Tuesday, 7 September 2010

H is for...


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

Number four on my list is quietness. I don't want to spend my night (and occasionally my day) listening to builders or the motorway. Hearing your neighbour snore or getting it on: NO! I want birds and crickets!

Then the fifth: a good television. Since I spend most of my time in hotels profesionally, I want a good television so I will have something to do after dinner. I recently stayed in a hotel in London with a brand new flat screen with more channels than I do at home! Heaven...

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!

For more H-words from around the world, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!

*Eden Parc Hotel in Bad Schwalbach, Germany, March 2010
*July 2009
*February 2009
*May 2010
*autumn 1992
*April 2010


  1. On our recent trip, the most expensive room was my least favourite with the worst breakfast. I like to camp in good weather -- at least I used to when I was a bit younger.

  2. Great collection of H words for the day! Wonderful and interesting photos! Enjoy your day!


  3. Very good post. When hubby and I travels we prefer a comfortable hotel. Happy Wednesday!
    ABC Wednesday-H

  4. Oh yes, hotels and hotels are not the same. I can tell you stories... But I've also stayed in some nice ones. They don't make good stories, but they made good nights ;-)

  5. I just sent my husband a link to your blog because he has to see those ribs in Paris. He is a ribs fanatic.

    Helpful hotel hints for the letter H. Thank you.

    Alberta, Canada

  6. I thing someone at Fawlty Towers should have read this... :-)


  7. lovely H words.. and yeah, comfort matters a lot :)

    My H Post

  8. We have a little camper trailer we take with us when we travel. I call it my little hotel on the road. It is much nicer than a hotel room. I am self contained in it. Kitchen, bath and bedroom. And I also have two TVs in it. The campsites have cable hook-up. So I have my TV with me also.

  9. We Will be staiyng in one of those not-so-fancy Hotel in Toronto on our upcoming trip next week.
    Nice H for today.
    Thanks for visiting mine.

    ABC Wednesday

  10. wow- you sure do get around. Since I hotel very little, my main concern is cleanliness. Usually we have restuarants close to the hotel- so food is from there. I also need a blanket- but usually bring my own, as I am always cold and everyone else is hot.

  11. Great take on the letter H. I enjoyed the post and photographs. Usually when I stay in a hotel I mostly want a comfortable place to sleep since I'm out and about. I don't like noisy neighbors in a hotel.

  12. I couldn't agree more with your top musts for any hotel. Great stop along the H journey today.

  13. Some of the highest priced hotels are surely the worst for service and hostessing. Your list of 'haves' for hotels seems perfectly reasonable to me!!

  14. When we travelled I loved hotels, - the posh ones made me feel pampered and the small ones made me comfortable, - the only one I was truly disappointed in was a rabbit warren in London, on our way through, but even it had a nice window out on to a small courtyard, and that redeemed it.

  15. Boy, you are so right in your needs for a hotel. We feel the same. We used to travel so much on business and staye in lots of hotels. Some of the biggest names were the worst for staying.

  16. Hotels for me when we are away, as comfortable as we can afford. Your list sounds very reasonable.

  17. hotels have had to adapt to a changing clientele, some of whom want Internet access and all the comforts of home.

  18. You are so right....Not all hotels that call themselves hotels are hotels.

    I really enjoyed your tour, and the picture of the washer woman is priceless.

  19. And don't forget CLEAN SHEETS! I will never go back to a hotel where they changed the sheets but the bottom one had a blood stain on it. I complained bu got nothing in apology. This was a fantastic post and one I hope every hotelier will read. :D Just out of interest and since you travel extensively, what is your all-time favourite hotel?

  20. You HIT all the major points I look for when traveling. I love my own bed too much too travel often as silly as that sounds. Sleep is so important to me :) I do love Bed and Breakfasts though. Great "H"

  21. Girl, every time that I need to choose a hotel, I first think about hair dryer, it's very important! :)
    Just kidding but I think it can't be so expensive, five stars or so on, but it's necessary to be clean and comfortable, with Internet connection free and a good breakfast, oh yes! :)

  22. A very timely post, since we are just now booking our holiday in Tuscany! And I agree with pretty much everything you say. A good, wide bed, in my case without feather pillows (!) is essential, service will bring me back, and quietness is also pretty high on the list. The only thing I really disagree with is the TV - I rarely put it on.

    Love the maid's bed! My kids would have loved that! LOL!

  23. I agree with you 100 % couldn't have written it better, lol ! the only thing I don't really care is breakfast, because I never eat early mornings, I prefer a brunch !
    Times were I was happy with a little room and a hard bed or a tent are definitively over !!

  24. That manor house looks sooooo inviting. I'm with you on the requirements. Lots, lots, lots of pillows!

  25. Very interesting. I agree with what you said. I haven't stayed in a lot of hotels. We often visit family or go to the cabin in Mammoth Lakes. Las Vegas I stay in a very nice room but we are hardly ever in it. In October I am going to be staying in a "W" hotel in Chicago and I am looking forward to it. I love a vacation where I don't have to cook or clean up!

  26. I definitely agree! Service is everything! (Cleanliness is also a top priority, even if a place is old - it can still be nice if it's clean!)

  27. Quiet and a clean bed are all I need because I want to be out and about when I'm not sleeping


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!