I really can’t work out our procurement department at work.
We have a hotel database which tells us all the hotels around the world we are allowed to stay in because they have negotiated discounted rates for IBM staff. Every year they renegotiate the deals and some of the hotels change.
In Australia the rule has been that any hotel on the IBM approved list has to include breakfast in the room rate. This means that we only claim a $44 daily per diem rather than the $60 if breakfast wasn’t included.
This year, they went through and convinced the hotels to drop their rates another $10 a night (an impressive feat given how cheap the rooms are already), and in return they got to drop breakfast from the room rate.
So now we don’t get to have that scrumptious breakfast at the Sheraton – I’m still undecided which Sheraton has the best breakfasts – I used to love Melbourne, but I’m thinking Perth is currently the best followed closely by Brisbane, with Sydney and then Melbourne coming in fourth (not that I would consider fourth to be “last place” – I still enjoy the Sheraton Towers Melbourne breakfasts !). Then again, it’s probably a good thing to a certain degree that we don’t have breakfast included, because it’s pretty difficult to pass up a really nice hot breakfast when it’s right there in front of you. I really don’t need a hot breakfast – a couple of weetbix will do me usually.
The thing I don’t understand is that they have managed to save $10 a night off the bill. But because breakfast is no longer included, I’m going to claim it on my per diem. That will take the daily per diem from $44 to $60 – a jump of $16 !! So IBM have managed to save $10 a night per person, only to lose $16 a night per person with the increased per diem. What was the point of that I wonder ?
The worst part is that standard rates for breakfasts at most decent hotels is of the order of $35 (although some are doing discounted breakfasts for us of around $23-$25). That’s way too much – especially if I am only going to eat a bowl of cereal and some fruit.
I’ve actually taken to carrying weetbix with me !! We have a nice picnic set and I’ve taken a plastic bowl and spoon and divide up weetbix into Snap-lock bags to take with me on my trips. This with some fresh milk bought in a local convenience store and kept in the bar fridge overnight does the job nicely for breakfast.
But it’s still not as nice as a Sheraton breakfast.
mmm… I have over 15,000 Starwood points, I think I might use some of them for breakfast in the morning as a treat. That would be nice before I head off to catch my 11am flight home :D