Rerun: My Favorite Hotels

I am thinking of great hotel rooms in my time, in no order:

Helmsley Middletown, NYC. My old company booked me in a room when they made me come to NY and I got upgraded to a suite, with a living room and everything. And there was my favorite Indian restaurant downstairs that delivered. I felt like a rock star, or a presidential candidate. I made my best friend Katie come and stay over and it was so glamorous.

Kansas City Radisson. I wish I could find a link, because it was a big, old hotel, but it looks like it doesn’t exist anymore. Three of the moms went in on a connecting suite of rooms that had a living room in the middle. They wanted some semblance of orderly life for us. We would all eat cereal and watch Gidget every morning on the living room’s TV, which I remember being enormous in some kind of cabinet. It was the last of the great old hotels in the grand style. My dad came to visit us and he met someone in the elevator there who he fished with on our beach in OC. This is a common occurrence among the men in my family.

Bellevue Stratford, Philly. We were originally booked at the Drake but it was dark and gloomy and my mom knew people would be coming to visit us since we were so close to home. The room at the Bellevue had an automatic shoe shiner and I remember it looking like Versailles, I remember the ceilings being so high. We used to order room service and it would come up covered in those silver domes and with china and silver and linen. The next city was Boston and the hotel was kind of a dive, and when we ordered room service it came from the diner and was in Styrofoam containers. My mom and I would look at each other and sigh.

La Casa Sul Mare, Procida. All white stucco and light and space, with private terrace overlooking the bay and with a view of the fishing village and Capri beyond. Breakfast cost 1E and was brought to our room on a silver tray.

Favorite Procida

Hotel Britannique, Paris. I stayed there for one glorious night before being stuck at the Ibis hotel at the airport for a week trying to get a flight home on standby during the end of the Tour de France, the beginning of August vacation, and BA going on strike. Oh and it was the hottest summer ever. Anyway, the Hotel Britannique has deep marble tubs and winsome balconies. Lovely.

Hotel Niza, San Sebastian. I was taken up to my room and they opened the shutters and there was the most glorious view of the Bay of Biscay. I spent an entire afternoon laying on the bed looking out at the bay. This was also during my most glamorous, jet setting travel stint ever, featuring a drive to Biarritz just for lunch and a flight to London just for dinner and underwear shopping.

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Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel, Barcelona. A pillow menu, a bathroom bigger than my mother’s kitchen, a view of the cruise ships coming in from the sea, top shelf luxury all the way.

Hotel West End, Nice. See that corner window, on the upper left, on the site? The one at the very top? Yeah. Mine. For a whole weekend. Got a great deal on that suite, and it was SWEET. Views to die for. Room service every day. Worth every centime.


2 thoughts on “Rerun: My Favorite Hotels

  1. Intercontinental Central Park South (deceased) – one elevator had to have a notch in its side to work. My then firm paid my ticket, but I extended a few days, had my then girlfriend join me, and we did everything from go to the NY Phil to have sex on every piece of furniture in the well-appointed room. The hotel perceived some sort of slight (that I never noticed), so they sent a bottle of Taittanger (my favorite) and soft pretzels to the room. One morning, on another stay there, I was awakened by the sound of horses’ hooves on the street below through an open window. A tragic loss.

  2. Hi I just wanted to leave a note to say that I enjoyed reading your reviews of the various hotels especially La Casa Sul Mare as I’m planning on staying there next month! By the sounds of your blog you might be interested in a competition run by Gekko ( which would allow you to practice your skills as a critic (and win four free meals for two at the best restaurants in your area). To enter, all you need to do is sign up to Gekko (it’s a bit like facebook) and review a hotel or restaurant. If you do this, you are automatically entered into the draw to become a food critic for the month! More details about the competition can be found at the Gekko Blog. It’s essentially what you’re already doing but with the chance of eating great food for free!

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