I would argue that 90% of red blooded Americans have stayed at hotel, motel or inn at some juncture of their lives. Whether for work or play, hotels are place for us to rest our heads and stay (see what I did there?). Yet, unless the rooms are overtly disgusting or the hooker from the night before is squatting over the sink, we parade into the room and marvel at the fact we have zero homely responsibilities for a few nights. We toss our luggage onto the bed, turn on the TV and go into the bathroom and immediately bitch at the lack of towels.
Which brings me to my first point about hotels, the linens.
Try as they might, hotels cannot convince me to reuse my towels. I'm on a trip and I do not need to worry about that nonsense. Does it help the Earth? You bet your ass it does, but the few times I get to not worry about laundry I'm taking complete advantage and nothing you say can stop me. Same thing goes for the sheets. If you are going to change them then be my guest because I'm not denying fresh sheets.
But have you ever thought about how fresh the linens really are?
Jim Gaffigan remarked once that we could get rid of used mattress, but we'll spend a few hundred dollars to sleep on one. Well, that goes for the bedding as well. News stations have taken the time to gross us out by bringing their trusty black lights to a hotel room. I can't imagine they pick the most savory of locations, but people of all socio-economic classes have the ability to be gross monsters.
You can wash a sheet as many time as you want, a stain is a stain is a stain. Not EVERY stain will come out even in the most ardent of washing machines. In today's hygienic world, we expect it to be clean and pay good money for it to be that way, but the reality is much, much worse. You don't even want to check the bathroom. Don't do it. I'm warning you...
Away from the grossness and into the fun.
Hotel pools are not much different from public pools other than you know that the people who frequent share the common bond of being a guest. A good hotel pool has plenty of lounges and tables so you can throw your phone and towel on it in a primitive, yet effective, way to declare your turf. Also, the humidity should rival the local YMCA and the fitness room should be right by it. That way any soaking wet motivated person can go and ruin your experience on the exercise bike. Ideally, the chlorine levels should be high enough to burn the eyes if you get a little too close.
I think this part is more directed to the lies hotels post on their websites about the quality of pool. You could check the site and see this:
But when you check in and the kids rush to see the pool you get a glimpse of the truth:
That doesn't stop me though. I've mentioned before my love for reading beside an indoor pool. God, SO much reading.
The last thing I want to mention is the continental breakfast. I'm on record (on the podcast, you should totally listen) as stating that buffets were ruined for me by an experience at an Eat n Park and the realities of being a human being (here's a hint we're disgusting). There's something about a continental breakfast that suddenly makes me forget this fact and I'm charging the line for carton made eggs, fakon (Fake bacon) and lukewarm yogurt. The fastest win and everyone else leaves hungry.
Why are they awful?
Well for starters these aren't always free, but no matter the cost each is effectively the same. You scramble for mediocre food and house it hoping to get seconds before the bins are empty and are stuck with the questionable pastries. You know which ones I mean. The "danish" collection with unknown origins. I'm not proud of it, but I've definitely had my fair share of those things. I think the worst part of a hotel buffet is when there is a waffle machine. Nothing against waffles, but these are normally placed in an inconvenient area and slow the tide of hungry guests.
The continental breakfast brings out the worst in humanity. Pushing, line cutting and general inconsiderate behavior are the norm. You also get to see some of the bizarre food decisions people make away from home. It's a people watchers paradise and a germ nightmare. I'm not above the masses. When I'm at a hotel that serves a free breakfast I will take advantage because I'm a frugal POS when it comes to breakfast.
You can't escape the need for a hotel. Eventually, you'll stay in one, but it is important to remember that not all hotels are created equal. There is a difference between five star and a three star. A MAJOR difference and it goes well beyond price. Just remember you get what you pay for.
Enjoy your stay.