Who is responsible for designing these new hotels? You really have to wonder when you see some of the so called “features”.
Like the open bathroom concept. Trust me – the most important thing I want is privacy in my bathroom. Mexican hotel developers learnt this very quickly when they got feedback from the more prudish sector of their guests (namely Brits and Americans) that ablutions are things not to be shared. Hastily erected screens do little to give a real feeling of security during those “private moments”.
The other little trick seems to be frosted glass doors on the toilet. Who the hell dreamt that one up? Not only does it create an echo chamber (embarrassing) but every movement of the occupant is outlined – especially when the light is on. We had a room like this at the in W in Barcelona and in the end arranged privacy breaks for each other as in “Darling… I am just popping down to pick up a newspaper!”
My absolute favourite is the Jacuzzi tub in the bedroom. Please don’t. It makes me feel like I am sleeping in a bathroom. Especially when the tap drips.
So you are probably asking by now – what the hell does this fussy bitch like? (And yes – Darling – I AM fussy).
I love hotel beds – I love the linen – extra soft Egyptian – especially the Starwood Hotels – divine. I love large walk in showers and rain shower heads. I love to have fresh towels every day – yes I know it is not “eco” but when I am at home I recycle – on vacation I like to be pampered. Regent Seven Seas Cruises has divine showers – they changed the tub into a walk in shower with excellent results and even installed shelves on the wall inside the shower with stacked up towels. Going to the South Pacific or on safari? You have to have an outside shower. Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands in South Africa has a large walled garden at the back of the bedroom with two huge rain shower heads – just gorgeous. At Earth Lodge – shower out in the open air with complete privacy.
You see! There are lots of things I love.
Well I had to come back to work I guess. They wouldn’t let me stow away on the lovely Paul Gauguin so I really had no choice. Check out my story about Tahiti and you will understand why I really have to go back there soon. In fact I am planning a return in May 2011 so stay tuned for more on that.
The South African World Cup is getting closer and flights into South Africa over that period are either hugely expensive or just not available. Some wholesalers are holding group space with hotels and game tickets included but this does not help the expat South Africans who want to go back to visit family over this time. Nevertheless this is a great opportunity for South Africa. As I saw when I went back in November last year the development of roads and facilities in cities all over South Africa have provided much needed employment – especially in areas such as Mpumulanga (near Kruger National Park).
You have no doubt read about the Canadian man who was shot in Mazatlan. That has raised a lot of questions in the media as to whether or not Mexico is a safe destination. The Mexican Tourism officials are working hard to soothe travellers’ fears and it really is a shame that they have been hit with this now. I certainly haven’t noticed a significant number of people not wanting to travel to Mexico – the main concern seems to be with getting the right deal. And let’s face it – you could just as easily be attacked in downtown Calgary.
And finally could we really have a non stop flight from Calgary to Dubai? That would open up so many destinations such as Africa and the Indian Ocean islands including the Maldives. Air Canada is crying “No Fair” – but I like the idea of a night or two in Dubai on my way to South Africa. We’ll see.