When Dustin Wray booked a room for himself and his girlfriend at the Woodlands Resort near Houston last month he decided to test the resort’s customer service.
When he came to the “special requests” section of the online reservation form, Wray, 28, requested that the resort provide him with three red M&Ms and a picture of bacon.
“Three red M&Ms on the counter. Not packages, just three single M&Ms. One for me, one for my girlfriend and one to split if we get hungry late at night. And a picture of bacon on the bed. I love pictures of bacon,” he wrote in his request for the nearly $200 hotel room.
“I figured real bacon would be too hard to come by,” Wray, an account manager for a cloud computing company, told ABCNews.com. “I wrote it so that if they saw it they would laugh because it was stupid but also make it feasible if they actually wanted to fulfill it.”
When Wray, of New Braunsels, Texas, arrived at his room at the 440-room resort with his girlfriend, Lauren Taylor, last Friday night, the joke was on him.
“I saw the three red M&M’s there and it honestly confused me,” he said. “I was staring at them thinking this is weird. And then Lauren started laughing at the picture on the bed [of bacon] and I turned around and looked and that’s when it all clicked.”
“We celebrated by eating a very small amount of M&Ms,” he said. “We laughed about it a bunch and thought it was absolutely cool.”
Wray was so surprised that the hotel had matched his request down to the last detail that he didn’t bring it up to the hotel staff at the time and didn’t even leave a tip when he and Taylor checked out the next day.
“As we were driving home I felt like a jerk,” Wray said. “I definitely have to go back to right my wrong.”
Wray will have a chance to redeem himself very soon thanks to his decision to share the hotel’s good deed on Reddit.
Wray posted photos of his request and the bacon and M&Ms in his hotel room on the social sharing site Monday and identified Woodlands by name in hopes it would generate some well-earned good publicity for the resort.
In just four hours, Wray’s Reddit post generated 80,000 views and led to coverage on local Houston radio shows and in local blogs and newspapers.
As a thank you, an official from Woodlands reached out to Wray and offered him another stay at the resort, this one on the house.
“I’m definitely going to be going back and I’ll right my wrong in the tip department,” Wray said. “I included the name of the resort hoping if people saw it they’d think, “I want to stay there.’”
“You never expect something like this to come of it,” he said.
The resort’s general manager says that guests’ special requests tend to center more around marriage proposals than funny whims like Wray’s, but that the hotel staff are happy to fulfill them all.
“We want the staff to have fun with the customer,” the manager, Greg Parsons, told ABC News.com. “It keeps us on our toes and if we can bring joy to somebody, why not. We have bacon and we have M&Ms in-house.”
“I’m glad he didn’t ask for us to wrap the bacon around the M&Ms,” Parsons joked.
Wray says he will not make Woodlands go through the hoops again with another special request because, “they’ve already proven their merit.”
But other hotels who see Wray pop up on their reservation list, be warned.
“I might do it a little bit,” he said. “It’s kind of a gauge whether or not the hotel, or any company, cares about you.”