Friday, March 30, 2007

The Dylan

Talk about Hip! Talk about Luxury! As the hotel's website says: "When you enter The Dylan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, you are transported to a world of beauty, art and refinement." Wow! Just look at that refined table. Admire the beauty of the outlet. Marvel at the artistic treatment of the emergency sign. This says class with a capital c. Check out those artfully "arranged" magazines. They embody the nonchalant chic that is today's upper class. (They have a scent of nostalgia, too, since they're from 2006). Enough. Let's savor the beige and revel in our good taste for choosing the Dylan!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hotel of the Week: Molodezhnaya

For all of you who are planning a trip to Omsk, consider the Molodezhnaya hotel. Looks fancy enough from the outside, (though at the same time, it appears as if the modern building is about to crash into that older specimen). They do seem to have saved a good portion of their funds by not specifying any art for the rooms. And it looks as though there's space dedicated for your latest business off-site. I'm not sure which businesses would need to go to Omsk; it is the home of SibGAFK, The Siberian Academy of Physical Culture - maybe representatives of gymnastic equipment manufacturers have their convention in Omsk. While the population of Omsk is over a million happy, and probably gelid, souls, there's some bad news for fans of public transportation. "A subway system, proposed in the late 1980s, but postponed for lack of funds, is currently under construction, with the Metro bridge over the Irtysh river. The bridge is already opened for cars (upper level), but the metro (lower level) is still under construction." Darn it. I also found this eerie description of Omsk, which I have copied-and-pasted here in its entirety: "Everyone who has once visited Omsk notices its openness and peculiarity."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Omni, Chicago

Hey there, Mr. Business Executive, living large on the road. Welcome to the Omni Chicago, just steps from the Magnificent Mile. (Oddly, the address is given as being on Michigan Avenue, even though the entrance is not on Michigan Avenue itself). So, after a hard day of being master of the universe, you retire to your hotel for a well deserved rest. This is the hall you encounter. This time, the Treo's shabby photographic performance actually does the hallway justice. It's as grim and dim as the photo shows. Greenish, textured wallpaper, overly-subdued lighting, and a forgettable rug pattern.
The Omni website says: "Every space exudes the luxury and sophistication you expect from a four-diamond hotel."
I say: "Not quite every space". Halls are spaces, too.
Omni website says: ... "or, retreat to the comforts of your spacious guest suite, said to be among the finest in all of Chicago."
I say: "Said by whom?"
They say: ..."the Omni Chicago Hotel is one of the best-loved hotels in downtown Chicago."
I say: "This is not a good place to carefully examine what your purpose in life is."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Greetings from Greece

For inexplicable reasons, I've been linked by a Greek blog called Olatsaba. I can't speak or read Greek, so I translated the post into "English" via Here's what it says:

Ma'gkes, what you seat and deal with problems, what holoska'te and you worry? you I have here a mplogka'kj, that deals......... with corridors of hotels......... yes with corridors of hotels.....

and the life acquires new meaning after this...

Praise from Linkb*

The site's pov on my blog (in its entirety):

"blog are always pointless, this one takes it further than simply pointless"

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey

Once again, my Treo fails me. Its photographic output is so lame you can't get the true impact of the upstairs halls of the Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey. They are yellow. Really yellow. So yellow, they would make you go back into your room to rest your eyes if you happened to wake up with a tremendous hangover and left your chamber to saunter downstairs for a cup of coffee and a croissant. They're yellow. Nice carpet pattern, though. Interlocking rings of blue. Nautically-themed prints on the walls.

Downstairs, things are more subdued. Browner hues prevail. The nautical theme continues, but leaps back a century or two. Where the upstairs halls' wall decorations are modern photography (mostly of water & reflections), this downstairs features (you can just make it out on the right) a model of a late 18th or early 19th Century US Navy Frigate (of no great renown). Look, I have nothing against nautical themes, and this hotel is right on the Marina of the eponymous Del Rey, so there's some justification for them. But this hotel was clearly built in the last decades of the 20th century, so why try to overlay it with phony history? The Ritz-Carlton is a lovely chain of hotels, and doesn't need Disneyfying. Nevertheless, I think it's beginning to stumble a bit. The people that work at the hotel were, to a person charming and welcoming. The idiotically-named restaurant, the "Jer-Ne", (Get it, nudge nudge?) is really good, the location is handy, the head valet parking guy wears a top hat, (poor man), etc., but here's the thing. My sink was cracked, the drain in said sink was 3/4 clogged, the shower head flopped around and refused to aim anywhere but straight up and down - which I could have fixed, had I only had a screwdriver with me - and there was a dodgy looking stain on the carpet at the foot of my bed. But hey! That yellow hall upstairs perked me right up.

