|This was the first photo I shared-- encountered|
in a suite in Shreveport. Yup, that's a
This posts contains images from some of the many accommodations I've stayed at (though not at the two worst -- the Executive Inn in McComb, MS and the Motel 6 in Alexandria, LA). Some are informative, some are humorous, some are just plain brags. Enjoy!
|To begin, here's the now standardized toiletry set at Arkansas State Parks.|
Pretty spiffy. And the makeup remover cloth? That should be standard.
|A complete set of toiletries, like shown at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, make|
things easier for travelers.
|What doesn't make sense to me? Overpriced water bottles. Mind you, this|
image was taken several years ago -- today, $3 for a bottle of Fiji water is
probably close to normal. I think the most I've seen has been a $10 bottle
in Washington, DC.
|The Ambassador Hotel in New Orleans circa 2001. Great|
room, but I wanted to point out two things: ornate
headboards like this are hell for those of us with long hair...
and metal bedframes can make a lot of noise.
|On the other hand, curtains are a great idea for rooms that have windows|
that face outward into a hallway, or for exterior corridor hotels. Those popular
woven-reed Roman blinds? Yeah, they really kept out peeping toms at
the Clarendon in Phoenix.
|Speaking of which, there's nothing quite staying in a room reminiscent of|
a 1980s roller rink concession area. Cool, huh?
|There are so many different levels of bright, garish and overblown...|
yet this room at the Villages at Indian Point in Branson seems to neatly
balance the Betsy Ross aesthetic.
|There was the Clarion Grand Boutique down in New Orleans in 2000 --|
which was a new property apparently decorated in Miami Vice kitch...
|and the Onyx Hotel in Boston, where the bright red and|
white and black decor against traditional colors was only
equaled in oddity by its proximity to a busy office
building across the street...
|and its own leopard-print bathrobes.|
|I've long wondered why modern upscale hotels such as this Embassy Suites|
in Houston insist on including a fake potted plant as part of room decor...
|I do have one big pet peeve. I don't care for hotels that|
lack toilet lids. Toilet lids are cheap. If a hotel can't afford
to cover the bowl... just... ick.
|Then there are windows. Okay, I get that historic properties|
may not be able to offer windows in every room -- but having
the only window in a room be in the bathroom? Really?
|Windows are a wonderful thing, and if you're|
lucky, they look out on amazing sights -- like
this view of the Arch from the Four Seasons in
|Of course, there is such a thing as too many windows, I suppose. This|
is the Radisson in Branson... not all windows are shown.
|The well-placed wrap-around balcony.|
|The bedroom... the room I'd stayed in the night before at a Super 8 was|
about the size of the BED.
|The bathroom for two -- and the only place where I have|
encountered a bathroom scale in a hotel room.
|The oversized toiletries. The tin held cotton swabs and cotton balls.|
|The problem? I was nearly broke, had no food with me (I had my laptop bag|
and a single suitcase for my 10 day trip), was charged with traveling without
a rental car and SO HUNGRY. And this was the honor drawer.
|And then this was delivered to my room. And I bawled. And then I got|
invited to the most expensive single dinner I'd ever been to -- complete with
wine. It was overwhelming.
|Which brings me to this... why the phone by the toilet?|
Do rich folks defecate more? Or is time so precious...
|That wasn't the only place. This was at the Fairmont|
Dallas, where once again there were giant toiletries and
a phone by the toilet. I'm also not a fan of backless
toilets, but at least here there was a lid.
|The Four Seasons topped that with a TV in the mirror and|
separate gigantic deep bathtub and rainshower. The toilet
was in its own closet. This bathroom was bigger than a room
I once stayed in at the 1929 Hotel Seville in Harrison.
|Room = opulence is a common theme. This room at the Degas House in|
New Orleans was fantastic -- four poster bed, fireplace, writing desk, daybed,
clawfoot tub... spectacular.
|But it didn't prepare me for what the other key opened...|
|a Presidential Suite that rivals my house in square footage.|
|And the three doors onto the balcony... which opened out over the amazing|
swimming pool. Extravagant. And I spent most of my time there either
doing things for the story or writing the story. I'd like to go back.
|The Affinia in Chicago had a similarly sized sleeping room -- with TWO king|
sized beds. I'm not sure what the point of the short half-wall
might have been there. But that window offered a great
view down a Chicago backstreet.
|The bathroom was... well, interesting. Also large. And copperish. And|
equipped with a shower. I've seen that more lately.
|Of course, there was an honor bar -- actually, a "refreshment center" that|
consisted of a mini-fridge you couldn't store stuff in because it was packed,
and a tray on the top of the cabinet. And in that tray...
