Sunday, July 13, 2008

Get Outta Here: A Comfortable Hell

Even travel agents pick the wrong hotel at times. I pulled into the Glen Capri Inn and Suites in Glendale, California, Friday afternoon and immediately began thinking up a reason I couldn’t stay the second night. Now I’m not a hotel snob, but there’s something about outside doors with crooked number plates that don’t inspire safety feelings among women.

You also get a strike against you when the Internet connection you promised isn’t working, and your hotel clerk can’t speak English enough to understand the phrase “The Internet is not working.” You are not my kind of hotel if the toilet is so close to the tub, my knees touch it while I’m sitting there. I’m thinking about leaving if you’re so cheap you don’t offer a pad of paper on the desk or a box of Kleenex anywhere. (Blowing my nose on toilet paper – THAT, I’ll be a snob about.)

So I slept like a baby for close to 10 hours, no doubt because there was nothing else to do in that room. Last night, I arrived at a Ramada Inn with those coveted inside doors, and Internet connection that works great, a large bathroom, a king-size bed. It was heaven … until I needed to sleep.

Not 20 minutes after turning off my lights, a family walks into the adjoining room. “I get the bathroom first!” shouts a teen-age girl. “Shut up. People are probably trying to sleep,” says her father. Then he turns on the television and I happen to know he was watching CNN News because it was that loud. Meanwhile, the two kids continue to bicker in outdoor voices and at some point, one of them must have thrown the other against the wall. I looked at my clock: 1:28 a.m.

I’m not a subtle person. I yelled, “Hey, quiet down over there.” No response. I could have called the front desk. Instead, I sat up and turned my own TV on and up – and got my point across. It got nice and quiet on the other side of the wall, and I snuggled back into the covers by 2:15 a.m.

But now it’s 8 a.m. They’ve received four phone calls, have taken three showers, made a pot of coffee, and I can only thank God those aren’t my kids to discipline. Not to mention the maids have swept the floor of the room above me. I get the message loud and clear: Get outta here!

Which brings up the philosophical question, “Which is more important to hotel survival: Internet connection and wide open spaces around the toilet or an atmosphere where folks can sleep?” At this moment, I’m longing for Glen Capri.

No comments: