hotels

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SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON
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hotels

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 24 Jun 2018, 16:05

Business or pleasure, mostly?

What's the best? worst? what do you expect from them?

Ever complained? why?

How long have/could you hole(d) yourself up? where? why?

Ever worked in one?
Last edited by SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON on 24 Jun 2018, 21:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: hotels

Postby Hugh » 24 Jun 2018, 16:20

Business mostly.

The worst by far was The Grosvenor in Sheffield - absolutely filthy and I picked up a horrible flu-like virus.

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Re: hotels

Postby Jimbo » 24 Jun 2018, 17:59

The best is a Japanese ryokan I stayed in in Kifu prefecture. It's pampering like in a master servant kind of way but Japanese. There is no dining room or bar but all the service happens in your traditional futon floor, sliding door room. You change into a nemaki (sleeping kimono) laid out and then you go and relax in the hot spring, Then come back and there is a hibachi with hot coals burning in the center of your room and course after course of dinner is served by kimono-ed waitresses on their knees. After a walk in the Japanese garden and maybe another bath you come back and the room is set up with futons laid out for the best sleep you may ever have.

Worst was a French mega-tourist hotel where I, my wife and son slept in a room that would be a small single. It felt like a rip off.

When my uncle was visiting Japan we arranged to get a room for him at a nearby business hotel. Nothing fancy but it was modern and clean. One thing he knew he wanted right away was another pillow. The one pillow was small and - - I guess that's how Japanese like pillows. I called up the front desk and asked for another pillow and they reacted like I wanted another bed, like no one had ever asked for another pillow. But soon a worker showed up with another pillow and and left. Then my uncle lied down and fluffed up the two pillows to test them, to see if he'd be comfortable. He said he wanted another pillow. I called the desk again and the guy sighed and I think he may have turned to his coworker and said, "The gaijin want another pillow!" But another pillow showed up and I think my uncle could have used two or three more but he gave it a rest. They may still be talking about the foreign guest who needed three pillows.
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Re: hotels

Postby Toby » 24 Jun 2018, 18:48

The Pig in the New Forest was the last good one i stayed in, back in 2012. They're excellent, but also expensive.

Without fail we use AirBnB for short breaks and don't stay in them on holidays unless absolutely necessary. You've got to spend upwards of £150 a night to stay in anything that isn't crushingly charmless.

I stayed in a little German 2 star place in Cologne back in 2015 when there on my own - it was charming in a sort of shit way and only £60 a night which wasn't too bad as I was on a strict budget.

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Re: hotels

Postby sloopjohnc » 24 Jun 2018, 19:51

Business or pleasure, mostly?

What's the best? worst? what do you expect from them?

Usually I get to stay in pretty nice ones for work. The last one was the AC in Denver. Here was my room and view.

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Ever complained? why?

Only if I don't get stuff I'm expecting from work.

How long have/could you hole(d) yourself up? where? why?

A week at most. We used to stay in hotels when we'd go to vacation with the kids. I get cabin fever in hotels and hate watching movies in the room.

Ever worked in one?

No. One of my best friends has been in the hotel business for years. When we were roommates, he'd have to get up and go to work at 3 am because some joker had pulled the fire alarm (there was a bar and dance club on the ground floor). I couldn't be that nice all the time.

I will get an Air BnB for personal travel. I don't find it a hassle making my own food, in fact I prefer it, than having to eat at a restaurant or grab a continental breakfast at some hotel.
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Re: hotels

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 24 Jun 2018, 20:48

sloopjohnc wrote:Usually I get to stay in pretty nice ones for work. The last one was the AC in Denver. Here was my room and view.

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Wonderful. I love those high-end business hotels.

It's really important for me to have big rooms. Really big. In fact I'd say that's my number one priority.

Soundproofing helps. Hotels can be noisy places, mostly because of other guests banging about.
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Re: hotels

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Jun 2018, 21:09

Business or pleasure, mostly?

Pleasure. Always. I don't have the kind of job where I'm important enough to get put up in hotels.

What's the best? worst? what do you expect from them?

