26 Aug 2009 epsalon   » (Journeyer)

Rant about fancy hotels

I have just arrived in Cambridge, MA for a week of consulting for Microsoft Research. They paid for my flight and hotel room so they put me in a fancy $200/night hotel. In this post I will try to explain why in my opinion, in general, the fancier the hotel the worse it is.

I have nothing against hotels as a service. Hotels provide a traveler with a clean place to spend the night, and with basic necessities. Hotels are useful when traveling, or when you need a clean neutral place to have sex. However, fancy hotels do not seem to provide these well, and charge a lot of money to do so.

Compare, for example, the fancy hotel I’m staying at now with a cheap motel for $40/night. The motel included a microwave and fridge, free parking, free wifi, and a free “breakfast”, which, admittedly, is nothing to feast over. However, the fancy hotel includes none of those (or least without caveats galore).

Here is a comparison of the cheap motel and the fancy hotel. I am purposefully omitting hotel names, as this is common for many hotels and motels.


Cheap Motel

Fancy Hotel

Price per night




free, right outside room


Internet Access

free WiFi

WiFi free with loyalty program, otherwise $10/day

Getting there

free airport shuttle

15 minute walk from subway station


free coffee and popcorn

$21 for continental breakfast


free in room, empty

only mini-bar


free in room

not available


right off highway

near center of town

Storage Space

lots of empty drawers, closet

one drawer, small closet


Queen size, comfy, extra pillows on demand

King size, very comfy, useless decorative pillows

Power outlets




One phone near bed

Three phones (one cordless)

Phone Costs

Free local calls

$1/local call


Included, with fancy showerhead

Included, with fancy showerhead

Given the above comparison, why would anyone choose the fancy hotel over the cheap motel? I’m really curious. If you blog readers willingly stay at (and pay for) fancy hotels, why do you do so?

Syndicated 2009-08-10 01:43:47 from Alon's Blog

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