Doral Doldrums


And you thought I had a glamorous life ...
Well, let me tell you about my evening. Please. I need to vent.
After suffering through the wrong directions provided by the hotel, I finally arrived at my temporary home in Miami to cover the Genuity at Doral. It was six in the evening.
I should have sensed something coming
To be (somewhat) fair to the hotel where Im staying this week, it shall remain nameless. Lets just say its world-famous and is most conveniently located for intrepid reporters hoping to cover the PGA Tour stop at Doral.
When I pulled my car up to register, I declined valet parking and was told by a very nice young man I could pull it right over there while I checked in. I parked it, as directed, out of the way. Then a not very nice, not as young man, told me Id have to leave him my car keys.
Curious, I asked why? Well, I always take the keys for cars parked here. But I dont want anyone else to drive my personal car, I explained. He then said, Oh, I wont drive your car, but I need your keys.
Huh?!? If youre not going to move my car, then why do you need the keys? It seemed a logical question. Well, this scintillating exchange went around and around about three more times until the nice young man thankfully intervened and explained it was OK.
When I got to the front desk, I gave the very nice young woman my name and confirmation number. After quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing at her computer screen, she informed me no rooms were ready. Your surprised storyteller: Really, at six oclock? Im very sorry sir. Twenty minutes later I was told a chamber had been discovered.
I noticed during my desk encounter, PGA Tour veteran Neal Lancaster was experiencing something eerily similar. Wait, Im supposed to have one king-sized single tonight and two adjoining doubles starting tomorrow night, Neal explained. Neal was still explaining when a bellboy hailed me.
I should have sensed something coming
After this very nice young man escorted my luggage and me to my room, we discovered it wasnt ready, after all. First, it was not the coveted single king I had reserved and second, one of the two beds was not maid, er, made. Upon further review, we found dirty towels strewn in the bathroom and the service bar unlocked with a few $5 sodas missing.
Oh, it gets worse.
After a phone conversation with reception that netted nothing, that very nice young man and I returned to the front desk. The bellboy had obviously seen such shenanigans before, so he wisely suggested we get the manager.
A very nice young manager apologized profusely, nodded in understanding and said hed see what he could do. Fifteen minutes later his smiling countenance informed me a non-smoking single-king would be available. Id just have to wait while the room was readied. Meanwhile, that very nice bellboy gave up on me and went to hustle some tips elsewhere.
Twenty minutes later (a recurring theme) my new room was ready. My bellboy returned and we gleefully entered the non-smoking single-king. Oh, what a great room! With generous tip in hand, the bellboy left me on my own.
I should have sensed something coming.
After un-packing and settling in, I ordered room service. I sprawled on the couch, watching Kelly Tilghman and Dorals Jim McLean on Academy Live while I waited (yes, the hotel has The Golf Channel, no wonder its four-star).
As I pondered how I could finagle a free lesson from Jim, a loud bang shook me from the sofa. My God! Someone was trying to break into my room! A prudent peak through the peephole and then I opened my door to another bellboy and another equally shocked hotel guest. You see, that crazy front desk had given him the same room.
I had been told room service would take about 55 minutes. One hour and ten later, I called. Twenty minutes later, it arrived. Yup, you guessed it - it was not the meal I had ordered.
Twenty minutes later, my dinner was delivered. Twenty minutes after supping, I went to my self-parked car to retrieve a couple items. Upon returning, my key-card didnt work and I couldnt get back into my room. Apparently that crazy front desk had changed the code for the other guest. Imagine that. So I trudged the mile back to the desk, found my friendly manager and got a new key.
Oh, by the way during one lobby stint I chatted up one of the Tours more successful young stars. He informed me he had just flown in with his family from Orlando on a demo flight. A what? Oh, you know, a private plane. They demod it for me. Really? It sure beats the hell out of that four-hour drive.

And you thought I had a glamorous life.