OP here! A few things: the gift certificate was given to my mother, who gave it to me. It was not a gift-giving occasion she was trying to cop out of, she simply found it in a box one day and thought I'd get better use of it. The real fun was that a completely different hotel took over this one and continued to use the same phone number, so it took nearly 20 minutes with a very confused guest service rep to figure out what had happened! It turns out my mother had had the gift certificate for ELEVEN YEARS (she's military and that's how long it's been since she lived in our hometown). We all had a good laugh, and she offered to pay for a hotel, since we'd been planning on using it for a trip home.