As seen through the eyes of a teenage hotel prodigy – retold by Michelle DeClerck, CMP, President
My son visited today and shared details of his weekend college road trip and his stay at a hotel that was not so super after all. I suppose he formed his opinions void of vacations and instead traveling the globe with me doing site inspections, quickly forming him into a teenage hotel prodigy.
I can vividly remember when Dylan was in fifth grade siting in the back seat with his buddy Aaron, as I drove through the streets of Des Moines. Aaron shared that he spent the weekend in Kansas City and Dylan quickly asked him if he stayed at the Ritz Carlton or another four or five star hotel. With an awkward pause, Aaron did not reply and having caught himself, Dylan quickly corrected himself and said, “Wait, there are no five-star hotels in Kansas City, what was I thinking.”
Fast forward to this weekend’s jaunt with his buddies and he shared that this hotel was a dump and of course I couldn’t help but laugh, knowing there was no bellman to welcome them or fine amenities to boot. So what does a child who has easily stayed in over 50 of the world’s most luxurious hotels find the most compelling reason to classify this hotel as not being appealing. They had no artwork on any of the walls – it had no character! Who knew he had been paying attention after all! He also commented that the light fixture was just a see through clear bulb – the really cheap kind. The tub was a super flimsy plastic unit where you could see all the caulk popping out, the curtains had moth holes and breakfast was Oatmeal Crème Pies and Honey Buns … without any fresh fruit at all. None. Oh, and a train went by every two hours with the horn blaring.
So how does this two-star hotel help classify the mark of a great hotel? Great hotels have character – whether they’re luxurious or classy, modern or historic, uniquely charming (boutiques) or standard and predictable (chains). You may even find you don’t worry about your surroundings or wonder if you’ll get a good night’s sleep without interruption. The experience should leave you feeling good about yourself, about your travels and about your adventures. Perhaps the best reason you can call it a great hotel is that it satisfies your traveling needs without making you wish you had picked another hotel. Artwork and fresh fruit are a nice touch as well.
Don’t pick the wrong hotel and regret it – contact our Strategic Sourcing Manager to help you avoid the not so super hotels in the world.