Hotel Essentials

I love hotels. That’s good, because I stay in hotels a lot. For business, I like a comfy bed, lots of counter space in the loo, a remote control with the “sleep” feature, so I can fall asleep to Deadliest Catch or Say Yes to the Dress or The Bourne Identity, which always seems to be on TV when I travel. I don’t have  TV in my bedroom at home, so watching a show in bed is quite a thrill.

For vacations, I like a view. A balcony is awfully nice; we had one when we stayed in Glacier National Park last year, and didn’t I feel like Teddy Roosevelt himself, sitting there, overlooking the mountains! The bathrooms in those lodges were the size of caskets, though, and the beds were older than I was,  a thought upon which I couldn’t dwell. At the Westin in Sydney, we had a great view of the city and a beautiful clock tower, and McIrish and I sat in front of the window, sipping wine and feeling as if we were in a movie. Riding the elevator is always kind of a thrill, too. We don’t have elevators in my town.

This past weekend, the Princess and I went to western New York for a book signing and college swing. We stayed at the newly renovated Radisson in Corning, where my signing was taking place. The manager sent us up a fruit tray, complete with wine (my favorite fruit!) and cookies (my second favorite fruit!).  The Princess was most impressed— “Mommy! You’re famous!”— and fell upon the fruit and cookies with a vengeance. Never has proof of my coolness been more evident to her. : )

Boutique hotels are nice, I’ve found, if you’re staying alone. They tend to be tiny, and two people barely fit. Also, you have to have the time to drink in the cool factor. Yes, yes, I’m in the city and have read The Great Gatsby and even remember what it’s about, sort of, that kind of thing. Generally, taking photos in the lobby is frowned on, I learned from personal experience as I posed at the top of a staircase and said to McIrish, “I’m king of the world!” I’m surprised they let us stay, frankly. The maître d’ of the lobby bar was German and dressed in skinny orange jeans and a printed t-shirt. I’m sure his outfit cost more than my wedding dress. He scared me a little. He was about 6’6”, too. Picture Lurch from the Addams Family. In orange pants.

The more you pay in a hotel, the less you’re apt to get, I’ve found. You never get free Wi-Fi in expensive hotels, but they always give them to you in the more affordable places. This makes no sense to me. Free coffee should be a given, too, I think. I don’t mind shlepping to the lobby to get it, so long as the staff doesn’t mind seeing me in my jammies. Which of course they never do mind. ; )

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