Q TRAVEL – In our workaholic society, luxury and relaxation are set up to be the end all be all, and the solution to almost every problem. Having marriage troubles? Go away for a weekend! Need to decompress from your family and work life? Have a spa day with the girls!
Because our everyday lives are so highly pressurized when we finally do take the time to relax, there’s pressure to do it right. This pressure makes practically every vacation, day off, or spa experience disappointing. No part of the vacation is ever more disappointing than the hotel.
We all have heard or have our own hotel horror stories. You can make the case that it is completely and utterly ridiculous that we spend hundreds of dollars a night to sleep in a bed that someone else has slept in, to shower in a bathroom that someone else just showered in and to not be able to open the windows.
It’s a give and take, as this is the price we pay to travel the world and indulge in different cultural experiences.
We can at least make the hopeful assumption that the hotel sheets have been recently changed. However, when it comes to the comforter you know, that thing hasn’t been washed probably ever. Flopping down on the hotel comforter when you first get into the stale smelling room is probably the most grotesque, dangerous thing you’ll do on your entire vacation!
Despite the fact that these beds are of questionable cleanliness, they also aren’t comfortable. They’re weird and hard. The pillows are too soft, and there’s too many of them. The sheets smell like industrial laundry soap and aren’t tucked in properly at the bottom. The blankets are slippery and slide off onto the floor at around the same time that the air condition starts working. This means that you’re waking up multiple times in the middle of the night, in complete darkness, stiff, cold and confused. Do hotels not know the importance of a good night’s sleep? Sounds super relaxing, right?
Let’s say that you’ve come to grips with the beds and the bathroom in your hotel room. You can make do with the tiny shampoo, mysteriously included shower cap and a piece of soap so small that you’d throw it away if you were at home.
So let’s talk food. If you’re lucky or rich, your hotel has room service. If you’re not, you have ice, and a vending machine that probably doesn’t accept cash, and probably doesn’t have anything on offer but Grape Fanta, pretzels, and gum. If you are feeling flush and you order room service, it’s always late, terrible, and cold. Half melted ice cream sundaes, an 8-slice of bread club sandwiches and a lukewarm beer are totally worth $55, plus service charge, right?
All of this aside, hotel rooms are just ugly. The uber-generic decor that varies from region to region is so generic, yet odd, that it’s not relaxing. It’s distracting and strange. More times than not you lie there staring at a red and purple rock painting, or a teal, peach and pink mosaic of seashells for far longer than is reasonable. The furniture in most hotels is also ugly, heavy and frankly moderately dangerous when it comes to roaming around in a strange place in the dark.
Don’t you love banging your shins against a coffee table and knowing that’s it marred literally thousands of shins before yours? You could get a disease that way!
Face it; hotels are gross, expensive and not worth it.
However, they are something we all have to deal with in order to enjoy traveling.