I’ve rarely been a patron of fancy hotels. As a kid, my family took long car trips and all five of us shared a room in a very basic motel. You know the drill, two double beds and a cot squeezed into a small room. A bathroom with one sink and a bathtub/shower. When we traveled with our own kids, it was Holiday Inn all the way. So, my husband and I were unprepared for the fancy hotel we stayed in when attending a wedding in Cleveland.
I know this story may sound like something from the Beverly Hillbillies, but let me preface it by saying that we have stayed in our share of nice hotels. We know not to use the mini-bar, even though in this place the treats were in a wicker basket that seemed to cry out “eat me.” But really, a bottle of water labeled Fred, which is my husband’s name, seemed like a nice touch from out hosts. It was only after I opened it that I noticed the $6 price tag ever so discretely printed in light ink on the cap. Who knew that Fred Water was a thing? Not us.
There was no place to put a suitcase. None of those little racks. Also, as far as we and our friends could tell, there were no drawers for clothing. We later discovered they were hidden so as not to spoil the aesthetics of the room. You had to push on the piece of furniture that held the TV. Again, not something we and others in our age group could easily figure out. This was a chic, classy, minimalist hotel that clearly catered to the tastes of Millennials, but don’t those guys have clothes? Granted, there were lots of places to charge our devices and many, many pillows so why complain. Well, let’s move on to the bathroom situation.
There were two separate small but clear glass sinks, which seemed like a plus. But the light in the one claimed by my husband didn’t work, so (sigh) we had to share. Between these fancy sinks was an enormous glass shower with a gleaming white marble floor. Cool. But of course, there were no grab bars or bathmats or safety strips to keep us from falling once the beautiful flooring was wet. So, we showered with caution. By the way, the toilet was in a tiny area off my sink, separated with a pocket door that was noisy and hard to pull for nighttime bathroom visits.
I’ll say one thing for this fancy hotel – the security was awesome. To get the elevator to go to our floor, we had to scan our room key card in some special way before we were allowed to push the floor button. We never mastered doing this feat in one swipe, and once we were stranded a floor below ours while we unsuccessfully waved our bar code over the scanner multiple times. In our defense, we saw others guests struggle with this problem. At least we knew that no bad guys would be able to get to our room. We just wished it were a bit easier for us to push the button and get to our floor.
I’m sure the folks at the front desk got a huge yuck over my husband’s plea to remove the Fred Water charge from our bill. They did it, which was nice of them, but I think they thought it was worth $6 for them to have a funny story to share with their young friends after we left.
This fancy hotel clearly played an April Fools joke on us. It was way beyond our comfort level. Maybe we need to stick to less chic places that leave the light on for you, although I am not a fan of those automatic lights that wake up your partner if you get up during the night to use the bathroom. And what was the deal with that small while pillow on the floor whose only purpose seemed to be to hold the About Cleveland magazine? Oh well, the wedding was fun and we loved the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.