Hotel Horrors

We hope your stay is only mildly unpleasant.

Hotels do just one thing well: Provide an alien space barely tolerable for a long weekend.

There are highly paid scientists whose sole mission is to find new ways to make hotel rooms just comfortable enough that you prefer them over sleeping on the street in front of the hotel, but still so uncomfortable that you have no problem getting the hell out of there by that pre-noon check-out time.

They replace pillows with Styrofoam replicas so over-stuffed they threaten to smother you and keep your sleep deficit to a maximum. They wash all the bath linens in a detergent so cheap it can only be bought by the metric ton, ensuring you dry and defoliate simultaneously. They provide microwaves so small that only a single Triscuit can fit inside at a time, and tiny coffeemakers along with packets of a coffee-like substance that smells like coffee and has a taste reminiscent of coffee but likely has more in common with the bulk detergent.

All this, and then they spray everything in a light aroma of industrial-strength carpet cleanser and despair, bolting the windows shut not only to ensure you can’t air out the room, but that the only exit available is out the front door, where they can take your credit card and charge you $30 for that missing hand towel.

Article © 2007 by Steve Spotswood