HotelCrush: a vehement, furious, downright pathological appreciation for hotel design and culture
We love hotels. We love room service. We love poolside cocktails. There is nothing more decadent than a trip to a hotel, the epicenter of our social circles and respite from our daily life. They are destinations in themselves, with the acumen of the location converged in the design and the sensibilities of its inhabitants. Hotels are daydreams made real, with amenities at your fingertips and a dip in the water just steps away. More than temporary homes, today's hotels aspire to be just like home - whatever home it is that you are looking for.
8/28/11: in the air, hotelcrush
Traveling can be a slow, planned out, highly organized affair. It might involve an itinerary - "3 days in Paris, 4 days in Italy, 3 days in London" and a roster of flights and transfers meticulously pre-planned.
Or, it can be an all-out runaround.
Our last trip to London went something like this. Hotly immersed in work and work travel, we had little time to devote to our ever-immediate vacation in Europe (which we hate in its catch-all reference but use for lack of another term except maybe, E.U.) There was a dust cloud over Western Europe and an imminent strike by British Airways which blossomed profoundly on our day of travel, negating a set of flights booked in and out of Berlin. Thus we were left with LAX <--> LHR roundtrips and one hotel booked for a night in Berlin but nothing for the remaining week and a half.
It may have been jetlag, or a British candy bar sugar high, or a cocoon of oppressive denial but we weren't worrying the slightest. "Let's just book and go." So we set to the task of booking new Berlin flights, hopping into our hotel and asking ourselves "where next?" Fueled by regional air carriers, a bit of train travel, and the guidance of Tablet, we checked into Straf in Milan, Galeria Del Arte in Florence, and Hazlitt's in London.
It was off-the-cuff, fast and rushed with no small amount of optimism, but it was our most successful "Europe" trip yet. So the next time your travel plans are thwarted by a dust cloud, a strike, a hurricane, or a petulantly low stamp of fog, we advise: Book and go.
8/12/11: in the air, it's not going to happen
You can always spot the car that's just run a red light. It's the only car on that side of the street bolting at mach speed, with a driver furtively scanning for police. Such is the mentality of the entitled business traveler at the airport, recovering from a delayed flight. It's the waiting room of United SFO, notorious for fog-related delays, with a full operation of complainers in swing.
"UN-believable!" shouts a man in a suit, red face and bulging eyes indicative of an untreated thyroid problem. "I have a meeting in LA in two hours and it's YOUR fault if I miss it"
"I'm NOT flying into Long Beach. NO. You're going to put me on the next flight to LA or --" Thyroid snaps back to his mobile, "Brian, these jerk-offs at United say my flight is delayed an hour and a half AT LEAST, excuse me--"
"If I have to pay for a ticket on another airline, which I will, I am invoicing YOU the cost"
And on. And on.
Oh yes, that delayed flight. What did we do? We stepped calmly to the desk, arranged a different flight, and settled into an email starting with "I'm so sorry I'm going to be late..." After all, what are the chances your new client is on the same plane?
We'll just say it's happened..
6/15/11: in the air, takedown
It's a four-hour night flight from MSP to LAX and we've rushed onto the plane from the Delta lounge, fortified by a glass of white wine and a sampling of salty sweet peanuts. Nasal small talk is not what we need, but we take it nonetheless. "How long is the flight?" the Aisle behind us asks. "Four hours" answers the Window. "Ughh I hate flying" whines the Aisle. "Oh, this isn't a big of a deal, I travel ALL the time" offers the Window, who is clearly reusing his standard demonstration of value. This could go on, but we're already up in the air and the flight attendant has announced that the touch screens have activated on the back of each seat. "Be kind to the person in front of you and don't overdo it with the pressing" she says, absolutely serious. But the fingers have started, and the feeling of unsolicited Shiatsu jolts us from the sketch we're drawing. Window is attacking the screen like the Wii he keeps at the office. Window is reversing the carpal tunnel from his Blackberry. Window is watching the red turn to white as he works his finger pads. Something obviously must be done. Something...
Fast as a muscle reflex, our pen rips from the page, shoots back, and grabs for his hand. It's hot pink nails against short, terrified ones. But he's too fast. Damn. But we've made our statement and stopped the ju-jitsu. And taken a stand against the lack of kinesthetic awareness.