February 12 2010 by Chris McGinnis
I've been writing this blog for over a year now, and not a week goes by that I don't hear from a reader or see something online (or in person) that makes me think, "Wow, who'd have thought THAT was a Best Western!"
I remember the first time I pondered this "who'da thunk" phenomenon. I was walking in downtown San Francisco near Union Square in search of Millennium, an unusual high-end, white-tablecloth-and-wine-cellar yet vegetarian, restaurant. Where did I find it? In the lobby of the Best Western Hotel California. Who'da thunk a Best Western would house a world-class gourmet vegetarian restaurant where the least expensive entrèe starts at $22.50?
I'm planning a trip to Asia on Korean Air this spring, and might have to overnight near Seoul's Incheon Airport. When checking online for possible hotels in the area, look what popped up: Wow! To me, that looks like a hotel I'd expect to see on a colony on the moon, but nope, it's the Best Western Incheon Airport Hotel.
Next month, I'll be on a business trip in New York City for Best Western's annual "Business Travel Summit" where a handful of top travel industry executives meets with a handful of top business travel journalists. I had been hearing that a renovation was underway at the Best Western President Hotel at Times Square, but when I went on bestwestern.com to book my room, I could hardly believe my eyes! Who'da thunk that a Best Western in New York would ever look like this? (Stay tuned for a video posted here after my stay.)
This time last year, I was ready to escape a cold wet San Francisco winter and found a great last-minute airfare to Honolulu. I had a $100 Best Western Travel Card to burn, and thought I'd check out the recently re-done Best Western Coconut Waikiki Hotel a few blocks from Waikiki Beach. The same thing happened: I walked into a brand new, super-mod lobby at the perfect time--the manager was hosting the hotel's weekly cocktail hour. So just after checking into my (pale lime and blue-hued) room, I came back down to the lobby, sipped some sort of tropical concoction and played Nintendo Wii with some other guests. The whole time I was thinking, "Who would have EVER thought THIS was a Best Western?"
I'm sure regular readers of this blog have had similar experiences. Please leave a comment and tell me and other readers where you've thought, "Wow, who would have thought this could be a Best Western!"