Tag Archives: hotel

Dear friends and family,

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I have found the perfect gift for each and every one of you!

(No wrapping required)

Desert view

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These cacti — the print, to be more accurate — are hanging in my hotel room in San Antonio.

I find them oddly comforting.

They are quiet without being lonely, and the sunset colors suggest coolness instead of heat.

I wonder if they would notice if I took it?

SOLD!

There is a silent auction going on at my hotel in Denver.

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Or that’s how it was advertised in the lobby.

I was admiring all the items up for bid — trips, event tickets,  spa services. The auction appeared to be part of another conference on site.

But now I realize the ‘silent’ part was for anyone who a) was leaving the hotel or b) was staying on a very high floor.

This thing is LOUD. And full blown auctioneer style.

People checking in must think they have to bid on their room rates. Geez.

Going nowhere

See this sign?

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It wasn’t on the elevator at my hotel this morning when I got on… when I and another guest got stuck on our way to breakfast.

Luckily, the phone in the elevator worked and the repairman was able to fix the elevator in less than five minutes.

I am proud to report that I remained calm and cheerful during the crisis. The man on the elevator with me, however, was in a huge panic. When the doors finally opened, he ran out and told his friend in the hallway that we had been trapped 15 minutes.

(It was really more like three.)

Toes knows

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Here is the latest entry in my proposed coffee table book on hotel carpeting.

Bonus points if you can guess what US state I’m in!

Bloodline post-binge

I finished watching the 13th and final episode of season one of Bloodline, the new drama from Netflix, who just keeps churning out these excellent shows.
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I thought this might be a one-and-done, but they recently announced the show will be back for season two.

That explains a couple of things about the finale…which I won’t mention here.

I want you to watch it, of course, if you aren’t already. And here’s why.

  1. Ben Mendelsohn  — Apparently he is a leading actor in his native Australia, but even as much as I watch movies and TV, his face was new to me.  He is brilliant. Really. He quietly steals every scene on the strength of his character work alone.
  2. Water Torture — The show may take place at a hotel on the Florida Keys, but the layers of mystery that surround the family members are doled out in excruciatingly slow drips. And I love it. When you’re used to movie trailers giving away the entire film in less than two minutes, it’s nice to have a genuine surprise in every episode. This pacing fits the leisurely vacation location, too.
  3. Game of Thrones — Characters drop right and left; that’s why I thought the show was over in one season. The second year is going to be interesting, but I have faith in the strong–albeit bloodied–cast that remains.

So, add it to your Netflix queue.  You will thank me!

Underfoot

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As hotel carpet goes, this is pretty boring.

Its pattern meets the requisite busy rule to hide foot traffic, but it’s very light. Tip a glass of red wine or kool-aid, and you’ve got a stain.

Especially if the guest doesn’t report it right away. (It’s in the guest rooms.)

Give me an intense color and some curly cues any day!

Day Two: Lucerne, Switzerland

Today, I was in a conference room in Lucerne for eight hours.

No sunshine. No city views. No sightseeing.

Hotel des BalancesBut after dinner, I again was charmed by my hotel and the square it overlooks.

In the daylight, the front facade of the Hotel des Balances in Lucerne is awash with color, the figures and ornate border giving the building an almost candy-colored glow.

(They stand behind this sugary start by delivering a customized oval of chocolate on our pillows each night.)

When the sun sets, the hotel and the other painted buildings in the square loose their characteristic colors but not their charm. Most businesses close by seven o’clock, so there is only the sound of foot traffic on the cobblestone, and the street lights make the architecture appear more whimsical.

Lucerne Square

I took this photo from my hotel balcony, which overlooks the front entrance.

chocolate mint LucerneAnd because many of you couldn’t concentrate after you read the word ‘chocolate,’ here is that mint I mentioned.

Pretty snazzy, huh?

A matter of taste

ChaCha.com recently put together a list of some of the most unique fast foods available around the globe.

spam and egg sandwichThis was of particular interest to me because a couple of their choices were from Japan:  McDonald’s Ebi-Fillet — that’s shrimp — and Burger King’s Spam and Egg Sandwich (pictured on the left).

I’m proud to say I didn’t frequent any fast food restaurants during my stay, so I didn’t notice these options.

What did strike me as slightly odd was the traditional breakfast in Japan:

ricesaladgreen tea

White rice. A green salad. A thin, bland yogurt. And green tea.

Now, I might eat this for lunch if my main meal was delivered to the wrong table, but it’s not the flavor profile that I crave for breakfast. But my hotel offered it, and I ate it.  When in Rome…

(I did break down and add sweetener to the tea.  And to their credit, the natives didn’t wince too hard when I did.)

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.