I’ve stayed in seventeen hotels since July. I love staying in hotels (they do my linen laundry, take out my trash, and sometimes even fold my clothes), but inevitably some are good, some are phenomenal, and some are bad. Most of the ones I’ve stayed in have been pretty nice places, but I’ve narrowed it down to my top three (okay maybe five with honorable mentions) favorite hotels, and I’ll mention my least favorite too.
But first, the faves!
3. Holiday Inn Express – Los Alamos, NM – I loved this hotel because it was spittin’ distance from an awesome co-op! I told an employee that it was my favorite hotel ever because of the proximity to the co-op, so this had to make the list. It was a nice hotel too, it seemed new and the staff was friendly and helpful, but location is everything. I ate so much while I was here, and I hope we get to go back!
2. Stowe Mountain Lodge – Stowe, VT – This was one of the first places I stayed when I started my new job, and I was blown away. I’ve never been anywhere like this, and I loved every second of it. The first thing that caught my eye was their swimming pool; I was so excited to see that they had two lanes where you could swim laps! I went ahead and used the lanes, even though the water was too hot for ideal lap swimming, but it was fun nonetheless. I had a day off here, and I took full advantage of many activities located in and around the resort. I rode an alpine slide (whee!), then the Gondola SkyRide, and I had lunch (and a few beers) at the top of the mountain. I spent the rest of my afternoon laying out by the pool and swimming, and then got to take in a concert at the adjacent Performing Arts Center. I loved it here!
1. Chancery Court Hotel – London – This is my favorite hotel because it was the most beautiful building I’ve ever slept in, and the customer service was outstanding. It was also convenient to all sorts of fun stuff in London, which was nice since I didn’t figure out London’s public transport system, and I couldn’t afford cabs when I was by myself. On our first night there I grabbed my ice bucket and set out to find the ice machine. Not finding one, I returned to my room and called the front desk and asked where I could get some ice. They responded that someone would be right up with a bucket of ice and was there anything else I needed to make my stay more enjoyable. Um. I thought about asking for an insulated travel mug since I had forgotten mine, but decided not to, and eagerly awaited my hand-delivered ice. As soon as I hung up, I freaked out a bit, wondering if I had just ordered a $15 bucket of ice, but this wasn’t the Park Central (they charged us to have silverware brought to our room, absurd!) and there was no charge for the ice. And yes, I had a bucket delivered every night… I didn’t want to get dehydrated! As an added note, the coffee maker in my room was exquisite, and they lady who cleaned my room figured out which kind was my favorite and always left me extra.
Honorable mentions go to:
Park Central – New York City – This was a nice hotel, but I mostly loved the location, which was in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. So, based on location alone, this one gets a shout out.
Condado Plaza – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Two words: ocean view! This place also had a beautiful pool and a decent beach, so this had to be mentioned.
And now, on the worst. There really is only one bad one, so I’ll list that one and then two dishonorable mentions. Without further ado, the worst hotel I stayed in over the last six months was…
The “Quality” Inn – Ridgeland, MS – My first room smelled so terrible I had to switch rooms. The employees must not have made note of this, because later that evening someone else was given my room, and I was changing out of my dress when I heard my door handle jiggling and then it OPENED. The door of my hotel room, which, by the way, opened directly to the outdoors, was opening and someone was coming in. My first thought was that my boss was messing with me, but they don’t have keys to my room, and even if they did, they wouldn’t just barge in. Half naked and terrified, my instincts took over and I ran to the door and slammed it shut as hard as I could, securing all available locks as I did. I could hear a bunch of guys laughing and hollering outside, but I was too scared to look out the peephole, so I finished changing and then called my boss for an escort to their room, where I was headed to heat up my dinner. Before my boss arrived, the front desk called me and asked who I was and why I was in that room. I was incredulous, but explained what I was doing there, and left it at that. I slept horribly that night, I was so scared someone would try to come into my room again. I usually always have the extra locks engaged on the door, but I hadn’t bothered this time because I was just changing and leaving. I certainly learned my lesson, and now whenever I’m in my room, the doors are as locked as they can be. This place also seemed very dirty. I was glad to get out of there, I’m thankful it was only one night!
There’s a tie for dishonorable mention, so I’ll just go in chronological order.
Freizeit In – Gottingen, Germany – Although I had a lot of trouble initially entering my room and was too embarrassed to go ask for help (it took me a good ten minutes… I blame jet lag), my only issue with this place was that they didn’t have any ice! In hindsight, I could have and should have ordered a bucket from room service, but it was my first time in a country where I didn’t speak the language so I was trying to limit my interaction with the locals, and I was fairly new to my job and didn’t know if that would be frowned upon or not (my ice obsession is now out in the open, they now know how vital it is to me), so I just drank lukewarm water while I was in Germany and nearly died of dehydration (okay, not really, but I was thirsty pretty much the entire trip). When I was finally reunited with my sweet, cold ice again in an airport lounge in Frankfurt, I drank so much that I got a stomach ache, but it was soooooo delicious and so worth it.
Residence Inn – Phoenix, AZ – The facilities here were lovely. I had my own little kitchen, complete with oven, microwave, coffee pot, dishwasher, and a nearly full size refrigerator. When we arrived in Phoenix and I was thirsty. So, so thirsty. The first thing I noticed when we checked in was that there was no ice bucket. What the…?! We are in the middle of the desert, how do they expect people to stay hydrated? No matter, I thought. They must have our fridges fully stocked with ice for us to enjoy as soon as we arrive. Wrong. There was indeed an ice maker in the provided freezer, but do you think there was ice in it? Of course there wasn’t. In fact, it wasn’t even turned on. So I turned it on and while I waited for the ice to freeze I frantically texted my boss to see if their room had any ice. Nope. So I stood near the fridge, watching and waiting, and making myself sit down so I wouldn’t impede the ice-making process with my constant door opening, and then when it was time, I went to the freezer and “birthed” those seven ice cubes by hand. Because it would’ve taken too long for the machine to pop them out by itself, obviously. So I delivered the ice (feeling like a midwife all the while), did a happy dance, and FINALLY got my ice water. You better believe that thing was cranking out cubes for the rest of our stay.
It says a lot when the only thing I can find to complain about is the presence of available ice, meaning, I stayed at a lot of very nice places and I don’t take that for granted. I just like my ice!
Stay tuned for my favorite trip!