The best things about fancy hotels

the-best-things-about-fancy-hotelsMy family used to go on camping holidays. One memorable night, it rained so heavily that there was a river of water flowing under our tent. Fortunately, we were on airbeds so we floated right on over it.

Camping is so much fun because it takes you waaaay outside your normal life. You fall asleep to the white noise of cicadas and the creepy crackle and hoot of the bush, you pee in holes or in far distant toilet blocks and drink a lot of sherry shandies around the campfire at night (or maybe that was just my family).

The striking contrast of staying in in swish hotels fills me with the same sense of glee. Fluffy bathrobes! A horizon pool! A neverending breakfast buffet with coffee so bottomless that you might die of a happy heart seizure before noon!

A couple of weeks ago, my beloved Step-Mum Cheryl and I were lucky enough to stay in some seriously fancy hotels . We had the BEST time. All that crispy linen that we didn’t have to wash, gracious welcome messages from management, complimentary spa vouchers … we couldn’t get enough of it!

But after a while, a funny thing happened. I started to find fault. The air-conditioning was making a funny sound, there was no milk in the mini-bar, my swipe key wouldn’t work and I had to walk through monsoonal rain to get it reloaded. Hmph.

I have this theory that you should always start from a low base so that everything better seems so much better. Now that I have stayed in some of the best hotels in Asia, I am kind of worried. Will the bedbug ridden hostels of my past now seem untenable? Will I still be able to cheerfully buy breakfast from 7-Eleven? Will a 200 baht Thai massage seem really dodgy now I have had a 1750 baht massage in a day spa?

Have I turned into an accommodation snob? Like a pampered poodle, am I going to need paw booties and a Valium to walk on rough concrete?

Tell me, my friends, what do you love about fancy hotels? And can you ever go back to being a budget traveller once you’ve gone five star?

4 comments on “The best things about fancy hotels

  1. After seeing New York’s Plaza Hotel in more movies than I can count I was excited by the idea of staying there and enjoying one night of opulence. Unfortunately we were disappointed. Now I’m not saying the hotel wasn’t lovely but because we still could only afford one of the cheaper rooms, it didn’t quite live up to our expectations. Of course the reverse can also happen, you book a hotel online and hope for the best and can be pleasantly surprised by what you find on your arrival.
    I’m still waiting to be able to afford the proper 5-star hotel experience but even while I cope with the 3 and 4 stars I typically stay in, I don’t think I’ll be returning to backpacking hostels anytime soon.

  2. The fanciest place I’ve stayed in was actually in Melbourne, and I will always remember my time there as the pinnacle of my “what the hell is a girl like me doing in a place like this?” experiences. I am always so grateful and happy to be in 5-star places that I feel incredibly guilty about bothering the staff. Noisy air-con? Perhaps there’s a noisier one, move me to that room so someone else can get some sleep. No milk? Let me just go into the kitchen and grab some, don’t let me bother you. Key not working? No worries, I’ll sleep at the door, I’m sure the fancy carpet is very soft…

  3. When we were in Bali last year, we had booked all our accomodation online at extremely good prices (as it was low season) at supposedly very good places. I was slightly sceptical of just how fancy they would be as websites for these places make them look amazing, but when you get there they can really suck. The place we booked in Ubud was amazing and the others were also great, so its nice when the pictures match reality! The Majestic Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City was also fantastic.

  4. I’ve never gone 5-star but have stayed in some great mid range places, like the PanAfric in Nairobi, Kenya, in July. Their breakfast buffet was unbelievable! But I found I was able to put up with roughing it (camping in mud, smelly hotel rooms, airless beach bungalows filled with sand) with a lot less grace on my last trip. Now that i’m in my 30s, I think a fancy holiday is in the works.

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