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Home > Blog > The Best Surprise
Out of Our Minds
Sunday, January 30, 2005 10:52 PM
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York, at the Dream Hotel (a New Age-style place with Deepak Chopra themes -- I'm not kidding), the Gideon's Bible has been replaced by The Teaching of Buddha.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?


5 comments

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Julia King - 1/31/2005 10:48:08 PM
Has anyone else noticed that more hotels are now advertising that they welcome dogs? Loews does this, for one. I love dogs but, honestly, I don't think I want to stay in a hotel that welcomes them unless my morning meeting is a late one. Ruff.
Joan - 1/31/2005 10:04:15 PM
Between the rotten weather (delays) we've had this winter plus the unpredicatability of security process backups at major airports (delays), business travel has become decidely less glamorous this year. I, too, find, that the hotel at the end of the night matters more to me than it used to. I find that I don't care much about space (size doesn't matter) or view (all downtowns look the same through my bleary eyes anyway). I do like tiny amenities. My favorite amenties are total darkness, followed by down comforters. I do like that you can spend the night with a goldfish at the Mercer in New York.
James Stewart - 1/31/2005 4:22:21 PM
On Christmas Eve we stayed at Hotel 71 in Chicago, and since one of my wife's presents was a CD we'd both been wanting for some time we were delighted to find a good quality hi-fi in the room. Definitely better than listening on the laptop's speakers.
jennifer - 1/31/2005 11:28:18 AM
It's about time! What took them so long?




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