I enjoy staying in hotels—with a few caveats. The bed has to be comfortable, of course. I love it if there's a desk I can sit at to write. A comfy chair is desirable, even if I never end up sitting in it, because if there are enough pillows (also desirable), I generally end up hanging out on the bed, propped up. I do not need a lot of pillows to sleep: one not overly stuffed pillow is sufficient. A single piece of tasteful art suffices for decoration. A soft carpet for my bare feet. Soft towels. Shampoo and conditioner (not 2-in-1) and bar soap (not eco-friendly liquid soap from a dispenser). A nice strong-flowing shower. I do not care if there's a bath; I don't take baths at home, why would I on vacation? An interesting view certainly helps. And a good breakfast. I do not care if there is a TV, though inevitably there is one. And then there are the lights: as my friend Annie once said as we settled into a room at the guest lodge of Green Gulch Zen Center, "You can always tell a hotel's quality by its lighting. This is a good hotel."
View out the window looking WNW
My present hotel in Tel Aviv meets virtually all of those standards, failing only in the shampoo/conditioner department. (It has both bar and dispenser soap, though, so eco-tourists can be somewhat happy too.) The lighting is pretty good, though there's no floor lamp by the easy chair, so no reading at night—not there anyway; the bedside lighting is great, though (two lights on each side!), and as I said, I'm happy hanging on the bed, so I'm not complaining. The art is a Kandinsky reproduction, plus there are some nice orange touches to brighten up the room. I am sitting at a little desk. The easy chair is commodious and comfortable. The bed is super comfy, with a linen-covered duvet—my favorite—and four pillows of varying fullnesses. The window even opens! And the breakfast: wow. I stuck to familiar foods this morning (scrambled eggs, scalloped potatoes, a pastry, granola and yogurt), but tomorrow I might get wilder: there were various kinds of cheeses and pickled vegetables and fish, little pizzas, and warm foods whose identity I was unsure of. Also fruit and cereals. And probably more that I didn't notice. What a spread!
View looking N
I'm impressed. The Grand Beach Hotel. It doesn't look like much from the outside—and granted, it's been chock full of tour groups, though this evening dinner was pretty quiet—but if you're ever in Tel Aviv and want a nice place to stay close to the beach, I'd recommend it. (Though that said, if I ever come back, I might look into some of the boutique hotels that I've been passing on my walks through town. They look pretty sweet.)