Monday, October 12, 2015

Hotel Motel Holiday Inn

I stayed here once, rather unhappy, but the view was truly stellar

I have always been a fool for hotels. Hotels in the abstract, hotels as an idea of an exciting life, hotels just to be away, the anonymity of random Ritz-Carltons in Pasadena and the gravity of the iconic Ritz on the Place Vendôme.  These are all places that figure large in my memory:

The Waldorf, where we were expelled onto a December sidewalk in our pajamas, Nixon coming. Wrapped in furs by Waldorf women and captured on the eleven-o'clock news.

The Boar's Head Inn, site of the annual Barr Kid Pro-Am Diving Competition in a cloistered swimming pool.

Carr's in Gatlinburg with the ever-present temptation to sneak into an elaborate lagoon-style pool next door, featuring a slide through a tunnel in a stage-set rocky cliff.

The Hotel de Nevers Luxembourg, where I lived the entire summer of 1984 for $7 a night, plus an additional 8 FF ($1) to prends une douche, washing my clothes with Woolite in a small sink until I met Agnès,whose mother insisted on doing my laundry in Velizy. Now that's a fun true sentence. Here is another: She ironed my Brooks Brothers boxer shorts. And people say the French aren't friendly...

Chateau Marmont, where I went for business within a week of my father's death, ordered room service club sandwiches and slept extensively. My room was at the back, facing the hill, and was oh so quiet. When I hear the word "peaceful" I always think of the Chateau Marmont.

In the era of the boutique hotel, roughly 1998 to today, I've stayed in a converted office building on the Passeig de Gràcia, a converted water tower in Cologne, a converted something-or-other in East Berlin, a windowless room like a train car in Rome, a nearly windowless room with a whole lotta Phillipe Starck fabric in Paris, One Aldwych in London with the incredibly loud, ostensibly ecological plumbing, and that nice little Hotel Indigo in Asheville with the fantastic view of the mountains and the Grove Park Inn, calling to me like a siren.

Tomorrow I start a new gig writing for Kimpton Hotels, and can't help but feel that my whole life has led me here, to this moment of punching pillows, sniffing soaps and fumbling for fresh ways to communicate the buzzing nature of a well conceived lobby.

I can't wait to dive in.


  1. Excellent post, sir. And great success to you on your new adventure!

  2. Excellent post, sir. And great success to you on your new adventure!

  3. I'm struck by your excellent memory! The big fur coated lady is strong in my memory as well but for all the hotels / hostels / motels / inns etc I've stayed in there's not much I could tell you about any of them. You were definitely made for this most recent adventure.