« My War on Work | Main | Looking for Mr. Good Flush »

May 06, 2006

Why I Love (and Hate) Hotels

by guest blogger Kate Collins  Go to fullsize image

Having just returned from Malice Domestic, one of THE BEST annual mystery readers/writers conferences, and having spent half a day unpacking the luggage that took half an hour to pack (where did all that stuff come from?  Surely not my closet), I'm slowly settling back into life without maids and room service.

I have a long-standing love-hate relationship with hotels.  I mean, how cool is it to hop onto an elevator that will carry me to a floor filled with restaurants and cafes--as opposed to schlupping up the hallway to my kitchen, where I have to actually make something myself? And, please, let's not even get into the clean-up part.  Then there's the magic that happens when I leave a messy bed behind and come back later to find the pillows plumped, the sheets tucked and the comforter lump-free, not to mention that the hairs on the bathroom floor have disappeared.

Honestly, though, hotels have done bad things to me. The latest incident was last Friday morning, when I decided to indulge myself with a rare treat--breakfast in my room.  I've never felt so pampered and so sophisticated as when that hotel staffer in his maroon coat whisked a tray into my room and removed the shiny stainless cover--voila--to reveal crispy French toast, sliced bananas, ripe berries, maple syrup, hot coffee, and orange juice hiding beneath. I mean, does life get any better than that?

Well, no, actually. It got worse. After stuffing myself with the above delights, polishing off the coffee, and replacing the cover on the empty plate, I remembered that in the movies, people always carried the tray to the hallway and placed it on the floor beside the door. So I did, too. There. Done. No longer any problem.

Which would have been fine except that the door had shut behind me. Quickly and solidly. I was lucky my heel had cleared the sill. Who designed those doors, anyway? Shouldn't there be a grace period before they lock?

So there I stood. No key card, no ID, no cell phone, no underwear, no shoes, and no make-up (but my hair was nice). I stuffed down my rising panic, pulled the sash of my robe tighter, and considered my options. (1) I could proceed to the elevator in my thin robe and bare feet and go down to the front desk for help. (Thank goodness I'd polished my toenails the night before, but still, the embarrassment factor would be through the ceiling.)  (2.) I could knock on neighboring doors and hope to find someone still in residence who would call for hlep.  (3.) I could look for a "house phone," which, sadly, would require a long trip up the hallway and arond several corners, possibly passing any number of curious hotel guests who might recognize me and confirm their worst suspicions.  (Hey, she is a wacko, but would you look at those toenails!) Or, (4.) resort to my fall-back plan: WWAD.

WWAD (What would Abby do?) has seen me through several dicey situations.  For those not familiar with my Flower Shop Mystery series, Abby Knight is my sleuth, a short, feisty, fearless young florist who does excel at extricating herself from tricky circumstances, although not often in a glamorous manner.

So--WWAD in this situation? How about look for a maid's cart? Wherever the cart goes, so does a hotel employee carrying a master key card.  Luckily, there was a cart around the corner, with a friendly, forgiving woman cleaning a room nearby. Abby would have been proud.

That was but the last in a long line of hotel mishaps, unfortunately.  The worst incident ever happened at a writers' conference in Dallas two years ago, and I'm still having nightmares.  But more about that in a future blog. In the meantime, my advice is to make friends with the hotel staff and tip the maid well, because you just never know. And if you'd like to find out how Abby stands up to a flesh-and-blood human dragon (and lives to tell about it), you might want to check out her latest adventure in SNIPPED IN THE BUD. (In stores now.)

Snipped in the Bud : A Flower Shop Mystery


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why I Love (and Hate) Hotels:


That's worse than what usually happens to me in hotels. My key card either doesn't work the first time (and where do you leave the luggage while you get the dang thing re-keyed?) OR it waits until I really need to get in the room and then de-magnetizes itself ( I swear!) There is a definite benefit to finding a maid nearby :o) And to tipping...I leave a little every day. Word gets around :o)
I'll have to get to Malice someday...this year was Love Is Murder (Chcago) and Dark & Stormy Nights...and then a cruise!
Why oh why did they ever do away with keys?

Kate, my aunt was on a book tour once and locked herself out of the plush suite that had been procured for her. She was wearing what we call a "house coat" and nothing else.--No undies, no slippers, nuthin'. Funny thing was, at the exact same moment the person in the other suite on the floor also locked herself out.---And it was Diana Ross!

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site