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.”
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.