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February 28, 2024 - @534.11 (what is this?)
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Melooon
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« on: January 14, 2024 @772.88 »

How do you feel about hotels? I don't mean hostels or budget inns, I mean real Hotels with a capital H, like the one in The Grand Budapest Hotel or The Shining. The kind that are like mythical other worlds, where people become like dancers in a great theatre of existence. Where procedures, experiences, and quality of service are like ancient holy rituals, and time seems to be in a constant sentimental flow yet frozen too.

I sometimes wonder if the web is a lot like a grand hotel; with its many rooms and services and guests. The owner of this hotel is the shared knowledge of the procedures and protocols that make it work, and we are all both the staff and guests  :defrag:

Have you stayed at such a hotel? Would you like to?

Iv only stayed in such a place briefly once or twice in my life and in truth, it made me very uncomfortable (I am not used to people waiting on me), but I still understand the myth of them.
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2024 @850.98 »

When I was much younger, I was a bartender at Peebles Hotel Hydro. "Bartender" in a old-fashioned sense in that I knew the history of what I was doing, mixed cocktails, member of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild and so on. I was very well paid but the tips were way more than that. In exchange, if a guest wanted something we could arrange for them, they got it. About a zillion stories just from the year or so I spent there.

Later on in life, I got sent to various conferences and was helping to organize two or three a year. I never quite understood why work would pay $500 or more a night per room. I suppose it was a prestige thing, but I wasn't going to turn it down. As an organizer I'd sometimes get comped an entire suite. It is a bit weird having people hovering around you making sure you have what you want or need, but that's how people in the hospitality industry are trained - or should be. Sometimes people feel a little intimidated or uncomfortable in these more formal settings, but there's really no reason to be.

Personally, happier staying somewhere like Motel 6. We only really need a bed and shower. The rest of it, a fridge, coffee maker, wifi, breakfast, getting your shoes shined and the rest is nice but not always necessary.

The same as restaurants, whether you're having dinner at The Ritz in London or a burger at Denny's, different places have different expectations of their staff and guests. I like the informal places better, but it's sometimes nice to dress up a bit and go somewhere more formal and that sometimes has an appeal all of its own.

Generally, unless someone is having a bad day, whereever you are, if you're friendly and treat people with a bit of respect you'll usually get better service.
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BlazingCobaltX
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2024 @985.43 »

I definitely relate to the mythical feeling you are describing. I regularly dream of being in luxurious spaces including hotels, not because I necessarily crave the lifestyle that lets me be in a hotel every day, but because there's something fascinating about the theatrics of it all.

Last time was the first time I stayed at an actual five-star hotel, for a holiday. It was delightful to experience for once, especially coming back to a clean room. :evil: But to be constantly surrounded by all those embellishments seems exhausting.

The other times I've been to a hotel was for a high tea. I think that is the optimal experience to have of an hotel: You get fed an interesting menu, take in the atmosphere for just enough time to make it feel special, and be served and feel privileged because of it. That sort of illusion of a high society lifestyle is what hotels do best, I believe.
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2024 @41.15 »

I don't think I've ever stayed at a fancy/historic hotel unless the Hotel Pennsylvania counts. My wife and I had stayed there for our honeymoon in 2004.

More recent and memorable was the Hôtel des Pyrénées in the Belleville section of Paris. The rooms were simply furnished and ultramodern, but the bed was comfortable and the shower was roomy enough for my wife and me to bathe together. And every morning we'd find breakfast waiting for us. We'd eat the croissants with orange juice and hot cocoa, and then pack the half a baguette and the packets of preserves, honey, and butter that came with it into a baggie to serve as our lunch for the day.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2024 @52.45 »

I love hotels. They feel decidedly strange and different from other spaces-- same with overnight ferries. i usually have trouble sleeping while in a hotel or overnight ferry. I think it adds to the vibe. Big fan. last hotel I stayed at was terrible, we didn't have air conditioning and couldn't figure out how to turn the heating off. I couldn't sleep at night so i sat in the bath tub for four hours straight just reading a book. I don't know why but that was the last time I was able to focus on reading.
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Melooon
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2024 @136.05 »

Iv been on a bit of a hotels binge recently, I found this great documentary about Claridges in London which seems like the most dream of all dream hotels - there are also some great travel vlogs staying at hotels in Japan.

I also rewatched The Grand Budapest Hotel today; it's really about the wonder and horror of nostalgia and the balance between civility and brutality, and how the hotel and all the luxuries around it can become tools for both. It's been a long time since I last watched it and it hit a lot harder this time  :omg:

(I think maybe Im feeling the need to go on holiday  :tongue: )
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2024 @229.47 »

Wow...woah...down memory lane I go....

I stayed a few times in old school hotels like these. There used to be a few left in Upstate NY in the early aughts where there were still dining halls with dress codes, full meals, amenities, activities, etc...

I don't think many of them are around anymore, and from what I see, those styles of hotel seem to exist more in Europe, Russia, as well as in South Asia/North Africa.

I was on a trip to some countries in South Asia/North Africa and I definitely saw some of those hotels still happening.

For me, and perhaps this comes from growing up in a middle class environment, the whole idea of being served/waited on was super offputting. It just was not my thing, and continues to give me a general sense of unease. I feel much more comfortable staying in motels, bed and breakfasts, airbnbs, or lower budget chain hotels, at least when traveling domestically in the US.

I totally get how the fancy full-service hotels give a sense of being "stuck in time", but to me it's an uneasy feeling. Surprisingly, and perhaps it's because of the positive associations I have with them growing up, the lower quality hotels and motels give me a sense of liminal space full of joy and nostalgia, albeit a bit sad. I think just remembering running barefoot soaking wet from the pool at the cheap hotels to our frozen air conditioning room, brings me those feelings because there were no real rules. Sometimes there was even an odd sense of community! But also at the same time, sometimes you stepped on a rusty nail and needed to get a tetnus shot so it was a mixed bag!



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