So, it seems that I've been having good luck with major companies recently, what with all the free flowers and whatnot. So when it came to planning our honeymoon, I decided to press my luck.
What happened was, Torsten and I decided, after taking all of your sage advice into account, to go to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon, and to leave on the Monday after the wedding. I'll just vote by absentee ballot and it'll be fine. So, we did a whole bunch of research on various resorts, ratings, prices, and so on.
And we finally, finally found just one resort that matched all of our criteria. It's all-inclusive. It's adults-only, which is very important to me after a heinous experience involving children jumping and crawling ON US in the HOT TUB at our hotel in Miami in December. It has a variety of restaurants to choose from. It has a private beach and a nice pool. It gets only glowing reviews. All the rooms have a balcony with a hammock. And every room has an oval jacuzzi tub.
The only thing is that the rooms, while they do have nice views, are not directly oceanfront, which Torsten is a bit disappointed about. But he agreed to overlook this small flaw in exchange for me promising to spend lots of time on the balcony with him, as long as I get to be in the hammock.
See, Torsten LOVES balconies. When we were in Miami, he spent half the trip on the balcony, reading and admiring the view, and he was really annoyed because I preferred to lie in the comfy bed in the room instead of sitting in the uncomfortable plastic chair on the balcony. But since this balcony has a hammock, I'm perfectly willing to spend my time out on the balcony instead. I don't think I can adequately express how excited I am about this hammock. I think you need to see for yourselves:
Oh and also, while we're showing pictures, take a look at this room:
See that beige cutout wall behind the bed? That's the tub area. With the jacuzzi tub. And a towel folded into the shape of a swan. Yes, that's right. It's the little things that count.
Anyway, so. As I was saying. The other thing that's great about this hotel is that the price is right. November is still the low season, so we were able to get a great rate from Orbitz. But the thing was that there was an even better rate available from a website that seemed just a tad bit sketchy. It set itself up as though it was the official website of the hotel, but it actually wasn't. And that made me a little worried. And the price was just so low. It was $500 less than the Orbitz price for the whole trip. And the Orbitz price was already great!
So yeah, it seemed good to be true. And you know what they say--if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But it was so much money we could potentially save if it DID turn out to be legit. So we went back and forth and back and forth about whether or not we should just suck it up and pay the extra money for the Orbitz reservation so that we wouldn't have to worry about showing up at the hotel and being told we didn't have a reservation. We could not decide what to do.
And THEN. I went back on Orbitz and noticed a little graphic next to the rate they quoted. And that graphic read, "Low price guarantee." I looked into it, and the way it works is that if you make a prepaid hotel reservation through Orbitz, on a rate that is labeled as low price guarantee (and you have to be careful because they are not all backed by that guarantee), and then email them within 24 hours with a cheaper rate that you found online somewhere else, with proof (in the form of a screenshot of the website quoting the lower rate and a list of specific information that they request), they will refund you the difference.
Wait, hold on. It's starting to feel like intermission time here. Let's take a quick photo break so we can look at THIS:
Yes, that's the beach RIGHT BY OUR HOTEL. Yes, it really is. Oh, and you want to see the pool, too? You're sure? Fine, TWIST MY ARM.
So! Back to the Orbitz story. We figured there were three possible outcomes:
1) We book through Orbitz, they look into the rate, they discover that cheap website is a scam. In which case Orbitz really does offer the lowest rate and there's no money lost.
2) We book through Orbitz and they somehow find a loophole to avoid issuing us the refund, in which case we pay the $25 cancellation fee and book directly through the cheaper website, assuming we can somehow verify that it's legitimate.
3) We book through Orbitz and then they honor their guarantee and give us the lower rate.
And guess which outcome actually occurred? If you guessed Number 3, you're right! We booked the hotel on Wednesday night, then immediately filed a claim with their Low Price Guarantee Department, and last night we got an email saying that they will be crediting $500 back to our credit card within the next 3-5 business days.
So now we have the cheapest hotel rate EVER for a resort that is verified by hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor as FABULOUS. A gorgeous room with a gorgeous balcony on a gorgeous beach with a gorgeous pool. Unlimited alcohol, including a swim up bar, and the only kind of hotel minibar that you don't have to worry about consuming from because it's ALL INCLUDED. Our choice of six restaurants every day. Hours and hours on the beach, relaxing and being together. Volleyball, water aerobics, painting classes, tennis, snorkeling, and salsa dance classes. In short, the perfect first trip together as a married couple. PERFECT.
And it's BOOKED. It's all set. My only question is, how are we going to survive SEVEN AND A HALF WHOLE MONTHS before we get to go? Because it's going to be TWO WEEKS OF PARADISE. And I cannot wait.
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