26 – hotel rooms

I traveled to Denver and then to Calgary this week. The first trip was to attend a conference and the second trip was to meet with customers. I hardly saw my hotel room during both of my trips.

I turned on the TV once while I was in Calgary. It was on for about thirty minutes before I shut it off. I never once turned it on in Denver – I just didn’t have the opportunity to sit and watch TV. I was out and about the entire time – for some reason, the convenience of having a room in the same hotel as the conference equated to my being at the conference and being with coworkers and customers longer and *never* being in my room.

Basically, I never got a chance to relax in my hotel room. The picture above was taken when I stopped checking emails and looked around. Even though the patterns of the drapes and the couch were quite unique, they were still  innocuous to the point of being transparent and bland, hence, the dark processing I applied.

I’d hate to be a hotel room designer for frequent business travelers – you’d have to design a room that’s relaxing and unique, but not unique enough to stand out and prevent the traveler from working or relaxing.

I’ve stayed in a few boutique hotels during my travels and I can attest to the power of unique design and its negative effect on productivity. The only hotel within per diem rates in Quebec was the “Hotel Must”, which was a 100-room boutique hotel, complete with one of those neat ‘rain wall’ showers. Needless to say, instead of getting anything done, I ended up just chilling out in my hotel room most of the time – of course, the fact that I don’t speak French-Canadian didn’t help matters much.

On the other hand, most of the hotels I’ve stayed in during my travels for work are…well, to put it bluntly, serviceable. I need a desk, a bed, a bathroom, and an ironing board with an iron that works. Most of the time, there’s a refrigerator and a microwave. Almost all of the time, there’s an ice bucket – which I occasionally use.

I didn’t touch my ice bucket at all during either of my trips.

In any case, I’m also finding that my trips are busier than ever. There’s so much work that needs to be done. It’s a blessing and a curse.

I do like to travel with coworkers, even if the traveling companions are a senior program manager and a technical director. I learned quite a bit about them and likewise, they learned quite a bit about me.


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