me at which Hyatt the below picture was taken.

Filed Under: Advice, Hotels
  1. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur? And I would probably just have them make a note in your reservation saying that you do not like red wine.

  2. Ben I was just like you! When you grow up, you will love red wine and never drink white again. Try a really, I mean really, good Pinot Noir, and see if it does not change you. It should be slightly chilled, and enjoy. – Rene

  3. Maybe it’s just time to develop a taste for it 🙂 It won’t take long before the thought of doing tequila shots in a first class lounge fills you with as much horror as it does me 🙂

  4. Red wine is definitely a more acquired taste than white but agree with Rene that you should try some good reds and try to develop a taste. Unless I’m in the mood for an aperitif or eating seafood I love red wine. Pinot noir is a good gateway wine as its not tannic and generally has a fruity palate. One day you should try some good Bordeaux wines though – then you can appreciate when they offer a gran crus classe San Emilion wine in business class on Swiss 😉

  5. Either tell them in advance that you’d prefer another beverage or ask room service to substitute it for something else. #firstworldproblems.

  6. GH Kuala Lumpur, I was there days ago, and a little birdie tells me you might even be in “my” suite 😉

  7. Not really what you were asking for, but a really good red wine is amazing.
    Try a Beaujolais Nouveau and/or a Bordeaux..
    Especially now that you’re drinking more ha!

  8. I vote not tacky. Yes, they can put a note in your reservation but if you never think to do that in advance (and I admit I never do) you can still get it exchanged later. I keep the red wine but I’ve had hotels remove stuff that was too sugary before, and they didn’t seem to think it was odd. In one of the hotels, they may have made a note about it, because on a subsequent visit, I received a HUGE fruit basket instead of the chocolate. They just want to make you happy.

  9. I was in HR Irvine/Newport Beach few days ago which they will not give away Pinot Noir. I will take the same guess as the majority — GH KL.

  10. It does seem a bit presumptuous to give anyone alcohol as this “gift” amenity. What about recovering alcoholics? Or people who just don’t drink alcohol for whatever reason?

  11. I do not drink alcohol, so I’ve made it a habit to give the wine to someone especially helpful throughout my stay. – Whether they be a tour guide, taxi-driver, someone I met, etc.

  12. At this same hotel I got a gift of fruit…and i’ve already finished most of it…ask them to swap it out, I’m sure they will.

  13. Hi Lucky. I agree with Rene about the red wine, although the ones that are given as welcome gifts are usually nothing to be excited about. You now live in Seattle, and a quick trip away from the Willamette valley in Oregon where there are some great pinots!

  14. To me this falls under the heading of things you just roll with. Then again, I don’t travel as much as you…

  15. Lucky, a bit confused… Why is the title of your post about “spoiled wine”?

    To answer your question, I think it is completely reasonable to tell the front desk that you either a) don’t drink alcohol or b) you don’t drink (red) wine.

  16. My wife and i take the wine bottle to the hotel restaurant, a la BYOB. Never had a problem with them serving us, perhaps a bit tacky, but the property is getting our dining spend, so seems ok to me.

  17. @ wwk5d — That requires checking a bag, which I prefer not to do. Or do you mean locally?

    @ Chris — Just a play on words, don’t read too much into it. Hah.

  18. I drink it, take it home, or give it away. In that order. Usually it’s a crappy wine and I’m embarrassed to give it away. 😉

  19. Creepers! It is the GH KL , where I am presently siting in my leather club chair next to the very same bottle of French Cabernet-merlot blend. Actually, I think it’s suppose to be a pretty good wine.

  20. When they screw something up, I commonly find a tray with wine and meat/salmon/ etc with a handwritten apology.

    As I am a vegetarian and don’t drink I do let them know to keep the
    “gift” for others who do indulge.

  21. I love red wine and white wine.

    But 95% of the free wine I get as gifts from hotels don’t make the cut for me. I regift them.

  22. I will let hotels know in advance that I have particular dietary restrictions and they are usually more than happy to accommodate special amenity requests.

  23. I ve mentioned it clearly in my royal ambassador profile that as a moslem i d like all alcoholic beverage been removed from the complimentary minibar and at each intercontinental i ve have had in advance alcohool replaced with water or juice and never had wine as gift but instead olive oil,dates,chocolates,biscuits etc.

  24. I’ve been working in hotels for 15 years. There is nothing wrong to mention your preferences.If you rather have cookies, white wine or a cheese platter just mention to a FD manager and they will update your profile. Most hotels chains uses the same system to track guest preferences.As a hotelier we want to make the guest happy and when you go to a room and the guest didn’t eat/drink the welcome gift is very disappointing.

  25. It’s possible not to like red wine? That’s unimaginable to me! Taste a few of the free bottles and see if it changes your mind. 🙂

  26. I’d go for a combo – tell the hotel you don’t care for red wine so you don’t keep getting gifts you don’t like. Definitely not tacky.
    But also, perhaps with the help of a friend who knows a bit about wine, give red a try. I am nowhere near the pacific northwest but my favorite wines right now are Willamette valley Pinot noirs.
    I guess no one gets points anymore for guessing GH KL. Have fun meeting up this evening. I’m looking out over a frozen lake in the north woods of Wisconsin. Beautiful, but I wouldn’t mind KL right about now.

  27. Jetaway, no worries…If you’re still in KL I’m at Sheraton tonight which is close by.

    If not, maybe our paths will collide again.

  28. @Andrew-I’m here until early Wed. am, then back to Singapore. If you’re up for, I’d like to have you as my guest at the Club this evening to make up for last night’s misunderstanding. Or I’ m open to your ideas.

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