|was this. I guess they know their market.|
|And once again... that whole partial wall... I don't really get it, but whatever.|
|I do love historic properties. This is a classic motorcourt called the Tall|
Pines Inn up in Eureka Springs. I'm guessing 60 years ago the view was a
lot less consumed by the gigantic tree outside the picture window.
|The property also has about the smallest functioning|
bathroom I've encountered.
|Quaint touches from bygone eras of travel motels are|
neat. This one's at the Holiday Motel in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
|The Alpine Resort at Egg Harbor had this unusual corkscrew...|
|Of course, I'm all about customer service... but the presence of these ear|
plug packets in the drawer concerned me about the potential lack of
insulation between rooms.
|When I walk into a bathroom (like this one at the Best Western Inn of the|
Ozarks in Eureka Springs) and see a shower curtain tucked like this, I
immediately suspect ninjas are awaiting my arrival.
|I know it's going to be a rough night when I walk into a room and see the|
corners of the mattress below the covers. Also, flat pillows suck.
|And speaking of coverlets... nostalgia aside, is it time to move past the|
concept of bedspreads? Comforters and quilts, sure, but few people my
generation and later realize that bedspreads are meant to be removed before
one goes to sleep.
|I also don't understand towel animals. But I'm weird like that.|
|The Ozark Folk Center, my favorite overnight stay at any Arkansas State|
Park, does the whole thing-on-the-end-of-the-bed thing right. Those are
folded quilts. That makes sense.
|There's that dang round pillow again. However, the Grand Hotel Marriot at|
Fairhope, AL does have a lot going for it, including a decent amount of
pillows, room between beds and an untucked comforter.
|This room at the Crown Plaza Hotel Astor in New Orleans was striking and|
plush, a suite with so much room. However...
|This alarmed me... no, not the sachet itself but what was within: ear plugs.|
Yes, from several stories up, Beale Street still echoed through the room.
I actually liked that.
|If a hotel really wanted a wish list for things to include,|
This is one of mine... a handheld showerhead. This
isn't just for the luxury of washing -- but for tall folks
like me who need a higher showerhead.
|I have to say -- this sort of set-up freaks me out -- the|
partial canopy. I would freak out with this overhead,
with the fear it would drop on me in my sleep. This one,
though, is from the House of the Seasons in Jefferson, TX.
|One of the rooms we stayed in at the Palmer House in Chicago. Yes, there's|
that weird throw thing, a round pillow... but there were also big comfy
chairs and great bathroom amenities. The other room had a bed bench.
|Another bed throw -- this one at the Omni Parker House in Boston -- a bit|
wider but the same issue. Here the neck thingy was a long flatter pillow --
and it was perfect.
|Everywhere I go, there are weird things. I couldn't quite understand the need|
to put the refrigerator on the table -- but then saw how the electrical outlets
were laid out. Strange things like this happen in old hotels.
|More bed thingies again. But I did love the padded headboards. I tend to|
sleep with my hands above my head.
|However, The Woodlands Resort and Spa sent to my room the best|
hospitality gift ever -- not wine (I rarely drink), not a fruit basket
(though I love those) -- but cold milk and freshly baked cookies.
|I do like how some older properties such as the New Orleans Hotel and Spa|
in Eureka Springs utilize an open bathroom concept but which put the
toilet in its own separate room.
|There's nothing like arriving some place and having a|
hankering... like mine for hot cocoa on an overnight
stay at Mountain Harbor Resort near Mt. Ida, AR...
and it was RIGHT THERE. Along with Westrock
Coffee, to boot!
|And then there are things that bother me that probably don't bother anyone|
else. I was so scared of sleepwalking off the balcony of this master
bedroom that I slept on the couch downstairs instead.
|And just to say this -- why would anyone dive into a tiny three foot deep|
|I suppose the same sort of person that would dive into this sitting pool|
at the Villages at Indian Point in Branson.
|Sometimes, it's the little things. The folks at The Hub at Marble Falls|
leave out a stack of rags to wipe down bikes for its customers.
|Three years later, I spotted this stack of towels in the|
lobby at the Comfort Inn in Harrison. I'm glad to see it
|I love the little touches, and this bathtub tray with book holder and wine|
glass was spot-on. Yes, there are those of us who love reading in
the tub... and having some cold fruit juice onhand.
|Frequent travelers like to be able to have things onhand -- yes, most items|
can be requested from a front desk, but not having to call down and ask for
extra pillows, blankets, toilet paper and such is a blessing.
|One more thing I don't understand... doilies at the bottom of trashcans. What?|
|One more little bit for hoteliers... if you do have a special guest, this is a|
perfect marketing opportunity. The Peabody Memphis does this well...
there are ducks all around, even in the architecture.
|And the Sheraton Dallas Hotel gifts special guests with|
treats from its in-house restaurants. Think about what you
could do special for the next guest that comes to your door.