We’ve spent well over a thousand nights in hotels over the last four years that we’ve been on the road. So every chance we’ve had we’ve opted to check into a rental apartment instead.
If we’ve been researching a guidebook where we’ve had to cover large areas of a country by car, as we did in Greece, Syria, Thailand, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Australia in recent years, we’ve had no choice but to stay in a different town and different hotel almost every night.
Now don’t get us wrong, we love a great hotel. Whether it’s a chic boutique place, intimate family-owned affair, or big luxe beach resort, we appreciate the attention to detail that goes into making a good hotel great: intuitive, attentive service; fine quality linens and furnishings; cutting-edge technology; thoughtfully-chosen amenities; a well-stocked mini-bar; beautiful bathroom products, etc.
But we’re well and truly suffering from hotel fatigue. While we’re not dismantling the trouser press for fun, as Richard Quest has apparently done, the process of checking in and out each day has become tedious, the incessant knocks on the door and phone calls to the room tiresome. Why is it that mini bars always need to be checked after we arrive? Then there’s the endless waiting around – whether it’s for luggage that takes forever to get to the room, a promised ironing board that never appears, or a bell boy who has clearly lost his way.
On those days we’re so exhausted we don’t want to get out of bed, it would be heaven not to have to hurry to breakfast by ten. Nor deal with the scrum at the buffet, where even the most civilized people become savages as they fight for what’s apparently the last scrap of food on the planet. And those nights when we have a deadline to meet or thousands of photos to download it would be nice to not have to order another cold Club Sandwich from room service because the restaurant staff’s shift finished well before ours.
And we have to admit, it has got to the point where our critical faculties are always switched on, and after so many hotels stays our expectations are so high, that it’s become impossible to relax at all. So that explains why, when, say, we’ve had a city guidebook to research requiring us to stay in one place for a while, we’ve jumped at the opportunity to rent a place, carry our own luggage upstairs, stock our own fridge, cook our own meals, and eat as late or as early as we like.
Our hotel fatigue is only one of the reasons we’re so excited about this year ahead in holiday homes, and we’ll share more in coming posts. And don’t worry, we’re not going to switch off those critical faculties. We’ll be applying the same rigorous analysis, critical assessment, and opinionated writing style to our reviews of holiday rental properties that we’ve always applied to our hotel reviews. (BTW, you’ll find those reviews filed under The Digs.) But with a new property to assess just every two weeks rather than every couple of days, we will let them take things a little bit easier for a while.
Do you ever suffer from hotel fatigue? And at what point do you decide to opt for a holiday home instead of a hotel? We’d love to know.
Pictured above? Pics from a wonderful stay in 2008 at a friend’s holiday rental in Turkey.