I've stayed in some nice 4 star hotels over the years. One in Buenos aires was very nice and roomy too. That was maybe the nicest. I stayed at the Flamingo in Vegas which is past its best and nowhere near as luxurious as some hotels there but the room was so big it had a couch! I was very impressed by that.

I've stayed in a lot of dives. When I was in India I stayed in the cheapest hotels possible so you can imagine. Some of them were absolutely rotten. One in Delhi was so dirty I couldn't even face getting a shower in the bathroom. I've stayed in some disgusting hostels as well sharing rooms with some awful cunts.

I want cleanliness and space. It doesn't have to be pristine mind but a clean bathroom and fresh sheets. A TV with a decent amount of channels is a nice bonus but not essential as I'm out most of the day. I love hotels, the whole ritual of getting your card and finding the room, the feel of the bedsheets, that sorta thing. It still feels like a novelty somehow.

Ever complained? why?

No. I'm British.

How long have/could you hole(d) yourself up? where? why?

Oh a long time I think if the hotel was nice! I love hotels.

Ever worked in one?

No
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Re: hotels

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 24 Jun 2018, 21:13

Business or pleasure, mostly? - nearly always pleasure - the jobs I've had have rarely involved paid hotel stays. Altho' I did have a couple of nights in a Premier Inn Hub when I was running a course in Edinburgh recently - but it was all out of my own pocket


What's the best? worst? what do you expect from them? - one of the worst was the one I just mentioned, it was like those Japanese boxes you hear about, just an inch bigger than your own body in every direction. A fucking joke.

The best was a Marriott Blu or whatever you call it - stayed there for a mate's wedding in Manchester about 10 years ago. The room - and the building itself - was absolutely fucking enormous. And wonderfully cool everywhere, too. I loved that. You felt like a million dollars. Weird how a PLACE can do that to you



Ever complained? why? - not exactly complained, but over the last couple of years I've phoned downstairs about rooms being too hot or cold and they've sent fans or heaters


How long have/could you hole(d) yourself up? where? why? - I haven't stayed in the same hotel for more than about 10 days (although....see below), but if I ever write the book I imagine I could spend a couple of weeks by a lake somewhere and get down to business. With a view of the lake


Ever worked in one? - yeah - for most of 1992 I worked in Hotel Arcade (now Ibis) in Wiesbaden, doing the breakfast service. Lived there too. Had a blast, one of the greatest times of my life for various reasons.

I did the same thing in Frankfurt four years later but I was pretty fucked and didn't last long...
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Re: hotels

Postby Jimbo » 24 Jun 2018, 21:38

I worked as a busboy from when I was 13 to seventeen at the Nevele Hotel in the Catskill Mountains where I grew up. (Nevele is eleven spelled backwards.) It was one of the grandest resorts in the mountains with three all you could eat meals a day - at which for pretty good tips and a measly salary in the 600 person dining room I served beverages and cleaned the tables for the next course. The was also golf, horseback riding, tennis, a huge pool with a high and a low diving board, ice skating and skiing in the winter, a nightclub with a comedian - borscht belt of course - and a music act, a teens room with a dance floor and jukebox, a long row of pinball machines, ping pong, shuffleboard, basketball ... Lyndon Johnson stayed there one night.

Now the Nevele is a rotting ruin, the gold course a mass of tall weeds. It's sad, really.

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Re: hotels

Postby Copehead » 25 Jun 2018, 09:54

I like the beds and pillows in Holliday Inns, they are very comfortable.
I dislike the gravel filled pillows that they have in Japan in more traditional hotels.
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Re: hotels

Postby Darkness_Fish » 25 Jun 2018, 11:45

Pretty much 50/50 between business and pleasure for me. With work, it's always either London or Sofia. Nowadays, either is fine, although the Best Western or Novotel Sofia are better quality than the Premier Inns I normally stay in when in London.

