Something that goes with my job is staying in hotels a lot. When I first started a friend of mine commented that that was great! Well, after a while all hotelrooms look alike. They are not your own home, the beds are usually slept on by a gazillion people before you, the pillows are horrible, not enough blankets, the rooms are small, too hot, too cold, too noisy, the television only broadcasts local programmes or very snowy foreign ones, the food is questionable, the service is not service and all in all, hotels are not my favourite part of my job.
Having said that, there are always exceptions to the rule. I once stayed in an ordinary chain hotel (Mercure or something like that) and was given the best room! Flat screen tv, huge bed, great bathroom including slippers and bathrobe. Shame about the motorway that was quite close and the food served there was atrocious (French, need I say more?)...
Last night on my quest for the perfect hotel I stayed in a small hotel somewhere near Magdeburg (Germany). The room wasn't overly large, the bed was a single (half of the twin) and the bathroom wasn't too big either. But, instead of a pillowcase filled with fluffed up air it was a proper pillow, albeit quite large. The television wasn't a wide screen, but there were about 25 channels to choose from (24 in German, granted) which gave me a lot of choice. There were no goodies in the bathroom (I've got a drawer full of soapies etc), but it was clean and new. But the food... To die for! Grilled trout with head, tail and bones, boiled potatoes in butter and a lovely salad. Simple, but great! And the pudding... mmmm, lovely. Apple beignets with vanilla sauce. But I think most importantly the service was fantastic. I was shown up to my room, they didn't mind me having breakfast at 6am (which was a huge problem in a four star hotel with over 200 rooms), even though I was one of only four guests! The only thing was, I would have loved to see it during daylight. Arriving in the middle of the night (half past five in the afternoon, but pitch dark) didn't do much for the surroundings, neither did leaving at half past six in the morning.
Hotel "Waldschänke" in Hohenwarthe (near Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) gets four stars in my rating!
Next week I will have two more chances of hotel-gazing. One in Germany and one in London.