So, what is your preferred place to spend your holiday in? Tent? Youth Hostel? Caravan? Your own bed? Or do you prefer a nice and comfy hotel?
Well, they say nice and comfy hotel, but I can tell you from a lot of experience over the last couple of years, there is a massive difference between a hotel and a hotel. I've stayed in tiny family-run hotels where they know your name and provide service and I've stayed in large anonymous hotels where you pay over the top for no service at all!
Maid's closet bed at the Open Air Museum Arnhem, NL
The few things that make a stay in any hotel better are firstly: a good bed, preferably double. This bed has to be kitted out with proper pillows, not those airily fluffed up pillow covers in Germany. There also have to be extra blankets in the wardrobe, in case you get cold. I hate having to turn the heating on or closing my windows: a sure thing for a headache in my case.
Seventies style bathroom in Hotel Hessenhof, Winterberg, D
The second thing every room needs is a good clean bathroom. Having three drops a minute from your shower or having to stand in the toilet bowl while showering is not acceptable. You don't want to wait ten minutes for hot water either! There needs to be enough toilet paper (well, there has to be!) and a good mirror. Little soaps, shampoos, cotton buds etc are nice, but not necessary. To me anyway.
Spare ribs at the Hard Rock Café Paris, F
Thirdly the food. Breakfast does not consist of a piece of stale baguette and a small container of jam, accompanied by a cup of coffee! I want cereal or toast, a choice of drinks (coffee, tea, milk, juice), fruit. I don't want restrictions! Dinner has to be good as well. The restaurant doesn't need to have three Michelin stars, but I want enough food on my plate. If I have finished dinner and then have to find the nearest Burger King: no good!
Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, GB
Washer woman at the Efteling, NL
And lastly: service. Family hotels tend to be more service giving than the large hotels. Probably because they know that no service means no business! If I get treated rotten at a hotel, I will not return. If everything goes wrong, but the people running the hotel will still do everything in their power to minimise: I will return!
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*Eden Parc Hotel in Bad Schwalbach, Germany, March 2010