Worst hotel was worse than anyone else has stopped in, in any country. The Jamaica House hotel in Liverpool, I stopped in it for a works night-out years ago. £15 a night. There were three of us staying there, and I was lucky enough to get the room with a window. The bathroom (not en-suite, obviously) was absolutely rancid, the bath and toilet were teeming with dead flies, it was like the "worst toilet in Edinburgh" scene from Trainspotting writ large. I think I risked about 3 hours sleep before leaving. I still have the mental scars. Worst I regularly stopped in was the hotel Kolikovski in Sofia. Used to be about £30 a night, which is pretty cheap, even by Bulgarian standards. Proper 70s bright orange wallpaper, a full english breakfast buffet that was apparently cooked at 4am and left there to be freezing cold by the time anyone went down to eat. Awful. Good location (if such a thing is possible in Sofia), and now it's a Best Western or something, so it's not a cheap option at all.

Best hotel was actually a fortnight ago, the Grand Elysee in Hamburg. Flight back to Blighty was cancelled, and there were a lot of cancellations that day, so by the time our flights were rebooked, all the airport and cheap hotels had gone, and we were sent for an extra night in a 5 star hotel, 20 minutes from the aldtstadt. Couldn't believe our luck, frankly, when the taxi pulled up outside, I think we all felt a bit out of place. It's tinged with sadness now though. I was there for a wedding, and one of our party, the groom's granddad, was with us all weekend. Lovely bloke, spent a lot of time chatting and drinking with him, and he said he wanted to savour the experience, as it might be the last chance he gets to spend a night in a hotel like that. Turned out to be all too true, he had a brain aneurysm last week, and died in the early hours of Sunday morning. 81, so he had a fair innings, but he didn't come across as an old bloke at all, it really feels like he had lots of life left in him.
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Re: hotels

Postby Darkness_Fish » 25 Jun 2018, 11:47

Oh, and following Copehead's mention of Holiday Inns, the Holiday Inn at Sheffield was pretty palatial. Much grander than any budget/standard hotel has the right to be. Gordon Brown was there, when he was PM, so presumably they had some pretty classy rooms to go with the standard drunk-class that I was in.
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Re: hotels

Postby Bent Fabric » 25 Jun 2018, 12:41

Business or pleasure, mostly?

Mostly business, some pleasure.

What's the best? worst? what do you expect from them?

My memory is that there have been far more good than bad. The bad ones will stick with you, but so will the good. The quality of sleep in a nice hotel is pretty incredible. In a bad hotel, you're pretty quick to get up and running in the morning (that's got its own advantages, I suppose - great when you're on the road and on a schedule). As Dougie says, cleanliness and space are enormous. You need a bit of room. Things like towels are funny - a nice hotel will give you as many as you and your people could ever need. A lesser hotel feels that you need to pick up the phone and put in a special request every time you want to dry your hands. A swimming pool is nice. The worst ones become a place to grab a couple hours of sleep and move on - the best ones I'm always sad to leave. The semi-recent memory of three or four days in a woefully small room with two other middle aged adults (I was always quick to get out and "live" in that situation)...followed by the next two bookings in gigantic rooms (which we obviously did not take for granted) is a strong demonstration of tension and relief. The Hotel Michelberger in Berlin is pretty fantastic - tall ceilings, huge rooms, seemed like an Ikea built "creative kids" preschool classroom with enormous bunk beds. Positive they had the big Lebowski playing on televisions around the clock in the corridors. I remember an especially grim room in Doncaster about 20 years back - the decor, the lighting, the sort of sub-perfunctory state of cleanliness and upkeep.

Ever complained? why?

What are they gonna do? If a hotel sucks, my complaints aren't going to correct any fundamental failings.

How long have/could you hole(d) yourself up? where? why?

I don't know that I've ever been more than a week. Given the opportunity/resources, I'd happily stay for ages.

Ever worked in one?

I suppose I have not.

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Re: hotels

Postby Samoan » 25 Jun 2018, 14:16

Business or pleasure, mostly?
Pleasure/necessity only.
(I make sure I always take wax ear plugs and an eye mask.)

What's the best?

I've never stayed luxury but the most characterful was a place in Seattle overlooking gorgeous Puget Sound. The review said "don't be put off by the fact that it's above a strip joint", which it was. It had the most gorgeous art deco bathrooms and décor throughout.

worst?

