“Oh, don’t worry about the hotel, it’s nothing special, we will only be there at night to get some sleep”. Even though I can imagine that people think that way, I cannot relate to this sentence. Actually, my mind goes straight the other way after hearing this.
After a busy week, maybe a long flight or ride, all I want to do is arrive at a hotel that says; Don’t worry, I am here for you, you see this bed, it has more pillows than you have in your entire house. Forget about your worries, all you can do here, is relax.
I will never forget the weekend in Milan with Niels. It was 2011, My parents were home with a stomach flu, Even though I fell bad for them, I was happy that the illness didn’t hit me. The next day, Niels and I took the plane to Milano. We arrived at the hotel. Friendly staff and the room was more than comfortable. A place to relax, with enough space. What I didn’t realize, was that behind all that velvet and chandeliers, my very own stomach flu was right around the corner. During that day in Milan city, I couldn’t take it any longer, toilets never became my best friend, but that weekend, I couldn’t live without them. We decided to go back to the hotel. Feeling sick and weak but my body asks for vitamins, so I ordered some fresh Minestrone (vegetable) soup which arrived after 15 minutes with the famous words “roomservice”. Yes, it probably was my most expensive soup ever, but way better than asking Niels to figure out where the nearest supermarket was and buy some random veggies. So, since Niels also became hungry, his risotto was also on its way. I fell sorry for Niels, but luckily there was enough to do in the hotel so he could do what he wanted. Pool? spa? Sure. That night, I couldn’t sleep because our very own toilet in the bathroom was calling me about every 10 minutes. Glad there was airconditioning because my body temperature became higher than Sean Paul’s song. Around 3 at night, when I literally had no food in my body left I thought that fruit was a good idea. Just one banana or apple was fine. Niels woke up, probably because the flush of the toilet almost sounded like a rhythm or beat. He went to the reception, to asks if there was anything to eat, because his girlfriend didn’t feel very well. Just a piece of fruit, he said. Niels came back to the room, and after probably 7 minutes, the famous “roomservice” sound, was behind the door, but with less the volume. A man was standing there with an entire bowl of fresh fruit, including some wet towels, to put on my forehead. “Get well soon, signorina” was what I hear while I was trying to close the door of the bathroom. Even though I have no idea if we had to pay for that bowl (probably yes), all I needed was there. It was like home. Maybe better. Who do you call at 3 at night for some fresh fruits… exactly, that’s insane. I fell better the day after, and even though I had to skip the cappuccino’s and the line at Abercrombie and Fitch, I was happy for Niels, and a bit myself, that we could enjoy a bit more of Milan. – Worst case scenario.
Best case scenario:
I was 14, it was probably around January, and my parents and I were looking for a vacation for the summer holidays. My mother works her ass of, and after asking her what she had in mind for summer, she said; “I don’t care where we go, I want to lay down next to a pool, and only put my finger in the air if I need something to drink”. Let me get this straight; my mother is the opposite of arrogant, is down to earth, you make her happy with, well, she never wants anything… So when this sentence came out of her mouth, we knew the shit became real. She was desperately in need of some rest.
My dad and I are huge fans of Italy, so that was the first step. A hotel with service, next to a beach, and 100% chance of sun, became “Grand hotel Rimini” for us. “Next to a beach” became a private beach, and “putting one finger in the air” became probably a full hand because that looked a bit more friendly. Even though Rimini is famous for its clubs and boulevard, we never fell that we had to leave this hotel, because it has everything. Italian food, friendly staff, a fruit bowl in the room when you arrive ;-), everything for our perfect, especially my mom her holiday. Now, 11 years later, we still go there, even Niels became a fan.
My opinion about hotels: When you enter the building it must feel like home is far away, and you just found your new one. Even when it’s only for 2 nights. Because that it was a holiday should feel like.
You might be wondering in which hotel a friendly staff member said the magic words; “get well soon signorina”. ;-). It was at Hotel Principe di Savoia (a 100% not sponsored!). I wrote an article about the hotel in 2012; http://www.fashionmakesme.com/2012/02/23/ciao-milan/