Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hotel Vanity #1

I've always been fascinated by hotel rooms. Or motel rooms. Or B&B rooms, if they meet my hotel room criteria. There is something mentally cleansing about leaving all your usual junk behind, aside from whatever you've brought with you, and opening a door to a room you've never seen before and will likely never see again. My rules about adequate hotel rooms are few but specific: First and foremost, it must be clean. (I always check the sheets.) It must have a private bathroom, also clean, one not down a hallway. It must have a window. Plush hotel rooms are nice, but plushness is not required, and actually seems out of place in motels. I like the bland sterility of a fancy chain hotel and also the funky uniqueness of certain motels and B&B's. I don't like B&B's where fraternizing with other guests is encouraged, particularly first thing in the morning. (Late night in a jacuzzi, well, that's another matter, depending on the guest in question.) I once, many years ago, went to a prissy B&B in Kennebunkport, Maine with my girlfriend. It was run by older gay men, who put warnings up about sitting or not sitting on certain chairs in the dainty common rooms. Breakfast, we were told, would be served promptly at a designated time. My girlfriend and I were young and looked young. We didn't look like we should be staying there. A cooler was part of our luggage. The entire weekend our host called everyone Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so, except for my girlfriend, whom he called Patty, despite the fact that her name was Lucie. We sat with a bunch of middle-aged married couples at breakfast, everyone making polite small talk, Lucie and I trying desperately not to laugh each time the host called her Patty again, the error becoming increasingly impossible to correct. I could hardly wait to leave. I like B&B hosts who greet you warmly enough and then disappear.

Hotel rooms give one an excuse to be vain. Their bathrooms are inevitably lined with sparkling clean mirrors (no toothpaste spots like at home) and most know enough to have flattering lighting. (An immaculate hotel bathroom with a big tub and acres of mirrors is my dream come true, though I can do without the magnifying mirror that turns each pore into a lunar crater.) In my middle-age, I have no good reason to be vain, but hotel rooms demand it, and I don't let them down. I spend too long looking at myself and showering and looking at myself again. A thick, fluffy, white bathrobe hanging on the bathroom door means that all is well with the world. (On the other hand, a phone installed in the wall beside the toilet, who came up with that idea? Who uses that phone?) Recently, my boyfriend and I stayed at the KM Saga Guest Residence in Budapest. We'd stayed there a couple of nights last year and returned, to a different room, this year. It is gay-owned (the host quirky but not intrusive), which becomes obvious the moment one is confronted by the decor, which can best be described as indescribably over-the-top, the antithesis of hotel-chain sterility. (If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it!) A few moths flitted about, the heavy drapes and carpets no doubt their version of heaven, but otherwise it was clean enough not to freak me out. And not only did the bathroom have copious mirrors, so did the bedroom. For a fairly reasonable sum, we were the kings, or perhaps the queens, of the castle, sumptuously framed and reflected, like works of art, imperfections be damned. If only the mirrors at home were so kind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post...looks very pleasant indeed.
FYI...buh bye ms krystal...i mean christy cook on idol. you go ride that barrell horse,deary...