Tag Archives: hotel room

Up, please

Have you ever noticed that a hotel may have anywhere from  three to six elevators, but only one or two appears to be working?

It drives me crazy…especially at check-out when foot traffic is at its peak (and you stand there waiting).

My stay this weekend at the Swissotel in Chicago was completely different.

elevator padTheir elevator keypads do not have up or down arrows; instead, you input your room number.

A computer quickly determines which elevator car you will ride in (in this case, A through F) and indicates it in the blue field.

When that elevator’s door opens, you see your floor — and that of  other passengers — listed on the side panel.

And off you go.

During my overnight stay in Chicago, I rode the elevator several times between my room, the conference center and the lobby…and I was in at least four of the six available elevator cars.

No waiting.




Who’s that knocking at the door?

Have you ever returned to an open hotel room door?

I did tonight…and it gave me great pause.

hotel room doorIt wasn’t open by much…just ever so slightly ajar, the “Do Not Disturb” sign angled crookedly between the door and jamb.

I stood in the hall for a moment, staring at the door in confusion.

Did I leave it open?  Of course not, I remember it closing…don’t I?  Did housekeeping do turn-down service despite the sign and leave it open?  Did someone else get in?

Lots of questions; no good answers.

I finally went in.  I was quite alone…and believe me, I checked the closet, under the bed, in every nook and cranny.  Then I took inventory of the items I brought for this quick trip — everything was there.

I called hotel security and reported the incident.  An officer took a reading from my door lock.  It will reveal every key card that has entered my room since check-in.

I didn’t know they could do that.  I feel safer already.

Birds part deux

Four hundred years ago — okay, more like 12 — I attended a writing conference at Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod.

One of our assignments was to come up with a new scenario for a movie using only the items found in our hotel room as inspiration.

Now, my hotel was rather rustic (translation: cheap).  The wallpaper had tiny geese flying in vee’s across a yellow, late evening sky.  It was ugly, but I used it.

My idea:   What if two birdwatchers — one a noted expert, the other a novice — accidentally kill a rare bird that they are admiring?  Horrified, they try to cover up the accident in a variety of ways, all of which go terribly awry.

Hilarity ensues.

I pictured Dudley Moore as the lead. (It was 12 years ago.)  I thought it was a pretty funny idea, but maybe too niche-y for Hollywood.

I mean, who would do a movie about birdwatching?

Fast-forward to 2011.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are starring in the new movie The Big Year.  Take a look at the trailer:

What you can’t really tell from this clip is that these three men are avid birdwatchers…competing at a prestigious birdwatching event!

See?  Someone actually made a film about birdwatching, and even they think it’s too niche-y to use in the marketing.

I was so ahead of my time.