The Best Surprise
Kevin Salwen on Travel
Those of a certain age will certainly remember the Holiday Inn ad campaign 'The best surprise is no surprise.' But lately, I've been surprised many a time in my hotel stays -- and almost always to the upside.
-- In New York, at the Dream Hotel (a New Age-style place with Deepak Chopra themes -- I'm not kidding), the Gideon's Bible has been replaced by The Teaching of Buddha. For the first time in years, I actually started reading.
-- In Santa Monica, at the Loew's Hotel, there's a remarkable computer-screen jukebox in the lobby with 3,000 songs that allows guests to 'program music for the entire hotel.' I tossed on a Sheryl Crow tune.
-- In San Francisco, at the Adagio, a great basket of Aveda products adorned the bathroom. Mint and rosemary shampoo, anyone?
Hotels are scrambling to be more distinctive -- and I should quickly note that these are mostly mid-priced places. Some openly tout 300-thread-count sheets, others in-room high-speed wireless, still others plasma TVs. Is there another industry that is working as hard to out-unique the other guy?