FUNNIEST Hotel Conversation EVER!

Funniest Hotel Conversation Ever

So then…I strain to see outside my car window as I’m zipping home, searching for a nice hotel in the neighborhood to recommend to my friend Natalie when she visits next month. I’ve only lived in LA a few weeks, so I’m not that familiar with the area.

Suddenly I crest a curve and see a big beautiful building way up on a hill with a huge sign saying Plum Tree Inn. Most of the building’s obscured by huge trees but it looks really cool.

Natalie’s tired of the chain hotels she stays at for work, so I know she’ll enjoy the local flavor of a unique boutique hotel. But she’s in her late 20’s, like me, so she’s not rolling in cash — and I know I better check the rates.

At home, I kick off my shoes as I call directory assistance, who connects me with the Plum Tree Inn. Then I have the most bizarre conversation with a woman with a thick accent.  And the end of our call’s a real kicker!

Me: Hello, can you please tell me how much it is to reserve a room?

Her: You want reserve room?

(Um, yeah, why else would I call your hotel? I think to myself.)

Me: Yes, is it expensive?

Her: No, no, not expensive. What room you want?

Me: I don’t know, just a regular room I guess. How much is it?

Her: What night you want room?

Me: July 18 and 19.

Her: Which one?

Me: BOTH nights. July 18 and July 19.

Her: BOTH NIGHTS? You want BOTH NIGHTS?

(omigod, why is she so surprised? Is the hotel so bad, no one ever stays a second night?)

Me: Yes, yes, I need a room for BOTH nights.

Her: How many people?

Me: Just one.

Her: JUST ONE?!

(seriously, what is wrong with this woman? Can she not hear me? She’s surprised by everything! Is this her first day on the job?)

Me: (impatiently) Yes, just one.

Her: You want a room for TWO nights for just ONE person?

Me: YES!!

Her: What they want eat?

Me: What?

Her: What one person want eat?

Me: I don’t know! (frustrated) Can’t she just decide when she gets there?

(seriously, has she EVER taken a hotel reservation before?)

Her: OK.

Me: So how much is the room?

Her: Maybe one thousand dollars.

Me: ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS? Are you kidding me?

Her: You want whole room, right? Probably one thousand dollars.

Me: “Probably?”

(do their hotel rates just change on a whim? Are we GUESSING now?)

Her: Depend what eat.

Me: What? Who cares what she eats? How can you charge one thousand dollars for a hotel room?

Her: What? Not hotel. Restaurant.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

And NOW we realize who’s the crazy one.

And it ain’t her.

Just take a moment to re-read that conversation above – and imagine what SHE must be thinking of ME as I ask these questions to reserve a room at her restaurant to throw a dinner party – for ONE person – for TWO nights in a row.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Pretty funny, right?

OK, but to be fair – IN MY DEFENSE, YOUR HONOR – why is a restaurant called the “Plum Tree INN?”

Doesn’t “inn” imply hotel? Or bed & breakfast? Or quaint boutique hotel?

Remember? “Mary & Joseph, there’s no room at the INN, so you gotta sleep in the barn?”

Inn = Hotel, people! You’re gonna get some calls for room reservations if you put a “hotel” synonym in your name!

You don’t see Hilton calling themselves Hilton RESTAURANT, do you? No, you do not. They call themselves Hilton HOTEL.

Do you see signs for Barnes & Noble Shoe Stores? No.
Or IKEA Medical Centers? Nope.
How about Victoria’s Secret Movie Theatre? Oh, wait. People actually WOULD go to a place called Victoria’s Secret Movie Theatre. (makes note for future business idea – call Shark Tank)

But you get my point – you can see how I might make assumptions about the services the Plum Tree INN offers, right?

Many years later, I see that the Plum Tree Inn has been torn down. And of course I wonder if they’ve gone out of business because of their fatal branding flaw – “hello, business manager, how about – oh, I don’t know – Plum Tree RESTAURANT?!

But every time I pass that spot, I chuckle to myself to think what that woman must’ve been thinking when I called.

She probably thought I was some sort of crazed Howard Hughes-type character who enjoyed a good meal out, but simply couldn’t tolerate eating around other people. Of course, in LA, there probably ARE some eccentric billionaires who’d rent out a whole restaurant for a quiet meal.

And then I think: what if she had quoted a more reasonable price like $150 a night? I might have made the reservation, still not knowing the building’s true identity.

And I can only IMAGINE the look on Natalie’s face when she showed up with her luggage to “check in” to a fancy Chinese restaurant!

— Darcy Perdu

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(OK, people, ‘fess up! Share some of YOUR bodacious blunders and asinine assumptions! Ever been on one side of a funny misunderstanding? How about some odd or confusing business names? Do tell!)

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28 replies on “FUNNIEST Hotel Conversation EVER!

  1. Julie said:

    Simple misunderstandings can be so funny! when the bakery was situated next to the deli I overheard this conversation:

    Customer: “Can I have a quarter pound of the ham?”

    Worker: “Domestic or Imported?”

    Customer: (looking rather insulted) “I don’t know that’s any of your business.”

    Turns out they weren’t hearing each other so well. The customer thought the worker asked “Are you sure you can afford it?” I guess since she only wanted 1/4 lb. Lucky for them I was near enough to hear the whole exchange and started laughing cause I am pretty sure things would have gotten ugly without my laughter turning both their attention/anger toward me. Keep in mind they were both ready to snap and here I am laughing at them. After I explained what had happened, we were all laughing!

