My ice is too cold!

I love to give TripAdvisor a good browse in the weeks before a holiday. Nothing gets me in the mood to explore than to hear from those that have left fresh footsteps in the sand. The problem with this of course is sometimes people stand in crap on route.

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I confessed recently that I was going onto an 18-30’s holiday, what I won’t confess is the hotel. I don’t need to, it’s basic and will only be used for sleep. Nothing exciting here I’m afraid! On this kind of trip, the hotel isn’t often the luxury, more of the necessity. I did of course look at the reviews, which are decent considering our busy location. Close to the beach and close to vibrant areas. Hilariously and as always, there were some not so happy guests.

‘It was too noisy’

You’re in Benidorm!

‘If I had a pound for every time I heard doors banging from youngsters, I would have been able to pay for another week there’

You’re also in Benidorm!

‘There was only one English TV channel’

You’re in Spain?!

It is as if some people close their eyes and book whatever hotel receives the first click, expecting it to be everything they want. Of course if people want to go to a resort of this nature and have a quiet holiday I am sure it is possible with a little research. But to book such a hotel in such an area and complain about what was probably obvious and predictable all along, is a little strange to say the least. Some reviews I have read seem pretty unnecessary.

I personally cannot wait to get there and complain that the sand is too hot, the food too Spanish and that the English accent a little weird. I wonder how much of a refund I will receive…

rrrr

The internet is an amazing thing. I remember my first holidays as a child, jumping straight onto a coach from the airport, not knowing anything about the hotel we were going to until we arrived. Thankfully the hotels were great so it defeats the point a little, but stay with me. To be able to look at honest reviews from actual guests and make a decision before getting there truly is remarkable. No longer do we have to rely on companies to give undoubtedly biased descriptions and images, the internet is too powerful. Make use of this amazing opportunity and choose what is best for you and where. There is less and less excuse to have a bad holiday in 2017.

I am not going to get much sleep there, at least I have read the warning signs in advance!

 

 

 

Girls Don’t Drink Beer!?

Let me take you back a few months. I was checking into a hotel, one that offered a complimentary mini bar for all guests. A lady in her late forties to early fifties arrived beside me and was listening to the information before getting her room key. She was clearly a regular, a pleasant lady however there was one aspect of the hotel stay she did not agree with. 

As best as I can recall, this was the brief conversation:

Guest: ‘Have you stopped offering wine in the mini bar?’

Receptionist: ‘We still have them in stock however we offer two bottles of local ale instead. If you would like me to switch them for you I can do so?’

Guest: ‘No thanks it’s fine, it just feels very sixties to me. A beer for the gentleman and a lemonade for the lady, that’s all.’

Now after we both checked in and I was waiting around in the lobby, a same sex couple checked in. Two females and probably in their early thirties. I wasn’t listening in but I could hear the same check in procedure. This time, the receptionist clearly thought about the earlier conversation. 

Receptionist: ‘The mini fridge has two complimentary ales however if you prefer wine I can switch them for you.’

Guest: ‘Oh don’t do that, I like beer!’

Aha! The poor guy was caught out twice. I felt for him as on two seperate occasions he, on no fault of his own, seemed a little condescending despite wanting what was best for the guest. It is certainly an interesting discussion, one I had last night with a couple of girls as they downed pints of cider. Is it bad to assume girls prefer wine, or worse to expect anything else?


As a guy, who knows. I guess on a first date it’s best if I simply offer to pay for it and not hazard a guess in the mean time. It’s much safer than seeming a mysoginist, not a great first impression.

Luxury or location?

Throwback to my stay in NYC, in a hotel room so bad the floor had two separate carpets right down the middle. It isn’t the worst place I’ve stayed, I usually determine that by how drunk I have to get beforehand. Skull Beach in Malaysia wins this award, again, the scenery was a redeeming factor.

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Would you sacrifice a good nights sleep for the best location or be willing to stay out of town for a little luxury?

A lady with no arms inspired me today 

This evening I watched a wonderful woman check into a hotel, wide smile and full of energy. The weather is freezing so it didn’t surprise me to see a large coat covering her. Her sleeves were loosely swinging so I assumed her arms would be inside the coat.

‘I have no arms, but you can pass me the keys’, she says as her foot leaves the shoe and makes it’s way to the top of the reception desk. The receptionist placed the room keys between her toes like it’s second nature. Then, the receptionist finds a low table for her to sign the registration form. One foot used as a paperweight, the other signing with more grace than I have with my hand.

The pair converse in typical fashion, talking about the weather and plans for the day. She smiles and they both exchange a goodnight. ‘See you at breakfast!’ the lady declares before disappearing into the elevator.

A lot of my night has been spent thinking about their conversation. The wonderful and friendly vibe despite the horrible nature of her condition. I could not tell if this was from birth or after a more recent event but regardless, it didn’t affect the high spirits of both individuals. 

I have heard many complaints in hotel lobbies. Complaints that really do make me question people. 

‘There are no beans for breakfast!’

‘My mini fridge hasn’t been replenished!’

Complaints delivered with enough anger to suggest that they are of much more importance than they are. I cannot imagine being so miserable about such petty things. I watch the news as a reminder that my little problems are a blessing. The day I make a fuss over such little factors is the day I lose my humanity.

Is five-star enough?

I found this on social media recently. I’m not a fan of constantly reposting memes or pictures that do the rounds but this one caught my eye. 

  
The difference between a warm, comfy king sized bed and a cold, wet tent is pretty obvious. However it could be argued that camping edges any hotel with the view. It is one that we take for granted every night and only some of us will take the time to truly appreciate and observe it before it’s too late. 

Everyone wants a room with a view, yet how many have spent a night lying flat, using a rucksack with fresh clothes as a pillow, gazing at the stars?

A hotel is full of things we are told to be luxury. Posh soap, cable TV, rainfall showers, 24/7 service… But does posh soap keep us clean for longer? Does Cable TV increase our intelligence? Looking back in our later stages in life, will we be proud of being able to stay in fancy hotels, or regret not stepping out of our sheltered accommodation and experience something that one day soon we will no longer be able to acknowledge? Forever? 

Afterall, no one has lived to the age of 500, no matter how fancy their lifestyle is…

We do spend a heck of a lot of time obsessing over what we consider ‘valuable’. I watched a video by Tai Lopez that recently brought up a great point when trying to understand what is truly valuable. Your favourite shoes in the store may cost £50-100. As soon as you wear them, how much are they worth now? Someone who wears a fancy £500 suit may fail to see what in life is of ‘real’ worth.

Now I am not saying I wouldn’t own an expensive suit or drive a Ferrari if I could, but this is what I consider when I think of those that are much more privileged than I am. They are only privileged in certain ways. Is someone that cleans toilets whilst travelling the world any less successful than someone on a six figure salary working so hard they have no leisure time? If so, in what way? Reputation? 

I don’t see superiority. Instead I see two kinds of people. One kind that wants to stand out amongst the crowd and build a reputation through a career and personal drive, and one that wants to appreciate that we as a race stand out amongst the whole universe. We don’t need to prove ourselves amongst others if we realise we are the finest conscious beings in the known universe. 

Obviously the two preferences aren’t mutually exclusive. Many do get the best of both worlds. I want to be financially stable yet remember who and what we are without being completely blinded by the countless corporations and businesses that we slave for. Businesses that will probably be left unheard of in the next hundred years, too. Born and dying like a star perhaps, it seems very different when I see it that way. 

The universe is that ultimate glass ceiling we can’t break through, we can only view and admire. I would like to stay in a hotel with one of these windows to gaze through, to remind ourselves of true worth in our society.