Monday, July 10, 2006


Hotels puzzle me. They are a getaway, a necessity and a luxury all in one. They are designed to be bland and pleasant to everyone, and yet some people live in them as they travel or work (I wonder, after a time does it make them bland and pleasant to everyone?). Some (like my Mom) will actually unpack their suitcases and "live" in them. Sometimes they are a small room to sleep in, cheap, but clean on your way *to* somewhere else. Others times they can be a destination for people (like me) who go for the hot tub themey jobs (one room I recall even had mirrors on the ceilings...) and have an over the top time. I figure if I'm going to stay in a hotel I'll make the best of it. And yet, a hotel that popped into my mind at the hotel prompt was not a themey or exotic one, but a little hotel we stayed in when we went to Europe.

For example, when I think of our trip to England I'll always remember the hotel we stayed in the first and last nights. We were visiting family in Whitby the other nights, but after arriving from the airport whilst driving our rental peanut car on the insanely huge freeways and into London after being awake for 32 hours, the hotel was a very pleasant sight to see.
The Alexander hotel...right near Paddington Station. I'm smiling just thinking about it. Nothing fancy, but near the subway so we could get around. As soon as we arrived we checked in and went up some windy stairs to our lovely little room with windows overlooking the road. We were too excited to sleep so we went rambling around London, through Hyde Park, past Big Ben and Trafalger Square and the palace. Then when we realized that if we didn't head back soon we might just expire right there on the path, we got some curry takeaway and went back to our little hotel room. It was windy and rainy and we cracked the windows, listened to the wind and the city and ate our curry sitting crosslegged on the floor...somehow it was perfection. We sat and gazed out the window from the bed and eventually fell asleep. We crawled out of bed the next morning after watching a truly confusing morning children's show and bumbled down to the breakfast room to have toast, cereal and coffee, before packing up and setting off to Oxford and Whitby to begin our quest for Letcombe Regis and J's grandfather's old home. The night before we left we stayed there again and felt just as welcome. After seeing a musical we went to Piccadilly Circus and ran around like idiots in the all night arcade there before stumbling back to sleep a bit and try to get to Heathrow on time.
Although we spent just a little of our time at the hotel, it was a large part of our holiday. I'd love to go back...

Sunday scribblings


paris parfait said...

Great London hotel stories! Hope you get to go back.

Pacian said...

"...somehow it was perfection."

The way you describe it, I can believe it. I love moments like that, although I never know how to describe them.

"a truly confusing morning children's show"

Now I'm curious. :-)