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Monday, February 14, 2011

Excess luxury makes it hard to remain humble

I have another business trip coming up on the 1st of March. It's been a busy winter of travel and I've been thinking a lot about how all things travel have changed since I began moving about the globe as a young boy. The impetus for this entry - the last straw if you will - came from this inncouous list of Deluxe Room Features and Amenities at my upcoming home-away-from home in Rochester, NY:
  • Signature Bed with luxurious 310 thread count linens
  • Upgraded Bath Amenities including curved shower rods
  • Complimentary Wireless HSIA and spacious work desk
  • Ergonomic chair
  • LCD Flat Panel Televisions with Premium Cable
  • Mini Refrigerator/Honor Bar
  • Room Service until midnight
  • Coffee Maker and Tea Service
It's a fairly standard list, but what caught my eye is the second entry. I don't consider myself sheltered and I'm definitely not a spoiled traveller. As long as I have a bed, a shower and an iron, and it's clean...Still, I have to admit ignorance regarding the promotion of curved shower rods to the pantheon of upgraded bath ameneties. Sorry, all you folks that still use straight shower rods; so much for your curb appeal.

Travelers these days enjoy a nice bouquet of features (except on the airplane), even from historically low-priced inns. Though one might think there would be more powerful tag lines to lure prospective customers. Most business hotels have the ubiquitous ergonomic chairs and the in-room coffee maker. Just about all have a small fridge and wireless internet access.

Moving up the ladder I've seen the Flat panel LCD televisions popping up more frequently. Room service after midnight? Eh. I suppose that's a nice feature but I stay away from room service like the plague anyway because of the cost but if you're on expenses I suppose that's a perk.

To put all this in perspective, when I lived in Dubai and travelled around Europe, the Middle East and Africa, our company - bless their hearts - put us up very nicely, thank you. Hilton, Sheraton, Inter-Continental; 5 stars all the way. the Sheraton in Kuwait City, remodeled after damage from the first Gulf War, had an indoor golf video game. And when I say golf - I mean with real clubs and full swings and hitting the ball into a screen that calculated your ball speed, spin and shor trajectory.

When placed against a curved shower rod, well, you get the picture.

What do you think?


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