While I just started out again on an American land cruise, it’s a little premature to start in with the hotel critiques. The reason behind this is one-fold: of the two hotels where I’ve slept and woken up thus far, I have too much to say about one and not the other. I have a bit of processing to do about my stay at the one that actually impressed me.
In the meantime I’d like to take a second to follow up on the cheap mini-trashcan post and talk about something that’s almost always a deal-breaker and that’s power sockets.
It almost goes without saying that most hotels aren’t equipped to deal with our modern world’s power needs, as power seems to be the thing that most controls our human universe. Surely, if you’ve ever seen Sir David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth” series, you’ll notice the subject of energy keeps popping up. In the animal kingdom it’s how to acquire it, store it, and find more of it, often in the form of other animals, but that’s another blog. In our human world of slight-to-maximum privilege (ie, you have a rented a place to stay for the night, you have rented a really fucking nice place to stay for the night) our basic hotel night needs while we’re about to retire come down to where can I plug in my laptop, charge my mobile, charge my smart phone, charge my camera, and I need it all near my bed because each of them has the alarm to wake me up.
Inevitably I end up dragging the side table away and unplugging the lamp, the clock radio (unless it already has an ipod charger in it, though I’ve found they’re not as good as just plugging it in to power) and sometimes the phone. I’ve also taken to carrying a 3-way, grounded US outlet expander with me. I room with another person a lot, and there usually aren’t enough sockets to go around if we actually wanted to charge EVERYTHING up over night. Thankfully, that’s not a problem, but as I write this at 49% charge on an old MacBook with a crap battery, I really want to climb into bed and do some last bits of computing before I fall asleep.
Of course, this hotel, like last night’s, has a bank of like 6 outlets on the desk with an additional one on the lamp. That’s a lot! It’s also about 5m away from being useful, especially with my “roommate” using the desk.
This also says a lot about the reliability of a) hotel wake-up calls and b) cheap hotel clock radio alarms. I’ve not gotten my wake up calls before. I depend on them, and perhaps the one time I’d called for one and didn’t get it I missed my lobby call and generally felt like shit all day. I don’t like to wake up to a strange alarm, or the hotel phone for that matter. I’m perfectly happy using my mobile as it starts with a little, but stern, vibration, then again, then with a chime, then eventually it comes to life as an alarm. I usually wake up after the first BZZZZT. I need this thing charging. Not the fire alarm ring of a hotel telephone. In fact, I’d prefer to NEVER hear that.
So besides this (I’ll tell you later, ok?) being a halfway decent hotel, maybe even pretty good, it’s still prey to the bullshit lack of outlets, like all the others.
*Addendum, I actually ended up with major beef about that hotel’s bed and shower and probably won’t even write about it — except we have to go back for 5 days.