Wow, Huntley Santa Monica, You Messed Up.

I don’t believe I need to express further on this blog how much I love hotels. Some might call me a hotel snob, but really, I’m not. I disdain hostels and a one-star is out of the question, but my only true requirement is that the room is clean and well-maintained. Give me that, and I’m perfectly content.

I’ve rarely had a room that has disappointed me. Sure, my room in Negril was made of bare cinder blocks; I was 35 feet from the Caribbean sea, I wore my bathing suit to dinner and people brought me rum punch 14 hours a day. The room was fine. [I was going to link to the hotel as evidence, but it looks like they’ve completely renovated it – so for your enjoyment, here it is! And, I highly recommend all-inclusive resorts while in the Caribbean; but that is a post for another time, and I digress.]

Right, then, my point – and I do have one – is most likely unfounded, but strongly held nonetheless: The Huntley Santa Monica Beach messed up.

Now, don’t get all excited; I haven’t secretly flown to the States for a sneak peek. My opinion is based solely on their site, which I linked to above, and this totally awesome review by film critic Leah Rozen. Why is that review awesome, you ask? Because it is an evenly written slap across the face. LOVE IT. And love her!

So, let’s take a look at the hotel from Miss Expatria’s point of view, based solely on Ms. Rozen’s review and the hotel’s website:

1. The Huntley is located across the street from the beach. But 62 white fish on a white wall and a rattan-inspired end table do not a beach feeling make. Especially since they are in stark contrast to the 1970s Lake Tahoe theme of the rest of the lobby. I come in off a day on the beach and find this? No, thanks.

2. I enjoy a nice television as much as the next girl. But did you really stick it like a hot dog on a large black pole in the middle of my room?

3. You boast a view of the Pacific, and then give me windows better suited for a motel off the Turnpike? As Ms. Rozen herself points out, the sea was “glimpsed only from the bed or by standing directly alongside the window.” For shame.

4. The bathroom: “Comparable in size and layout to a narrow galley kitchen in a cramped Manhattan apartment. There was no bathtub but instead a capacious glass-enclosed shower. A broken towel rack hadn’t been fixed and, during the evening turn-down service, housekeeping failed to replace used towels.” Ouch. When a room starts at over $400 per night, I would expect it to be at least as well maintained as my crappy apartment.

5. Why the candles at the bar? First off, the ceiling is going to be black within six months. Secondly, the wax will leak and make the bottles stick to their shelves. And finally, the bar looks like an operating room – 15 candles aren’t going to add nearly enough warmth. And I caught your cheeky scallop shells in pressed tin – again, not enough to let me know I’m 100 yards from the beach.

From Ms. Rozen’s review, it seems that the entire hotel merely serves as a backdrop for yet another swanky bar frequented by the glittering masses. Remember when hotels were for the guests?

If you’re into travel as much as I am, you don’t like using travel agents and you never buy travel insurance. Personally, I like to travel by train, and my most trusted travel advisor is myself!

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