I ENJOYED MY TRAVEL TREMENDOUSLY IN 2007. Here are just a few jabs I'd like to toss out to the hospitality industry, which sometimes gets carried away by rising trends.
Defining spaces: If I enter one more hotel "suite" that is actually a single room but has a little bit of added space for a couch and maybe a coffee table, I'll scream. By definition, a suite is "a connected series of rooms to be used together." A suite should have other rooms separated from the bedroom by walls and doors.
Got a match? I'm still seeing some hotel corridors that—for a chic effect—are so dimly lit you can't read the numbers on the doors or see where to insert your keycard. These were popular a few years back with the rise of the boutique hotel and they still keep popping up. I prefer to have the secluded public areas that I inhabit to be brightly lit, if only for security purposes.
Get me a door, please! I've seen and heard of guest room bathrooms that, clearly because space was tight, open up to the guest room without a proper door. I have one word for this: Help!
Ow, my neck! If I have to turn my head more than 45 degrees to see the water, I don't even want the phrase "oceanview" mentioned in the description of my room.
Beds in bars: This might be a generational thing, but I really don't like to see people lying around on a bed while I'm sipping a cocktail. It may sound great as a concept, but once real-life people are involved, it's rarely pretty.
Ooh la la luxury: "Luxury" is a word that should be used only for things that are truly posh. A box of tissues can't be luxury, nor can a hotel butler who is wearing a baseball cap and carrying a walkie-talkie.
Of course, there were things I enjoyed seeing at hotels last year.
Take me to the cabana: The increase in the number of pool cabanas has been a huge plus for resorts. They not only enhance the sense of relaxation but also bring a fantasy-like enhancement to a tropical scene. I'm also a big fan of firepits that you can gather around at night. I'm not sure why, but I love them.
Personal service rocks: I don't think it's just me. Hotels on all levels have recognized that they can differentiate themselves by the way they treat and recognize each guest and it shows. I don't have a single negative service experience to report from my entire year of traveling. Well, hardly any.
By the way, I'm pictured here with Enid Atwater of the Palm Beach County CVB. We're in the presidential suite of The Resort at Singer Island in Florida. This property's suites are truly suites, and it has a lovely pool cabana scene.
Have a great 2008!
Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Editorial director