The Art Of Surviving Luxury Hotels
Poor me. For most of my professional life – writing and directing for that strange beast called Corporate Video Production – I’ve had to swan around the world staying in the best luxury hotels. At least that’s what the clients insist on as I’m dumped into another oasis of pompousness. But tell me honestly, when you’re thinking of going to bed at home, do you really need someone to turn down your duvet? And when you hunker beneath the covers, is your first thought ‘Now where’s that chocolate on my pillow?’ I mean, these aren’t deal breakers in choosing a hotel, and yet they’re the things which allegedly differentiate the great from the merely good.
A Luxury Hotel’s Daily Feel Good-Routine
In the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, numerous members of staff stand at attention and greet guests on their way to breakfast. That is the only reason they are there: to say ‘Good Morning’. I was hoarse with responding by the time I got to the orange juice. This was after I’d spent the first half hour of the day trying to locate my shaving kit, which had been hidden in a secret draw by an obcomp maid.
Giving Them A Taste Of Their Own Medicine
But hey, you may think I’m just a grumpy old traveller who’s been and seen it too many times. Well, you’re right, but here’s my point: If I was manager of one of the great hotels which dot the planet, you know what I’d do? – I’d make every employee, from the lowliest cleaner to the snootiest maître d’, spend a night in their own workplace, or better still, at a sister hotel on the other side of the world. Then they’d know how it feels when Guest Services calls after a jet-lagging flight, to enquire if Sir is satisfied with everything. And would the staff-turned-gue
Blending Into Their Game
Now I love a good designer room, a fine roof terrace bar, an excellent gym facility, and – most of all – a wi-fi connection that actually works. Beyond that, I want not to be irritated by all the inanities of hotel life and so the trick is to enter into the spirit of things with a zen-like flow. When we go through those revolving doors our other life has to waft out behind us. And even if you’re a zillionaire, you do have another life where the cat gets sick or you can’t find your Raybans. In dreamy hotelworld everything is supposed to be perfect and to maintain your sense of balance, it’s essential to play the game. So I am a zillionaire when I check in and I simply must have my toiletries arranged with geometric precision on the bathroom shelf. And you know what? I’m so rich I have never learned to pour my own wine and water, and really appreciate those helpful waiters who recognise my lack of ability. This way I can serenely waltz through yet another experience of extreme luxury and not be driven up the wall.
The only problem is that each time I return home it’s a bit of a letdown when no-one greets me as I descend the staircase, and I have to learn all over again the art of pouring water.