Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Travel Tuesday: A tale of two hotels

Okay, so, I recently had a interesting hotel experience. A few weeks ago, I attended an event in Boston at a hip new hotel. Said hotel is part of a world wide chain of hip hotels. I was excited to go to the event and brought my camera, good blogger that I am. And I took one photo. This hotel was so poorly done, so depressing and cheap looking, yet so pretentious, I was actually angry when I left. Angry I'd spent even $10 plus parking to attend the event, angry because it's the kind of hotel people ooh and ahh over. It was awful.  An evening in this hotel can run between $300 and $400 per night.

Now, onto hotel #2. On my recent trip to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, I drove from Boston to Stamford on Wednesday night and stayed in a modest hotel. The original plan was to stay in the Hilton, but by the time we tried to book the hotel, the cheap rates through Hotwire were no longer available. Okay, so I wanted to do the trip on the cheap, I admit it. So, my friend booked us into a 2-1/2 star hotel and I figured, for $80, we'd likely only be there a few hours anyway, so why not, as long as it's clean . And it's true, we checked in at midnight and checked out at 7AM. Well, I can't tell you how surprised I was at the quality of the room design. Admittedly, the exterior and lobby were still quite dated and a tad shabby, but this chain hotel has been remodeling their rooms and I have to say it, bravo! The bed was totally comfortable, the style was slightly modern, yet warm and inviting. The patters and materials were fun and up to date.

So, quiz time, the 4-star hotel is:



And bonus points if you can guess the hotels.

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Annie@A View On Design said...

have no idea which hotel - but I wish I could visit - looks awesome, doesn't the blue cushion look great, who would have guessed!!!

Raumkunst said...

I am certain you will tell us that A was in fact the 2 1/2 star hotel. I have long thought that people who stay in hotels should be able to express their disappointment in them, especially in the expensive and trendy ones, for not thinking through what people actually want and need. Trip Advisor is useless, unless the service is bad or the place is dirty. Nobody ever talks about "no place to hang a long dress---the sprinklers high on the wall have signs on them with a hanger and a slash through it, meaning that former guests tried to hang up a long dress. The surfaces are covered in self-promotion literature so you lose your stuff if you put it down. Bedside lighting, and bathroom lighting is bad. Magnifying mirrors get no light, or light from one side only, or are placed so low you have to bend over to put on eye makeup. What about outing bad hotel design??? That could be your new blog. Get your readers to contribute, NAMING NAMES.

Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Oh I am ready for this contest to be over already so I can find out these answers! You aren't going to tell us B) is the 4 star hotel are you?

On this topic - I recently read (USA Today maybe) that Motel 6 was redoing some of its properties in new hip decor.


Kendall said...

Ooo, this is a tough one. I'm going to guess that B was the cheaper hotel. And as for the hotel chains, was the hoity toity one "W" Hotel"? I'm guessing that because I stayed in one in NY and was so unimpressed with everything. The room was tiny (okay, all rooms are tiny in NY, but this one was literally a closet, room for a bed and that's it!) I'm going to guess Best Western on the cheaper hotel. We stayed in one over Spring Break for a night and I was so impressed with how they have redone their rooms, and it was $69 a night!

Linda Merrill said...

Oh, well, funny that there have been two different responses to which is the 4 star. And Kendall, you guessed it, the 4 star is the W Hotel in Boston. Ans since the other hotel is suddenly showing up on my sidebar in a Google ad (total coincidence!) it should be easy to figure out that Hotel A is the W Hotel and Hotel B is La Quinta. And let me say that the W photos make the rooms look better and the Quinta photos don't do their room justice. Another issue I had with the W was that they have this cutesy thing called "Flirty" as part of their brand and it includes a see through wall into the bathroom. Now, I'm telling you, when you're staying in a hotel, do you want to be able to see into the Bathroom??? I don't care how close I am with my travel companion, I don't want to be part of their bathroom routine. And, more importantly, if they have to get up during the night, do I need to be woken up by the bathroom light shining into the room through this peek-a-boo wall? It really was terrible. Meanwhile, La Quinta was warm and cozy and had a nice private bathroom! :-)

Lila said...

Normally I would assume that the 4 star would be room A. But, I'm guessing it's room B! Am I right?! Oh...and I don't know which hotel.
Lila Ferraro
Queen Bedroom Sets

Jeanette {A Passion for Home} said...

Your post is so timely as I just stayed at a W in NYC and was totally unimpressed. The lighting was poor, there was no privacy in the bathroom having smoked glass separating the bathroom and the bed. It was TMI for both me and my best friend. And the walls are paper-thin and I will leave it at that.

I wonder if I can find a LaQuinta on my next visit to NYC!


Splendid Willow said...

See! Lot's to learn from your post! (I knew it was A based on the cheap looking display bowl for the apples!) You are too funny with your camera and designer eye! I hope the head of the W designer team gives you a call!

Happy Easter lovely Linda.

Much fondness,


Annette said...

Thanks for outing the W Hotel and its high-priced mediocrity -- I live in NYC and have always felt sorry for the people who chose to stay there. I'm a Motel 6 gal and have never been disappointed but now I'll expand my repertoire and check out LaQuinta. Thanks.

Linda Merrill said...

Hey everyone - thanks for your comments. Glad to know I'm not the only one disappointed with W Hotels!

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