(with commentary from jozjozjoz in footnotes*)
so we got to san francisco around 4:30 pm on new year's eve day. we went to check into our hotel (hotel nikko) and the nice lady at the front desk said, "it's a full house tonight, your room is not quite ready. unless you want a smoking room?" um, no. everything in there is stinky with stale cigarette smell. i just told her that my asthma would act up*. apparently, they have some sort of machine* that they use to "purify" the room when non-smokers stay there, but i was taking no chances.
so since our room wasn't quite ready, we went to have something to eat across the street. when we returned, there was quite a line of people waiting to check in*. 20 minutes later, we had our keys and were headed up to our room, on one of the "nikko floors", which require a key to access.
we called stkyrice and aiyahh and decided to meet up around 10 pm for our new year's celebration. that gave us time to explore a little before we had to get ready, so we went to the nikko lounge, surfed a little, joz blogged and then we grabbed some water* and went back to the room.
jozjozjoz decided to take a shower and had just gotten out of the bathroom when we heard someone trying to unlock the door to our room. whoever it was was jiggling the handle, sliding the card in and out, but was unable to get in. we figured they either had the wrong room or the wrong floor, and when they went away, thought nothing else of it.
ten minutes later, jozjozjoz was sitting on the bed putting on lotion* and i was on the edge of the bed, channel surfing and watching espn. again, we heard someone trying to gain access to our room, only this time, the door opened*.
should i remind you that jozjozjoz was BUTTNAKED when we heard the door swing open*?
now, the hotel rooms at the nikko are designed so that there is a long hallway with the bathroom door and the closet on either side, and the hallway opens into the room. the closet doors are mirrors. so i saw this skinny thirtysomething asian man* walking into our room. and vaguely saw the reflection of joz scrambling to get under the covers of the bed*.
the guy looked kind of confused as i stood up and said, "what are you doing? excuse me--this is our room!" he said something like, "no, this is my room, what are you doing here?" not wanting to argue about whose room it was, i walked toward him and he asked, "did you look in the safe deposit box? i left something in there."* i said that we hadn't and he moved foward, as if wanting to check the box himself. i guess he hadn't caught that reflection of my naked girlfriend in the mirror*, after all. i said, "why don't you wait outside, i'm going to call the front desk." he agreed, and i slammed the door and threw the bolt*.
jozjozjoz took this opportunity to jump out of the bed, grab a robe* out of the closet and then run to the bathroom and lock the door*. i think this took her about 1,000,000th of a second*. by the time she unlocked the door for me*, she was already on the phone* with the front desk, hearing the apologies of the woman working there. apparently, the man had come downstairs and told her the key didn't work, and she just issued him another one, without first verifying that he was supposed to have access to the room.
joz very calmly*, i might add, explained to the woman that no matter how sorry she was, joz still needed to speak with the manager. she was then transferred to the manager's line, but no one answered the call. she then dialed the operator and demanded that security come to our room and again requested the manager. "you will not put me on hold again for the manager. you need to find them right away." the manager had gone out to the front desk to see what was going on, and was therefore not in her office. the operator then said that security had already been dispatched to our room and they were currently speaking to the people in the room. which was incorrect, because joz and i were both in the bathroom at the time. so joz went out to speak to security* and i got on the phone with the front desk manager.
after many "i'm so sorry this happened" and reassurances that we were in no danger, she offered to move us to another room and upgrade us to a suite. i wasn't going to argue so i said that we needed a little time for joz to get dressed and for us to pack up our stuff but we'd be ready to go very soon. then i had to go out and play referee for the security guards and jozjozjoz.
joz was yelling* in the hallway, so much that people were coming out of their rooms to see the commotion, and then the head of security came to see what was going on, and we had to explain the whole story to him. both security guards at first didn't believe that we were in the right room, and were very confused. i told them that the guy had left some stuff in the box and they asked, "well, did you check the safe?" um, no. since we didn't want to use it, we hadn't looked to see if the previous guest had left anything in there. we let the security guards into the room to check the safe and hey, it was still locked. go figure.
the guards decided that they needed the front desk manager to sort all this out, and left with the woman (presumably our intruder's wife, who, incidentally, spoke no english*) to go downstairs.
we packed up our things, joz got dressed and we called downstairs to tell them we were ready to move. they sent up a bellman to collect our bags, and we relayed the story to him. he looked rather astonished, and said, "i think i'd be mad* if that happened to me." and showed us to our suite. the first thing we did after he left was to throw the bolt on the door*. then we explored the suite, which consisted of a living area with a half bathroom, a bedroom and huge bathroom. very swanky digs.
room service brought up a complimentary bottle of champagne and we decided to get ready for our night out with stkyrice and aiyahh....more to come about the rest of our evening...
...but THAT was the story of "how we got upgraded from our really nice room, to an even nicer corner suite. and why we were sent a complimentary bottle of champagne" (aka "the hotel room story").
We also want to say that despite this ordeal, we still think The Nikko is a great hotel & that they handled things extremely professionally and were incredibly accomodating.