Traveling is a funny thing. It amazes me that it’s relaxing to reduce life to finding a place to stay and food to eat. (Or maybe it’s not surprising that taking things back to the essentials is relaxing…)
I’ve been having this ongoing dialog with Daniel about the mechanics of travel and comfort. I’m not known as what might be called a laid-back, comfortable-in-any-environment kind of person. I wish I were, but I’m not and have never been. Daniel, kindly, calls this “having standards” and seems to view it as a positive thing. Others have not been so forgiving.
I think the idea of luxury has gotten pretty distorted. Daniel likes to say that luxury is preparedness, and I tend to agree. It’s being able to have the right things to deal well with any activity or happening, and it’s being comfortable. This idea comes to the forefront as we travel, and sift through hotel reviews to try to figure out a place to stay, where the price paid for the room feels “fair” with respects to the value received.
And so, we have begun to summarize it this way: luxury, when traveling, means having approximately the same, or a little less, comfort than one has at home. (Traveling for pleasure sounds surreal when viewed this way.) Home is a place people feel comfortable. Every other place we stay gets, inevitably, compared to home.
Simply, staying in a “nice hotel” provides the comfort of having a place that is almost as clean as home, and has a slightly lower quality of food than I would eat at home. Sounds weirder and weirder that we would seek this experience out, right?
Ok, so here’s the ideal hotel. Really, one of those ubiquitous hotel brands should snatch this concept up and run with it. People want this. I promise.
- Absolutely clean rooms. This means: no carpets and no soft furniture. No curtains (Shades are acceptable.) Basically, no fabric other than on the bed. All linens and towels are white.
- Bedbug free. See #1. All soft items are either thoroughly washed and dried between guests, or go into a dryer for 30+ minutes between guests.
- High quality or organic food and coffee. The type of food quality that I would eat at home.
- Bronner’s soap in the bathrooms + jojoba oil. Nothing else.
- Free wifi.
To keep other costs down, skip all this stupid stuff: tvs, minibars, alarm clocks, concierge, couches, wallpaper, decor, etc. Because when it really comes down to it, why does someone stay at a “nice hotel?” For a level of cleanliness comparable to home, and food that is similar to home.
Or maybe that’s just me.
But at least I don’t mop the floor upon arrival at a five star hotel.