After four days of excrutiating boredom, living out of a hotel room with work I am finally going to head off home tonight. Hotels are strange places, theres the whole thing of being based in a room that 1000 people might have been in before you and there's the whole 'etiquette' aspect of what you have to do and where to go for your meals and breakfast- but for me there are two big things that I don't like about staying in a hotel;
The first is that I have an almost OCD led routine on my last morning where I scour the entire hotel room for things that belong to me before I leave. I have this paranoid obsession that I will leave something important behind like a mobile phone, my keys or God forbid my ipod. I'll check under my sheets, under the bed, in the shower, EVERYWHERE until I am satisfied that nothing is missing. It is all a pretty pointless search though because in true OCD style I also leave all my phones, Keys and ipod lined up on the bedside table in a neat arrangement, my clothes are always folded in the suitcase, and my toiletries always put away in the same bag next to the sink.
I'm pretty sure it stems from when I was a child staying at a Butlins holiday camp with my family. It was my birthday (I can't remember which one, possibly 8th or 9th) and my aunt bought me this amazing 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' camera that took pictures with one of the turtles in-pose in one of the top corners of the photo. One day I was in the arcade and I must have left it on top of one of the cabinets, and it was only as we were packing to leave the camp that I remembered it was gone. I was hearbroken and I never did get the chance to develop those pictures.
The second big thing that annoys me is how your bog standard hotels just don't cater for people that like gaming. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that hotels should provide every paying customer with a console of there choice on their arrival, or even have consoles at all- but I do think that they should make it easier for people that bring their own machine and fancy using them to pass the long and boring hours between work ending and bedtime beginning.
The first few times that I stayed in hotels with work I took my Wii with me. It was small, light and I was really hoping to be able to play it in the evenings. When the time came, I took the Wii out of my suitcase, plugged all the cables in, turned the TV round and.... there were no sockets to plug it into. At another hotel I stayed at they had the sockets, but no button on the remote to change the channel to 'scart' or whatever. I was gutted.
It is all by the by as it happens though because I really like to game on-line, and most hotels that I stay at charge a stupid amount to use their wi-fi service. At the hotel I am staying at it costs £5 per hour (Thats just over $8) for internet access- that put a complete kabosh on me browsing the internet or watching my Sky Mobile TV on the ipod touch and it would certainly put a dampener on some on-line gaming too. I wouldn't even bother bringing my Nintendo DS because if this either- when you're sat alone in your room for hours on end you want some real life interactivity- and this is where the on-line comes in.
This week in a hotel has cost my company about £300. That is quite a lot of money really when you think about it, so why do these places charge extra for internet access and why do these places fortify their televisions like they were Fort Knox or something? I suppose it all comes down to squeezing as much cash out of the consumer as possible. If i was in my room, on my xbox 360 playing some free on-line on 'Left 4 Dead 2' then I wouldn't be downstairs in the bar buying beers, buying meals and snacks or taking advantage of one of the other hotel 'amenities' that costs a bombshell.
The thing is though, that's what I want to do- more than anything. Game, or use the internet- chill out and relax. I am sure at some of the classier establishments you get your free internet, gaming and as many porn channels as your right wrist can take, but the places I stay at are your 'Holiday Inn's' 'TravelLodges' and 'Premier Inns' you can expect a TV, about 8 channels and that's your lot!