Laura learned today what it means to be in a third-world country. How? I got us lost inside the old city walls of Marrakech. We stumbled through unending covered alleys with people who harassed us to buy what they were selling. Mopeds (and even cars) zipped along where there was no room for them. She wasn’t happy. I guess I don’t blame her, but I do like this shit. the hotel, I hope, makes up for our Marrakech misadventures.
Remember my story on Leading Hotels of the World this weekend? Well, it got some love from the good folks at ValleyWag. I’m pretty psyched about this. I’m starting to run ValleyWag-, Fleshbot- and Gawker-caliber stories on my blog. So, let the fame roll in. Cash would be better.
I’m in Florida on business, researching a story for my travel column on www.traderdaily.com. Yes, just a reminder, it will be live on Monday. Since I plan to use th ematerial from this trip, I can’t say too much on my blog. After al, I have to feed the people that pay me. But, I can give you a sense of where I am staying. First, the property is gorgeous. It’s dark outside, and I can still tell that it’s amazing. Luxury seeps out of the walls. Right now, I’m smoking a cigar on my private balcony and blogging away. No complaints … except that I can’t smoke in the air conditioned room. Florida is hot as hell, and not just by my standards. It’s almost midnight, and I’m sweating a little. But, the decent breeze offsets it.
There was a nice gift waiting for me when I arrived. I love that. For some reason, I’m treated like a king, just because I’m a travel writer. Well, I can tell you that I was treated like a king until they found out who I am. So, I’m even more impressed. Top-shelf is the standard here.
This is funny, because when I travel on my own dime, I tend to go low rent. Not only does it add character to the trip, it does help stretch things out a bit. Laura and I went to Paris about a year ago. For the business portion of my trip, I stayed at the Westin at Place Vendome. For the vacation part of the trip, I was at a small dump on Montmartre (where my wife joined me). I love excitement and adventure, but I have to admit, I could develop a taste for luxury.
It’s hard to believe that I was in Florida on assignment almost nine years ago. Back then, I was a software consultant in the hospitality industry. I was on the road at least four weeks out of every five. The pay was shitty, but the lifestyle did have its moments. On one jaunt to Florida, I was on site with a friend and colleage (who shall remain nameless– he’s a family man now). We shared the sentiment that the value of the property declined every minute we were there. Yeah, the place where I find myself now is even nicer than that one. It’s truly amazing.
I was given a gift upon check-in. Actually, it was left in my room. I absolutely love that. Being treated well is always a treat. But, what I really love about this place is that I was treated well before they found out who I am. For these guys, upscale and care are de rigeur. I did carry my own bags, though. I’m weird like that. I like to carry my own bags. I’m not crazy about being served.
Back in those hotel consulting days, I used to take a town car to the airport just about every week. I lived in a suburb of Boston at the time and used the same car service every Sunday afternoon and every Friday evening. I wound up getting the same driver a lot. Nice kid. I insisted on carrying my own bags. He begged me to stop. I replied, “Nah, I’m not like that.” His retort: “Yeah, but it’s my job.” Fair enough. I was fucking up is ability to earn a living, so I let him carry my bags. But, he’s among the few.
Finally, my review of the Klaus K hotel is available on TripAdvisor.com. Again, I absolutely loved that hotel. The rooms were quite comfortable, and the design was unbeatable. Also, I completely dug the lawn chairs out front where I could write and smoke in piece. One night, I was treated to a small fight between two drunken Finns!
Just a heads up, TripAdvisor has finally approved my review of the CenterHotels Arnarhvoll in Reykjavik. Check it out >>