Too Close For My Comfort
January 21, 2014 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Ethics and friendship filter. Help me find the courage to tell my friend that this introvert is not going to stay in a single hotel room with two double beds and three non related people. It's already been advanced booked and I'm expected to pay my share.

My two old friends and I have been planning a reunion in Chicago next month. They are both frugal and I'm not. We talked about hotels and he said he was booking a room with either a king bed and a sofa or two double beds. The two of them will share a bed to save money and I'll have my own bed. I didn't tell him I would need more space and privacy and now it may be to late. I don't think I can survive that situation for three days. I'm a light sleeper and extremely introverted on top. They are both extroverts. Help me find a win/win way to make this work
posted by Xurando to Human Relations (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only way you can make this work is to pay your share of the hotel room and book yourself a separate single on top of it. Tell your friends that your sleep has been incredibly poor lately and you don't want to ruin the trip with sleep deprivation-induced crankies, but that you are REALLY looking forward to it. if you can swing the cost, everyone will be happier!
posted by KathrynT at 3:09 PM on January 21, 2014 [43 favorites]

If money is not an issue, when you get there, survey the situation and tell them you will pay your share of that room, but you are getting your own room.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:10 PM on January 21, 2014

What KathrynT said.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:10 PM on January 21, 2014

If it's a matter of their frugality and the money isn't important to you, could you volunteer to get a second room and also pay a third of their room? Or see if it makes more sense for them to share a smaller room (maybe one with only one bed) and you pay for your own second room?

It should be fairly easy to change the reservation at the hotel, unless you're thinking of canceling outright or staying at a different hotel.

How much privacy are we talking about? What were your expectations going into this?
posted by Sara C. at 3:11 PM on January 21, 2014

Hi, friends

Sorry, I should have mentioned this earlier, but I was planning to get my own room for this trip. I am way too light of a sleeper and I don't want to accidentally be all cranky around you guys without meaning it.

Let me know if that screws things up on your end and I'll pitch in for my part of the shared room anyway.

I am so excited--can't wait to see you guys!!

posted by phunniemee at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

Yeah, why not check with the hotel to see if the reservation can be altered? I'm sure they'd be pleased as punch to upgrade from one room to two.
posted by kavasa at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The problem is the advanced purchased room. I think we are stuck with that no matter what.
posted by Xurando at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2014

Even with the advanced purchase room, you will likely be able to get an other room at the hotel (or one nearby) and you can still pay for your room and a portion of theirs.

(But maybe when you use phunniemee's script your friends will just agree to let you out of paying for the original room. Who knows. It depends on if they're frugal or this will be a big issue for them financially.)
posted by adorap0621 at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

The problem is the advanced purchased room. I think we are stuck with that no matter what.

I'm on the phone booking shit (flights, hotels, cars, restaurant reservations, etc) every day for my job. As long as you're friendly and not rude about it, I have found that it's almost laughably easy to get customer service folks to bend the rules for you. (Which suggests that they're not bending any real rules, and that this is bog standard for the service industry.)

You're still going to be staying at that hotel, right? Just in a different arrangement? I am like 94% certain that they'll let you change whatever you'd like (so long as the hotel isn't booked up) even if the room is advance purchase.

You just have to ask!
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2014 [7 favorites]

Yeah, I don't see a polite way to get out of this unless you're able to pay for your share of the shared room as well as your own private room. If you can swing that, just say "I really need to be able to have my own space or I'm going to go crazy and not be able to sleep. It's nothing against you, I just really need to have a place to decompress by myself at night or else I won't be able to enjoy myself during the trip. I'm happy to pay for my part of the shared room as well as for a room of my own, so it won't cost you anything and you guys will get a little extra space out of it. See you there!"

It's an understandable thing that I wouldn't expect anyone would have any problem accommodating – I certainly wouldn't. Just don't burden them by making them pay extra, and frame it as being about your quirks rather than about their presence being a problem. It should be fine.
posted by Scientist at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Usually hotel reservations can be cancelled or changed without any fee as short as 24 hours in advance. This isn't always the case, but it often is. And unless the hotel is booked full, they should be happy to switch you guys from one room to two.

Another option might be to try to upgrade to a suite, where you have your own room. My advice would be to call the hotel and find out what options are available to you.
posted by aubilenon at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2014

Can you afford to pay for your share of their room and also pay for a room of your own? If that's too rich for your blood, maybe stay 1-2 nights in the shared room and then get a room of your own for the last night or two depending on what you can afford? No matter what, I think that you're responsible for your share of the shared room as you didn't speak up when it first came up and they booked with the assumption that the three of you were in agreement.

You can also try to wheel and deal with the hotel to see if they'll cut you a break on two rooms given your reservation for one room. It never hurts to ask, especially since it's low season.
posted by quince at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2014

I'm confused... two double beds vs. one queen bed is usually a very similar if not same price. Even if you buy your own room now, two people still need either two doubles or one queen (most hotels don't have twin beds?) Unless the hotel is completely booked, they should still be able to nicely ask to "downgrade" the room to just two doubles, if they got a sofa bed room that cost more.
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:26 PM on January 21, 2014

I'm expected to pay my share.

Why? Did you agree to?
posted by thelonius at 3:31 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't think you need to pay for part of their room, unless they asked for your approval before booking it. If they booked without your confirmation, use phunniemee's script minus the line about pitching in. Just book your own separate room and let them know.

If you agreed, yes you're on the hook.
posted by amaire at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2014

"Friends, I love you, but I have been over this in my head so many times and I just can't see any way around it. I cannot share a hotel room with you, so I'd like to chip in for a third of the room cost and I'll foot the bill for my own private room myself. Nothing personal -- just not in my oeuvre as an introvert. Here's the check for that amount. Can't wait to see you!"
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:48 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: In 2014 the only way you can get a cheap rate at a national chain is to advance purchase a room you cannot cancel. That's why I am stuck.
posted by Xurando at 4:16 PM on January 21, 2014

1) It's okay that you purchased the room in advance. Go ahead and pay your share to your friends since you say money isn't an issue for you.

