I love hotels. The thought you can totally trash a room, go out for the day, and return to fresh towels and a newly made bed just appeals to the decadent side of me. I especially love hotels that offer room service with metal covered hot plates and glass bottles of ketchup and syrup. The thrill of sitting in a bed and ordering your food to be brought to you is what marriage should be, but never is. In a pinch, I don’t mind padding down to the common breakfast area every morning at the crack of dawn to make homemade waffles and eat previously frozen fresh fruit.
I stayed at a hotel once where you walked down to what you assumed would be a Unitarian kitchen to eat sugar pastries and stale cereal, and instead I found a chef making omelets to order. For a brief moment I knew what the rich and famous experience every morning when they make their way to their kitchens and are greeted by personal chefs ready to cook to their every whim. I’m not big on material possessions, but I could certainly get used to having someone cook for me.
I like hotels that exclaim they have down comforters and extra pillows. I’m also a total sheet snob. I usually insist on six hundred thread count or higher. Sleeping in hotels means my delicate flesh will be chafed by less than buttery soft sheets. It’s not my fault I was born with soft skin. It’s one of my most marked characteristics. I don’t need slippery lotions and potions. I just have an ethereal epidermis.
I find sleeping in hotels is hard. Strange bed, strange noises and the distinct sound of a paper being plopped outside your door every morning. Some hotels are better than others at muffling the bachelor party next door. I’ve been in some of the most expensive hotels and wondered why I could hear every creek of every door and what was that musty smell? All hotels are not the same, even in a chain that promises you they are.
Now my anxiety regarding hotels has to do with bed bugs. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Thousands of words and miles of paper have been devoted to these parasites that have surely been around for eons. Suddenly, they have become a problem of epic proportion. A pestilence worthy of locust swarm and termites eating away your floor boards. You can’t see them, but you know they are there when you awake covered in what is tantamount to flea bites and itching like you’ve frolicked naked in a patch of poison ivy. And then you unsuspectingly bring them home.
I just stayed at the Hampton Inn. It was a business trip and I was not able to choose where I would lay my work weary head. I was pleasantly surprised it was clean and the sheets were appropriately soft and pest free. The breakfast in the morning passed for edible even when the dining room was appropriated by the Coast Guard for Mississippi levee recon. So, you get a side of good looking young men with your reconstituted gravy and biscuits.
I’ve stayed at a posh old money hotel in NYC before. Overpaid for the same mixed fruit bowl and sniffed suspiciously at the mold smell emanating from the bathroom. The bed was too hard and the pillows were too soft and paid dearly for both. I’ve learned not to turn my nose up at any place that promises you a mediocre stay that will not cost nearly as much.
Well, that’s not exactly true. I will never again stay at a roof of a certain color and you know who you are. Every room looks like they filmed an episode of CSI there and you would be horrified by turning a black light on. There is certainly nothing worse than flinging your top blanket to the floor only to find a stain on the sheet you are supposed to sleep on. Well, finding a bug in the bed. That has happened to me in a hotel in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, but what did I expect?
This time instead of hoarding the shampoos and lotions they put out every morning, I used them. It’s all part of my consume less attitude. I use to have a drawer devoted to the goodies I brought back from various hotel rooms on various trips. As part of my purge the old me attitude, I donated them to a homeless shelter. The new me makes sure I empty a bottle of something before I buy a new one. The new me left behind the empty hotel bottles.
I’m anxious to get back to my bed even if I’m sleeping with a down comforter. I enjoy the towel folding and bed making by others, but there really is no place like home. The sheets were comfortable, but they were not my impossibly high counted linens. Maybe next time instead of just bringing my pillow, I should bring my own sheets. Maybe then I’ll never want to leave.