A bunk house in Seward, AK where one of my room mates, an Australian girl, was working the night shifts in a salmon canning factory and reeled in at 7am reeking of fish.

Ever complained? why?

I wanted tea bags, please (in America).
I was staying in my own mini log cabin in Alaska and brewed up my tea in the coffee machine thing.


Ever worked in one?


Yes, I was a waitress and chambermaid in Bontddu (where they mine the royal gold), Wales in the mock gothic hotel (right of shot) one summer. Good times.

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Re: hotels

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jun 2018, 17:44

As far as chains go, I've found Hiltons are usually the best and most consistent.

When the kids were younger, we usually tried to stay at Embassy Suites for the free breakfasts and happy hours (for me).

This weekend, my son and I are going to Aptos, near the coast south of Santa Cruz, and staying here through Air BnB.

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Re: hotels

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 25 Jun 2018, 18:42

I'm really not a fan of AirBnB and I'm a little surprised to read so many positive thoughts here.

I mean, obviously the quality varies enormously, but there's no escaping the fact that you're staying in someone else's home - and for those of us who value cleanliness and neatness, these aren't necessarily things you'll find there.


When I moved to Berlin three years ago I spent a small fortune staying in various hotels and apartments until I found my own flat - three months later. AirBnB was banished from the city then (not sure if that's still the case) and I didn't mind that one bit. I'll always take the sterile comfort of a modern hotel over a spunk-stained futon in a room full of bric-a-brac.
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Re: hotels

Postby Toby » 25 Jun 2018, 19:22

ORORORO wrote:I'm really not a fan of AirBnB and I'm a little surprised to read so many positive thoughts here.

I mean, obviously the quality varies enormously, but there's no escaping the fact that you're staying in someone else's home - and for those of us who value cleanliness and neatness, these aren't necessarily things you'll find there.


When I moved to Berlin three years ago I spent a small fortune staying in various hotels and apartments until I found my own flat - three months later. AirBnB was banished from the city then (not sure if that's still the case) and I didn't mind that one bit. I'll always take the sterile comfort of a modern hotel over a spunk-stained futon in a room full of bric-a-brac.


Well obviously you're not going to stay in a place like that. AirBnB is successful because it is in the owners interest to make it good -we live in an era of instant feedback and one bad review can be catastrophic for an owner. It's not all good, but the fact is that hotels charge for a lot of things that one doesn't need in a stay. A private arrangement with a local can often produce wonderful serendipitous results over a jarringly corporate stay.

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Re: hotels

Postby Jeemo » 25 Jun 2018, 21:10

ORORORO wrote: - and for those of us who value cleanliness and neatness, these aren't necessarily things you'll find there.


we've seen your kitchen.
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Re: hotels

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jun 2018, 21:28

ORORORO wrote:I'm really not a fan of AirBnB and I'm a little surprised to read so many positive thoughts here.

I mean, obviously the quality varies enormously, but there's no escaping the fact that you're staying in someone else's home - and for those of us who value cleanliness and neatness, these aren't necessarily things you'll find there.


Not true. Most owners have a cleaning person come in between stays, just like at a hotel. Also, one of the prerequisites is that you clean it yourself before you leave - or you can get kicked out of the service.

When Kid P and his girlfriend came to San Francisco, they were going to get a hotel. I dissuaded them and told them to go AirBnB instead. They loved it - it was in a great neighborhood, with a little gated, front yard, but close enough to downtown.

Every summer, I take my son and a couple friends on vacation. I always use AirBnB to rent a place. Last year, we went to Donner Lake (Yes, the Donner party lake). It was $150 per night and it was at the end of a cul-de-sac, a five minute walk from the lake's beach and right near a bridge the kids jumped from endlessly into the lake. They loved it.

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Re: hotels

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jun 2018, 21:35

ORORORO wrote:II'll always take the sterile comfort of a modern hotel over a spunk-stained futon in a room full of bric-a-brac.


Obviously, you haven't read those articles on all the bacteria and stuff they find in hotel rooms.

And if people leave spunk, I'd put my money on them leaving it at a hotel over anywhere else.
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