A Room With a View

Holiday Inn — Visalia, CA

The pretty girl at the front desk made a big deal over how I’d been bumped up into some kind of special “Executive” room. Clearly she saw me coming from a distance, because nothing screams “executive” like a large, sweaty man in a t-shirt born on the factory floor of the Draplin Design Company staggering across the lobby burdened with battered, ill-rolling Target-brand luggage.

Ah, the elusive perks of the frequent business traveler. Besides the bump, I got a “gift bag” since I am a priority member or something of their travel club. This gift bag is a small paper sack with two packages of Planter’s brand trail mix and a mysterious bottle that I guessed to be water, but looked more like shampoo or lube. It was kind of disturbing, and in the dim afternoon light the type and design were so poorly conceived that I couldn’t read it. It wasn’t until just now, under the glare of the lamp on the nightstand, that I was able to determine that it is in fact “artesian water from Norway.”


Nuts and lube, now there’s a startling combination

Which brings us to the first flaw of this much balleyhooed executive chamber. Neither nightstand has an outlet anywhere near it. That’s unconscionable. I haven’t used a clock in a hotel room for its alarm in probably three years. I use my phone. Hell, I use that for everything. Which means while it is on the nightstand it needs the option to be charged. Lots of places have lamps with outlets in the base, and that is preferred. This room does not, so it is not. After much cursing and shoving around of furniture, I discovered the closest outlet, the one which both lamps and the clock are plugged into, is exactly mid-bed, behind the headboard. I.e. inaccessible.

Finally, I need to discuss the bathroom. I’ve regularly employed urinals taller than the counter in there. Which is weird, and something I’ve never encountered before. Sure, some are taller than others, but this one sets a new, low bar. I’m not exaggerating either. A man of my modest height — six feet — or taller could easily stagger into that room in the night, nude, and just kind of roll his hips to get a slight swinging action and have his business hanging over the edge into the sink, just like that. A minute or two of relaxation and he could be back in bed without having risked soiling his hands. It’s borderline scandalous is what it is.

Oh well. At least on the fifth floor, the top floor, I’ll have the luxury of the best view this hotel has to offer.


Then again, maybe not



10 thoughts on “A Room With a View

  1. Patti Abbott

    We stay in hotels a lot. I am never very happy. On entering, I remove the bedspread immediately. I can’t believe in the paucity of light either. Who puts 40 watt bulbs next to beds? Hate plastic glasses.

    1. Chris Post author

      I’m generally neither happy nor unhappy. As long as the room has an AC/fan that will stay on non-stop like I set it to, I’m fine.

  2. lauren

    I’m sorry, I laughed. Not AT you (ok, a little), but your great retelling. Nothing irks me more than hidden outlets. Well, mint-sized pillows are never good. And a shower head that hits me in the back is way up there on the bad hotel checklist as well. The key is knowing the location’s definition of “special executive” before you get your expectations too high.

    I can only hope the pizza was good. 🙂

  3. Bryon Quertermous

    I love hotels. My wife is indifferent. But lately I’ve been finding the same thing you have, a disturbing lack of free outlets near the bed. They all have crap plugged into them. Even at a high-end casino hotel we stayed at. I bring too much crap with me that needs to be plugged in for that to be okay.

    1. Chris Post author

      I actually prefer dumpy roadside motels, which is what we generally choose when we do personal travel. And I don’t mind stuff plugged into the outlets; I’ll just unplug ’em. I just want access.

  4. April

    Hilarious – especially the first paragraph. Nuts and lube, I mean water – w00t! Recently stayed at Hotel Hotel (hostel) in Seatlle – recommend if if you go that way and want to scrimp.

    1. Chris Post author

      I have to go to Seattle next week, in fact. Though it’s a work trip, so I can stay in the Holiday Inn (lucky me). Speaking of hotels . . . the North Fork Hostel in Polebridge is friggin’ awesome.


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