While I am a family travel advisor specializing in 5-star hotels and resorts, I know that we all occasionally need a “good one-night stand,” as I like to call them. These are the ubiquitous standard-issue hotels around the country that will “keep the light on for you,” and offer a clean room and decent breakfast at a fair price.
We recently took our son to college in Asheville, NC, and stayed at the Comfort Suites Biltmore. I was very impressed by several “luxurious” features not always found in more expensive hotels (and I hope they’ll take notes).
Outlets. We all want these by the bed now, and I get that installing them post-construction is a big disruption and expense. Comfort Suites to the rescue! The bedside lamp not only had an easy to find switch on the base, it also had two AC outlets. Ingenious!! And to top that off, the desk had a vertical “box o’outlets” at the back. I love you, man.
Coffee pot. I don’t think I’m the only person confounded by those European espresso machines that make a shot of coffee from some teeny pod in a fancy box and a hide and seek water reservoir. Just give me a basic coffee maker with a pack of grounds please. I don’t need a fight before my caffeine fix.
Bathroom hook. This one had me shouting for joy and amazement. Can you believe this seemingly simple hotel had covered my number one pet peeve? There was a hook on the wall for my towel! All the times I’ve had to lay it on the floor pre-shower …
Minibars. These space-wasters have me thinking “what kind of fool do you think I am?” and “You’re really going to charge me if I move that can of Coors?” We liked having this small empty fridge or at least a little open space we can put our good beer in.
Quiet air conditioning. The Comfort Suites had a fantastic, old-school, under the window unit that worked like a champ–quietly. I’ve had to use earplugs before in fancy hotels because the (sometimes brand new) HVAC was so loud. If a Comfort Suites can pull this off …
Mirror. There was a huge, full-length mirror with good lighting in the entry hall. This is what we gals desperately need to get gussied up while the hubby and kids are steaming up (or stinking up) the bathroom.
Pillow options. The Comfort Suites had a card on the bed offering that the pillows in the front were soft and the ones behind were firm–take your pick. Well, that’s mighty kind of you.
Doors. Somehow, this most thoughtful of hotels had even conquered the horrific experience of 6am slamming doors. They closed softly and quietly, every time. Let’s hope they don’t have a patent on those hinges.
So, thank you, Comfort Suites, Ashland, NC, for making my “one-night-stand” a luxury experience! And to all my colleagues in the hotel biz, I adore the beauty and service that is the hallmark of a true luxury hotel, and the thoughtful touches you provide that make staying with you convenient and comfortable are the icing on the cake. Thank you to all hoteliers for the things you do to make us feel welcome.