He refuses to be an overnight guest in other people’s homes. Even those of his own family.
Although, there was that one time that we stayed at his sister’s house. But that was only after several hours (okay, days) of admonishments that he was hurting her feelings by not accepting her hospitality.
I simply don’t have that kind of energy to put into it every time we visit.
So when we travel — even if it’s just me going to visit my family — we will be getting a hotel room. And not necessarily the kind where you park your car in front of your room. Nope.
Mr. Perfect has criteria!
- It will be rated at least 3 stars by previous travelers (not by the hotel industry).
- It will have at least 50 reviews, 20% of which are within the last year.
- It will have complimentary high-speed internet access.
- It will have — when possible — a mini-fridge, microwave and roll-in shower (we’re tall people, we need elbow room); and
- It will be located in a convenient and safe part of town.
After all that, we might choose something based on price. Okay, I will choose based on price.
We usually compare travelocity (and a few other sites) to the hotels’ actual websites.
Big Tip: You can sometimes find a better deal if you book with the hotel directly (strange, but true!).
The choosing seems to take forever. There are hundreds of internet browser windows open at any given time. Sometimes a spreadsheet will be made.
And once he’s come to a decision, itineraries get emailed to all of our various accounts (he has 2, I have 2) and then (and only then) can we relax.
Sometimes, I need a vacation to recover from planning the vacation!
You think I’m kidding?
In the last two years that I’ve been with Ira, I’ve stayed in at least one hotel per month (sometimes more) for an average of 15 hotel stays per year — most of which were in California.
I’m getting pretty good at understanding the hospitality industry (and it’s wide-ranging standards of excellence).
I tell you all of this because I want you to understand the breadth of my experience where hotels are concerned.
Last night, we checked in to the Intercontinental San Francisco
Yes, I know we live in San Jose. Just a quick 45 minute drive (without traffic).
But Ira has a conference to attend. Two days of conference — important stuff!
And I am the lucky gal who got to come along for the ride.
This is where I ate my breakfast:
Nothing to sneeze at, right? I went downstairs because the room book said they had a continental breakfast available in the lounge.
Yeah. That’s the lounge.
And they did have a buffet. I wish I had taken pictures. (Sorry.)
It was gorgeous.
But the breakfast was not complimentary. (My mistake. I never did read the words “complimentary continental breakfast” — I just assumed that’s what they meant.)
My little breakfast with coffee? A mere $36. Including tax and tip.
The coffee was just the right amount of hot, I’ll give them that.
But the food was only so-so. I’ve had better breakfasts at Mimi’s Cafe.
This breakfast was all about the ambience.
The white linens. The real silver. The fine china dishes.
And you know what? I ate slower. Paid more attention to my food (and less attention to my cell phone).
And when I was done? I was such a happy camper!
Our room is on the 8th floor
We’ve got a not-so-great view of the building next to us (this is not my photo), but there’s paa-lenty of light.
The bed and pillows are top notch. The bath towels are large enough for my body.
The air conditioner is blissfully silent.
It’s actually quite um…roomy in our little room.
I’m embarrassed to admit that my plans to spend the day exploring never materialized.
I was just too comfy at the desk, working away on Word Chef projects.
My only gripe so far is the cost of everything.
Overnight parking? $52
Lunch? $26 (I ordered room service.)
At this rate, I’ll be lucky if Mr. Perfect let’s me come along on his next business trip.
Thank god he’ll get reimbursed for most of it.
Bet you never knew that the hospitality industry and business trips were at the heart of our economy?
Every time your boss sends you to a fancy hotel in a big city, that money helps stimulate the economy. And when the economy grows, people spend more money buying the products your employer makes. See? It’s a win-win-win.
Help save the world economy. Take a business trip somewhere, would ya?