Addendum: Lovely photos from Davezilla that better show off the decor. (Those are the actual feet of Davezilla himself!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hotel of the Week: Plaza Fuerte, Montevideo

I have never been to Uruguay, much less Montevideo, but if I ever go, here's where I'm going to stay. Finally, a hotel with the courage to feature its hallways online! Why can't more hotels do this? (Probably because they're not nearly as impressive as those of the mighty Plaza Fuerte). If the hallways aren't reason enough to book a room, here are some others: 1) It's a National Historical Building. 2) The Special Rooms come with tantalizing features, which need further exploration: "Two kinds of 40m2 rooms: with living room and bedroom on separated levels, or in one level with jacuzzi. Both equiped with sommier bed extra full , Cable TV, wi-fi internet access, security box, frigo-bar." If someone knows what a sommier bed or frigo bar is, please let me know.

Let's get going!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia

I thought the Jefferson Hotel was best known for its bronze alligator sculptures, but I could be wrong. It could be best-known for its halls. Who wouldn't love this? Patterned carpet, break, patterned carpet, break, patterned carpet, break. It's like the visual equivalent of the kid riding his Big Wheel through the abandoned hotel in The Shining. Remember the sound going from marble to carpet to marble to carpet? RRRRRRRRR silence. RRRRRRRRR silence. RRRRRRRRR silence. This is just like that, but for your eyes, only. Oddly, the Jefferson does not mention its halls on its web site. It does say: "The Jefferson comes replete with rich tapestries, antique replica furniture, embellished faux-marble columns, a 70-foot high ceiling with a stained-glass skylight, and a magnificent sweeping staircase hauntingly similar to the one in Gone With the Wind." If your staircase causes nightmares, I wouldn't point that out to potential guests. Here's something else I find irksome about the Jefferson's blurb: The misuse of the word "replete". "Creative" writers often use "replete" as a fancier-sounding synonym for "complete". Sorry. "Replete" means "festooned" or "decorated". Though maybe they do mean the walls are festooned with antique replica furniture and faux-marble columns. What is replica furniture, anyway? Can you have modern replica furniture? Cotemporary replica furniture? It's not real furniture, I guess, just a simulacrum. And, answer this: What are "embellished faux-marble columns"? The faux-marble thing I get. What confuses me is the embellished part. What do you think they're embellished with? Medallions? Bas reliefs? Reflectors? Slippery when wet stickers? Enough already.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Hotel of the Week: Cayenne Central

Fancy a trip to French Guiana? Perhaps your travels will lead you to the northern part of South America...perchance to visit the European space center, just minutes from Cayenne? If so, you might consider the Cayenne Central hotel. (Their web site is down, unfortunately).

Good news from the outside, anyway: There is no way the halls can be very long.

Here's a snap of the interior, in case you never get there.

Good news: The rooms are soundproof. (Or so they claim).

The Berkeley Hotel, Richmond

Some hotel in Richmond, VA, courtesy the still traveling C. Ingle. Note the familiar decor devices we see here. Off-white paint. Beige-ish wallpaper. Patterned carpet. Nothing offensive. Nothing distinctive. Carpet specially selected to hide stains and provide years of use. At least the hallway is short.

Friday, March 2, 2007


The Holiday Inn, Arlington, Virginia.
Thanks to Traveling Man Casey Ingle for this excellent snap of a memorable hall.
Nothing says holiday like paisley and beige, I say. When you say Christmas, Easter, Summer Vacation, Memorial Day, or Valentine's Day, the first thing I thing of is beige and paisley. Interestingly (or not) the Holiday Inn home page invites you to "Look Again"... an advertising agency's "clever" way of trying to tell you that Holiday Inn has changed since the last time you were there. You see, it's too easy to say we've changed for the better, or we've redecorated our space so it's nice and new. You need a snappy phrase like "Look Again"... and a 300-page powerpoint deck explaining why "look again" is powerful, differentiating, memorable, inspiring, etc., etc., It boggles the mind to think about how much "Look Again" cost Holiday Inn.