Monday, August 4, 2014

Travelodge LAX South -- El Segundo, CA

Note to self: never, ever let Concur suggest a hotel for you again.  Ever.  This isn't a motel, it's a business school study in ROI.

Class, suppose for a moment that I own a motel.  I can spend forty dollars to replace the stained carpet, or I can spend thirty dollars making the tile in the bathroom actually have grout holding it together.  Given that my average room rate is the going rate in the area minus fifteen percent, which option do I choose, to optimize my future profit?

Answer: websites only care about your published price relative to the nearby options.  Game it.  Make up the difference by charging for parking.  And stop paying for the Internet uplink.  Free wifi just means you can connect to it .. we never said it was connected to anything.  Midterm complete.

Hotel Bijou -- San Francisco, CA

Note to self: sure, why not?  It's in the tenderloin, but at an alright corner, a block from Powell Street Station.  And it's really adorable how much attention they put into the movie theme.

Sure, there was that morning where there were hypodermic plungers right there in the passenger loading zone .. but they didn't have the needles in them.

I think what tips me in its favor is the way that someone spent a TON of attention making the place have a theme.  It's really sweet, and makes a difference somehow.  Every room has a movie name.  And they have that crazy little movie theatre off the lobby.  No, really.  How cool is that?

No laundry .. but the First Coin laundry up the street was fine.  Especially if someone's bringing you an Americano.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Days Hotel Oakland Airport -- Oakland, CA

Note to self: This is a reasonable cheap-o Airport motel by the Oakland airport.  Book it.  Get a room that's not on the first floor.  They have laundry.

Don't let the broken ice machines, flaking metal doors, or bullet-resistant glass put you off.  It's a cheap room; you can wander a half block to the AM-PM for ice and cold beer; and the "wine country" around here has some really great flavored muscato wines.  But honestly, it's a fine place to stay.

Is it wrong that I have "favorite" cheap-o hotels?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Westfields Marriot Washington Dulles -- Chantilly, VA

Note to self:  Never stay here again.  It's a nice enough middle-tier hotel, but the hotel bar is one festive parade of douchebags.  Maybe if they had floats and confetti it would be okay.  Here's a sampler from just Wednesday night.

Guy pays for a twenty-nine fourteen tab with two twenties.  He pockets the five and five ones, and leaves the eighty four cents.  His watch says he earns more than most of us.

Guy is drunk and stumbling around striking up conversations with strangers.  He sits down at a table with a couple who are having dinner together and starts talking.  He hits on the bartender.  When he goes to leave, he slurs "can you get me off, now," instead of asking for the check like a civilized person.  I'm told he is a regular, and this represented relatively good behavior.

Eleven thirty or so, a thirty-something guy struts into the hotel with a woman who looks like she's around sixteen.  His smooth dark tan says he hasn't worked a day in his life.  He has a wireless bluetooth speaker in his pocket and begins to play music on it.  Asked to cool it (it's louder than the TV) he says "there's a party in my pants."  Then announces to the bar that he'd like to "buy a drink for everyone here except this guy."

There's a nice wooded running trail near the hotel, but on balance it's not worth the blood pressure increase.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beyond Good and Evil for PS3

This is one of the prettier games I've seen in a while.  The artwork is smooth and considered.  Enjoy the look, as you wander around solving puzzles, doing quests, and occasionally getting into brawls with bad guys.  You get paid for taking photos to catalog the world's wildlife.  It encourages you to take a closer look, as you run around the world.  The game is ten bucks for about twelve hours of gameplay, and I think it's worth it.  Treat it like a nature hike .. on another planet.