Winnipeg's Fairmont Hotel honoured a highly unusual request from Calgary resident Gord Relph, to the delight of over two million people in just three days.
Relph, who was in town on business, filled out the 'special instructions' section of his online room booking, and asked for a pre-made pillow fort and a vanilla Coke. To the 26-year-old's surprise, the Fairmont staff played ball with his cheeky request.
According to the Winnipeg Sun, the hotel provided a stack of about 10 pillows on his bed with a note saying, "DYI (sic) fort." Redefining customer service, the hotel staff generously gave him instructions on how to properly build a fort, along with several blankets, and a basket of snacks and freebies. Also included? A coupon good for two vanilla Cokes, or "survival treats," which Metro Winnipeg reports were made from scratch by the hotel staff.
“I consider myself a man of action, so when I saw the tools before me, I knew I had to make it happen,” said Relph, in the Winnipeg Sun, on Wednesday.
A pillow fort veteran who "used to make them all the time" growing up, Relph seized the opportunity, and went to work on his masterpiece. Chronicling the construction process of "Fort Blankie" on Twitter, Facebook and Imgur, Relph's photo album accumulated 300,000 hits in just 18 hours, and has since gone viral, raking in over two million views as of Friday afternoon.
In one of the captions, Relph writes he was, "Hiding supplies under the bed so the Sky Monster doesn't take them," under the user name InGordWeTrust.
To seal the deal, Relph added a "No Girls Allowed" sign to the top of his pillow fort, as a nice shout out to his girlfriend, Katie.
"I consider this the best pillow fort of all time,” Relph said, in the Winnipeg Sun.
Hardly a typical work trip, Relph also told the Winnipeg Sun that this was his first time making a special instruction or request on a hotel booking; a section typically reserved for allergy accommodations. But, Jacques Lavergne, the hotel's sales and marketing director, says the Fairmont is well-equipped to help each customer achieve the best possible experience.
“As I’m sure you can imagine, with the clientele we have, we have all sorts of odds and ends-type requests. This is one of the more original ones,” Lavergne said, in the Winnipeg Sun.
Though Relph originally shared his fort-making adventures with only his Facebook friends, he posted the pictures to Reddit, where the story was met with popular acclaim.
"When I booked the hotel, they had a spot for special instructions. So I wrote down, "Pre-made pillow fort, and a vanilla Coke." I came in to see this... Should be DIY, but whatever."
"These were my materials."
"Thank you Kareen."
"You might just say that I was happy."
"No girls allowed!"
"It's been a tough time in the desert, but I will pull through. With these snacks at least."
"The nights are getting cold, so I had to huddle under the shelter."
"Hiding supplies under the bed so the Sky Monster doesn't take them."