Allison Elrod is a senior at Auburn University in interior design, but something not everyone would guess is how much she loves Taco Bell.
“I eat there multiple times a week and sometimes twice a day,” Elrod said.
When she heard there was going to be an entire hotel centered around her fast food obsession, she knew she had to go.
Elrod is one of the few Taco Bell fanatics who had the opportunity to stay at the first ever pop-up Taco Bell-themed hotel in Palm Springs, California.
Getting a room was no easy feat, Elrod said, as the hotel was only running for four days with around 80 rooms, and reservations booked up almost instantly once the website was live. However, Elrod was determined to get one of the highly coveted spots, she said.
The day the website went live, Elrod was in Italy studying abroad. After a day trip to Rome, Elrod and her friends rushed back to her room to try and reserve a spot, while Elrod’s
mother and one of her friends back home simultaneously waited with laptops ready to help her chances.
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“I have never clicked so fast in my life, and within about 30 seconds, I had picked dates, entered my card info and honestly just clicked a bunch of buttons that I didn’t even know what they did,” Elrod said.
She hit submit, and the screen went blank. After a few minutes she figured the site had crashed and she had lost her spot, but moments later, she saw the request had gone through. Her room was reserved for two nights.
“I was so shocked, and a bunch of the girls with me in Italy started screaming because they were sitting around waiting to see if I got it after I had talked about going all week, and the frozen screen left us all in suspense,” Elrod said.
A few months later Elrod and her mother took their first trip to California to check into “The Bell.”
According to Elrod, the hotel was all she could’ve asked for and more. Upon arrival she received a tote bag full of Taco Bell related goodies and a complimentary Baja Blast with a watermelon popsicle inside of it.
Along with room keys and VIP wristbands, they were given a key to the “Freeze Room,” a previous guest room converted into an ice bar with complimentary Baja Blast Freezes for all guests.
The room held a free stocked mini fridge, Taco Bell branded bath robes and even toiletries stamped with the Taco Bell logo.
“Everything from the bedspread to the art hanging on the wall was Taco Bell-themed,” she said.
The complimentary room service at this hotel was no ordinary breakfast in bed; it was something truly original.
Staying true to the Taco Bell theme, breakfast was a tray of ingredients to build your own tacos each morning, Elrod said.
The pool area came with even more free food and drinks, which is where Elrod and her mother spent the majority of their time.
“There was a full bar with the coolest cocktails, and every so often a bell would ring and waiters would flood the pool deck with trays full of free tacos and other unique menu items,” Elrod said.
Along with unlimited tacos, Elrod got to see multiple famous people who came to experience the hotel for themselves, such as Jeffree Star, Drake Bell and Bruce Vine.
Elrod made several friends during her stay, instantly bonded by their common love for Taco Bell.
One woman she met invited her and her mother for a tour around L.A., and they ended up drinking wine and watching the sunset at her beach house.
For $160 a night, this experience exceeded all of Elrod’s expectations. With so many free drinks, food and merchandise, it was well worth the trip to her, she said.
As a student in interior design, Elrod found the entire design aspect of the hotel to be especially intriguing since she wants to focus on hospitality design and decorating special events.
Elrod said she hopes there will be another pop-up hotel soon, and maybe at that time, she could be the one helping to design it.
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