Citi Prestige to the rescue: Trip Interruption benefit

While on our honeymoon I fell quite ill in Lombok, Indonesia while we were staying at the Cocotino’s Sekotong Beach Resort. My wife organized us to go to a local clinic (meaning an hour away) after which we decided to go to Singapore early for better medical care. Unfortunately, that meant we left Cocotino’s one day early and so we had to foot the bill of $166.72 without much recourse. Apparently, my wife tells me, that when we left they said they would refund our money for the one nights’ stay but upon email request, I was denied.

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This is where the wonderful Trip Cancellation and Interruption benefit of the Citi Prestige card comes in. We had paid for the hotel with the card because of its 3X reward points but didn’t realize how easy it would be to also use to get money back for non-refundable purchases when medical conditions are in the mix.

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A few days after we returned home I called the Citi Prestige Benefits department who told me they would be sending me an email to collect more details about the illness, our early flight out, and any other information they needed to process my claim. I waited a few days and didn’t actually receive said email so I got worried and called them again. As it turns out, because my claim was for such little money (not to me, though) they simply approved it without any fanfare! Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 8.43.25 AM

It’s really nice to know about these benefits and even nicer to know that they truly work. I just checked my statement today because the bill was coming due and it had posted after only two weeks!

Review: Cocotino’s Beach Resort

After our wonderful time at the Gipsy Beach Bungalows we transitioned to a more upscale place with less charm but more comfort: Cocotino’s Sekotong. It is a resort, of course, and has more people than we had been used to while staying in AirBnBs beforehand, especially when we essentially had our own private beach.

Despite that, it had some nice amenities: a wide white-sandy beach that went on for quite some time, relatively comfortable beds (more comfortable than at the Bungalows), air conditioning, better showers, two pools, a spa, and lots of food right at the restaurant on site. We had a brief snag in one room wherein many ants were found in the covers of our bed so they moved us to a different location that was better suited to our relaxation.

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The food was quite tasty and they even had an “afternoon tea” with selections of snacks, teas, and some cold drinks. I had a really nice time reading on the beach and going for a dip in the water as well as their pool. They have an on-site tour operator to bring people to the local volcano for hikes, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, boat tours, and more. We didn’t really partake as we just wanted to relax and eat some nice food, drink some good wine, and read books.

With one exception: we wanted to take advantage of their spa. They offered some pretty good deals for massages and other spa services so we took advantage at first by simply getting a very comfortable massage. It was probably the most comfortable I had had thus far on the trip (even from Samabe a few weeks prior). You could easily do a couples massage in the room featured below or they also had an intimate outdoor ocean-view area (I didn’t get pictures because I didn’t go over there).

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The place was really quite something. Very different from what we had experienced in the bungalows but also a nice experience. The only snag for us was that the night after our massage I got severely sick. I had stomach pain, chills, and a fever. My wife insisted (rightly so) that I visit a local clinic (one hour away) so we did, and after some IV fluids and debates, we decided to leave for Singapore that day. We cut out trip short at Cocotino’s and made for the Lombok airport!