2) Now: call the hotel you will be staying at and book another room. Give the name the reservation was made under and ask if you can be placed in a nearby room.

3) Let your friends know, in a lighthearted way, that you went ahead and got your own room because you're quirky and require absolute silence to sleep, or whatever.

Problem solved, right?

If it isn't, please indicate which of those three things is the sticking point.
posted by woodvine at 4:26 PM on January 21, 2014 [15 favorites]

Even if it's uncancellable, the room might be upgradable (to a suite) or downgradable (to a smaller room that will cost less but still accommodate your friends).

If this turns out to be impossible and you can afford to still pay a third of their room and your own room, then that's what you need to do. Otherwise you have to throw yourself on your friends' mercy. It's not clear how firmly you committed to paying for a third of the room, but it's clear that your friend believed that you were committed. In the future you'll need to be clearer with this friend, but that doesn't help this time.

Maybe you think you'll be unable to book another room in the hotel at a price you can afford this late? In which case I recommend you check priceline and stuff like that. Or just ask when you get to the hotel.
posted by mskyle at 4:28 PM on January 21, 2014

Do you mean it was purchased through Priceline or Expedia or something?

Well, yeah, the room has been paid for - but that doesn't necessarily mean that was your one and only chance to get a room relatively cheap.

I just did some traveling in December and booked hotels the same day and got prices not all that different from booking well ahead of time.

It's OK, you've still got some time to sort this out, follow the scripts outlined above by various people.

As noted, though, a lot of times alterations work out best by actually speaking on the phone to a person at the actual hotel - they often have a lot more flexibility and autonomy than a company's website.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:29 PM on January 21, 2014

Are you REALLY sure that this is an IMPOSSIBLE situation for you? I mean, three old friends planning a reunion together ...

I don't know what you will be doing during the day, but the 'rooming together' can be a time of great fun, lots of reminiscencing and a source of many good memories - the essence of rebonding. Is this something that, while out of your comfort zone, might be doable for a couple of nights?

If money is not the issue, how about take another room, give the group room a go, and if it doesn't work out you have your fall-back in place.
posted by GeeEmm at 5:35 PM on January 21, 2014

You are not being clear!!

- Did you agree to chipping in? Or did you fail to disagree when it was first mentioned?

- Do you resent having to chip in? Can you afford to chip in AND get your own room?

I have been staying in hotels 30+ years....

- Your description of being "stuck" is vague, have you tried to alter the reservation through the hotel or contacted them about the possibility?

- Did someone lie to you about the payment? I don't think anyone paid in advance! Someone may have put down a credit card or paid a deposit (a "hold" of a nominal amt ($200) is usually put on the card, but that is not payment. If you use your credit card to buy gas at the pump, a similar "hold" of about $50 is put on the card to validate the transaction, but within 24 hrs or so the "hold" drops off your account and the actual amount spend is deducted -- Is this what you mean by "paid"?? )

Please enlighten us.

It seems the real problem is that you are possibly resentful or angry you are being steamrolled into something.

We can help you with some scripts if you can clear up these points. Thanks!
posted by jbenben at 6:02 PM on January 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

I hate sharing rooms, I am an introvert-and I have even survived sharing a room with a bunch of women to include sharing beds.

Worst case scenario, you can do this, particularly since you get a bed to yourself.

Best case scenario, book your own room, help them out with theirs, and have your nice little retreat all ready when you need it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:56 PM on January 21, 2014

Another way you can try to make this work is to keep the single room arrangement, but schedule in some alone time during the day. Tell your friends you love them but you need a break and you'll see them back at the restaurant for dinner. You can also try to arrange some activities that don't require you to talk to each other, like seeing a play or concert.

If after the first night you are ready to kill them, you can still get a separate room for yourself. February is not peak travel season for Chicago and you may actually get a better deal at the last minute.
posted by payoto at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2014

Xurando: "In 2014 the only way you can get a cheap rate at a national chain is to advance purchase a room you cannot cancel. That's why I am stuck."

You're not necessarily canceling any rooms. You're possibly changing room type. If all goes well, the hotel is going to make more money, and therefore you should talk to them directly about what they can offer. It would behoove you to find out what the standard options for room configurations are at this hotel first. For instance, one common set of options for normal, non-executive-level rooms might be:

Standard room: One king OR two doubles, negligible sitting area with one armchair.
Deluxe/junior suite: One king in a larger room with roomier sitting area including a small sleeper-sofa.
Suite: One king in a semi-separated area, with a larger sleeper sofa in a distinct living-room area.

The latter might work for you just fine, if available. It will be more expensive than a standard or deluxe, but cheaper than booking an additional room.
posted by desuetude at 10:41 PM on January 21, 2014

Here's the thing.

Tell your friends that you will be paying for your own room. See what happens.

What would they have done diffrerently if you hadn't agreed to chip in? They'd probably just be sharing three ways.

You even pretend you didn't understand, "I just wanted to let you know that I got my room at X hotel. Oh wait, you thought I'd be rooming with the three of you. Oh no! I love you, but I need my space."

They can either suck it up, or you can offer to pay your share. But I have a rule, "I always get my own room." I've paid for rooms at company events where I've been expected to share. Screw that shit.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:52 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

you're not stuck. just go reserve your own room! so what if they already reserved theirs? you're being obstinate. just message your friend, find out what hotel they're at, go on hotwire or something, and book a room there too.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:50 PM on January 22, 2014

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