    • Julie, that’s so funny! Thank goodness you were there to prevent a deli rumble! ha!

    • Mercy, that is so interesting and strange! I’d definitely make the mistake of booking a “room” at those places! Ha! :o)

  2. Arionis said:

    Hilarious! I think I might have to catch a flick at the Victoria’s Secret Movie Theatre. There’s a chain restaurant around here called the Village Inn. It’s not in a Village and I’ve yet to spot any rooms. They do have good breakfast though. Just don’t ask for room service.

    • Seriously? “Village Inn?” And no Village and no Inn! What happened to truth in advertising, people?
      I DO love a good breakfast though…
      See you at the V.S. Movie Theatre — you DO know you need to show up in Victoria’s Secret undergarments to gain admittance, right?

      • Arionis said:

        Well, I’ve never cross dressed before. Not even on my bucket list. How about if I wear them under my regular clothes? :)

    • Right, Roshni? I was the cuckoo one and she was perfectly sane! I was so embarrassed! So funny!

    • William, I love when you fall about laughing! I love that expression!

  3. For the first part of the conversation where confusion still lurked – I had something similar happen with the lost in translation in the McDon’s Drive Thru. Ordered a milkshake and was handed a Happy Meal. This was a great post, Darcy! I wonder what happens with those businesses of “what were they thinking?” Now, that Victoria Secret Theater…yes!! :)
    Mike recently posted..CANCER-FREE CONTEST! Win $100…My Profile

    • That’s so funny they gave you a Happy Meal instead of a shake!
      And glad to know you approve my Victoria Secret Theatre idea! I need to start working on that asap! I’ll make BUCKETS of cash! :o)

  4. Paul said:

    Talking about branding, even huge corporations make serious branding boo-boo’s sometimes. When I drove tractor trailer, one company I worked for purchased fuel for their fleet from Petro-Canada , one of Canada’s largest gas producers (they have major holdings in the oil sands) and retailers. They also had commercial fueling facilities across Canada for tractor-trailers. They used the same branding on the commercial sites as gas stations, except on a much larger scale – about 14-16 tractor trailers could fuel simultaneously. Most sites were unmanned and the drivers had swipe cards with pin numbers to activate the pumps. Petro-Can used the same logo and name on the commercial sites as they did on their gas stations. As you would imagine, most of these fueling sites were very visible and just off major highway ramps.

    Virtually every time I would fuel at one of these sites, a car would pull in, park at the pumps between the trucks and look confused when nothing happened. No attendant, no fuel (without the card), and surrounded by trucks. Inevitably they would wander over and ask one of the truckers how to get gas, and of course the answer was: “You can’t”. Most went away angry when they discovered they couldn’t buy gas at the “gas station”. It could be sad though – one day a woman with a car full of kids pulled in and when she came over, she said she didn’t have enough gas to get to the next public station. My card would only allow diesel so I couldn’t help her. I felt bad for her, so I gave her access to the driver’s room (the card also let drivers into the building) so she could use the phone and call for some help. Poor branding can be annoying and even drive customers away. Or in the case of your “Inn,” Darcy, fail to even get customers.

    • Oh that poor lady! They should really mark those sites as Tractor-Trailers Only or something! Thank goodness you could let her use the driver’s room phone!

  5. I got very angry with a woman from Comcast who kept asking if I was calling “out of Ohio.” I was confused as heck why she was asking me where I wasn’t calling from and I kept saying, “NO, I’m IN Ohio! Can’t you see where I’m calling from?” I realized later it was a local quirk, some people say “out of” to mean “in.” Just not around here!
    Jane @ The Blue Morpho recently posted..Newly Diagnosed, Confused and AnxiousMy Profile

    • That’s so funny — I would have been confused by the “out of” expression too!
      It reminds me of this babysitter with English as a second language who used to say about my toddler, “He talks too much” and “He’s too big.” And I was like, “What? Is she saying my kid’s fat and too talkative?” But then later she said, “He’s sweet boy. I love him too much.” Then I realized she was using “too” instead of “so!” I was much relieved! And that babysitter IS a sweetheart and I love her “too” much too! :o)

  6. UP said:

    Frankly, things should be more clear!

    Thousand bucks a night! Better come with a very accommodating roommate!

    UP

    • Yep! And if I DID pay $1000 a night for a night at her establishment, I would eat EVERY single item on the menu!

  7. Brilliant! She must’ve thought you were completely insane.
    $1000 though for two nights to get the entire restaurant to yourself… seems awfully cheap. I’m thinking rats in the kitchen, head chef with chronic psoriasis, that sort of thing.
    “Would you like extra flakes with that?”

    • Now that you mention it, that IS a pretty good price! I should’ve booked it! :o)

  8. When you said to stop and think about the conversation again, I really did laugh. That’s amazing and reminds me of my IT Phone Call where both of us were sitting there thinking the other one was an awkward moron. Nope, we both were.

    • Ha! I pretty much assume I’m always the awkward moron. So sometimes it’s nice when I meet kindred spirits!

  9. Lol I have strict policies when it comes to lodging and it’s research, research, research- names are deceiving! Esp for foreigners, no offense to any, when the English language is their 2nd one their word choice isn’t the best. Lol can’t blame them but yes that name is definitely deceiving :D Happy Monday Darcy!! -Iva