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Monday, January 25, 2010

UK Hotels Offer Bed Warmers To Guests Who Promise Not To Raid Mini Bar

I have done my share of staying in hotels over the years. Whether it be business or vacation I have stayed in everything from a Holiday Inn to the no tell motel right off the interstate. Now, everyone talks about how hotel rooms are pretty much worse than sleeping in the bathroom at the bus station but I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Besides, all I need is a nice Silkwood shower and a complete change of blood and I’ll be fine. Unfortunately, they don’t offer that with Triple AAA.

But, the next time… which will also be the first time, I ever travel to Great Britain, I might decide to skip staying in a Holiday Inn. “Why?” you say. After all, statistics show that by staying in a Holiday Inn you can do anything in life from pilot a commercial aircraft to playing Madison Square Garden as a rock star, at least that’s what I was led to believe after years of “But I did stay in a Holiday Inn” commercials. However, this recent story on Reuters makes me feel like spending the extra money on a hoity toity hotel just to be on the safe side. Dumber, but safer.

According to the story, certain Holiday Inns offer, by request, a bed warmer. Now, most people would think that with turn down service you might find a nice little electric blanket switched on, warming up your bed, but here the warmer is some guy named Rupert who works in maintenance. That’s right. They warmer is a hotel employee who comes to your room and slips between your sheets to bring the temperature up to a balmy 68 degrees. Now, that’s service.

Look, I’ve been in hotel rooms with Syroco furniture, no phone and a bathroom so small you have to step into the tub to open or shut the door. I’ve also stayed in ones with a shower that you just walk into and has jets all over the walls. The one thing that should be universal, regardless of features or amenities is cleanliness. I’ve worked in the hotel industry and I’ve had to toss rooms in the morning and believe me, I was a bit put off that they didn’t change the comforters with every reservation. I can understand if you are staying a few nights but this was mainly a business and wedding place that had a high rate of turnovers in guests. News reports about bed bugs and bodily fluids make me want to take a sleeping bag and hang it from the closet and dangle like a caterpillar in a cocoon.

This, however goes beyond the “ick” factor. This is like, let’s stick a big ole sweaty guy in your room for twenty minutes to warm up the sheets. I actually prefer turning down the nice crisp sheets and feeling a little bit of coolness. Then I flip the pillow a few times looking for the cool side. I really don’t want someone else’s athlete foot ridden tootsies and who knows what else stewing in the pocket of sheets.

Granted, these are specifically by request and only in Britain, so I don’t think we have to worry about it here. Although, I think here they just call it the Tiger Guest Package and the person doesn’t leave until the morning.

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