Philippines, June 12, 2006
I like this kind of luxury
As strange as this may sound, when I travel, I rarely stay at fancy hotels. If I am paying for the trip myself, I stay at cheap local hotels, place where the nationals of that country would stay when traveling. |
Clean, cheap and basic, they suit me just fine, for they offer a clean, dry place to sleep but not much more. When I travel for fun, I want to be out with the people, not sequestered in a fancy hotel.
When I travel for work, I have to stay within the rates set by the State Department. The rates usually guarantee pretty basic accommodation in the USA. Holiday Inn or something similar, and rarely cool city center locations.
Abroad, the accommodations set up, as the $120 a night average gets you into international hotel chains in the capitol city's center. Still, the amenities are pretty basic, simple room, usually a pool and buffet breakfast.
Sometimes the gym is well equipped, like at the Tryp Corabci in San Jose, or the rooms funky, like Hotel Marlowe in Boston, and if you're lucky, you'll meet a French President in the lobby.
Then there is The Peninsula, Manila.
Now this is luxury! This is sweetness; this is why I love my cool international job. From the amazing waterfall out front, to the doormen at every entrance, to the concierge that can provide you with everything from postage stamps to cockfighting, the service is top notch.
Add in a breathtakingly beautiful atrium lobby with delicious buffets, a perfect blue pool complete with quick pool boys, and a cute corner room with both a shower and a Jacuzzi, and I am in blissful heaven.
Or I would be if the room staff would be a little less attentive. Three times at day, and the inexcusably early 9am on a Saturday, mid-day, and around 8pm at night, the room staff come in to "turn down" my room. While others may enjoy this attention, and love how their clothes and papers are rearranged into perfect order, I find it irritating and bordering on invasive.
Then again, I have an over-attentive Mom who would clean my room for me, much to my chagrin. I see shadows of that maternity in the insistence of hotel staff to align my papers just right, destroying the method to my organizational madness.
So this is how luxurious I find The Peninsula in Manila, that my only complaint is that the hotel staff is too attentive. Oh, that and they have snap dragon deck chairs that made me show my machismo in Manila.
Yeah, my life is tough.