Ah, the excruciating layover. By the time I landed in Chicago on the way home from Bangkok – sick and having already traveled for a solid twenty-five hours – you can imagine how I felt about a nine-hour layover. Sometimes it’s impossible to fly directly between your departure and arrival cities. I created my own nightmare by choosing the cheapest option available – it sounded better on paper. Continue reading →
The Liberty Hotel in Boston was a prison. The cellblocks overlook the lobby that transforms into a dance club on the weekends. “Jailhouse Rock” anyone?
What defines a great hotel? A billion-dollar location certainly. Would the Plaza Hotel be the Plaza if it wasn’t sitting at the entrance to Central Park? Spectacular rooms? Of course. I’ll take a 4-poster bed with sumptuous pillows and a Juliet balcony at The Gritti Palace in Venice any day.
But I think the hotel industry has forgotten the one feature that can easily take a hotel from good to GREAT. And it’s not free WiFi, heavenly beds, or fragrance butlers. When renovating or building hotels, I’m suggesting that the Marriotts, Hiltons, and Hyatts of the world ignore the rooms, forget modern amenities and bring back a feature of legendary historic hotels: the killer lobby. Continue reading →
“Almost all U.S. airports are utterly barren of things to do. The dirty little lunch counters are always choked with permanent sitters staring at their indigestible food. . . The traveler consigned to hours of tedious waiting can only clear a spot on the floor and sit on his baggage and, while oversmoking, drearily contemplate his sins.”
Airport conditions haven’t changed much since this article was published in Fortune in 1946. Except for the smoking. Now smokers are confined to those glass rooms, a human terrarium. I always feel a bit sorry for them, especially when kids stare and point, like they’re caged zoo animals. Continue reading →