With the amount of travel I do, I do get to experience a fair share of hotels, both (and mostly) their good sides, but in some cases the bad side.
For the longest time, I wouldn’t review a hotel. I stay up to 150 nights in hotels, so it just seemed too much to write about after every stay. I have a few chosen hotel brands that I know (or better: assume) are good and stick with them. This has come out of years of various rooms, smells, sounds, scratchings, hearsay, recommendations, etc.
I’ve even stayed in a converted barn (very inexpensive, good breakfast, friendly owners, decent room with bare minimum – near Celle, Germany), a converted convent (good price, very good rooms, breakfast – also near Celle, Germany), an old aircraft (interesting experience, I recommend paying a bit more for the cockpit – at Stockholm Arlanda airport).
I’ve stayed at motels with two inch gaps under the door letting snow into the room, motels with lots of creepy crawleys and interior decorations from the 1970s. I’ve had a number of motel and hotel rooms that have had porn magazines hidden underneath the mattress, making me feel very comfortable in using the bed at all…
I’ve stayed in a hotel (actually repeatedly, it’s not bad at all) where people were murdered. Very recent ones, actually. As in that week. Which explained the police presence. And the sirens. Apparently the guy was hiding IN THE BED for two days.
I’ve been in a very posh hotel in Switzerland where I almost ran down or into Roger Federer. I didn’t notice though as I was too preoccupied with my Blackberry and emailing. I mumbled an apology to the person I had just about bumped into after exiting the elevator and moved on, barely registering the face. I noticed the person had stopped and was looking at me, but I figured that was because of my rather rude behaviour. A few steps later as my mind was just piecing together any kind of facial recognition, I stopped in front of a life-size cutout or poster of Roger Federer. The hotel had some kind of Swiss Tennis Federation event and he was there for that. Facial recognition now kicked in and I turned to see Roger walking away. Oops.
I’ve tried bed and breakfasts, shared accommodation (not doing that again) and shared bathrooms (also not doing that again).
All of this has led me to selecting the Holiday Inn group and Radisson group as my primary choices, then the Best Western and Hilton hotels as a back up. This covers pretty much 80% of everywhere I go. The balance is the experience.
But an actual review – well it took the experience described here to make me actually want to write a review. I still won’t write about every experience, but some will be described – using tripadvisor, then copying to here…