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Luxury hotel experiences we love to hate

by Matt Brazier
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Picture the scene. You wake up groggy from the long flight and wander down for breakfast and a much-needed coffee. Before you know what’s happening, a waiter takes you outside. Awaiting you is a lovingly prepared ‘Insta’ perfect scene. Your juice, coffee and a now rubbery poached egg sit tantalisingly out of reach in the middle of the swimming pool. The staff are so enthusiastic you don’t want to offend, so in you get. Several soggy pieces of toast later and shivering slightly, you extract your coffee from the pool and start thinking about lunch.  Welcome to the luxury hotel experiences we love to hate.

So here it is – our roundup of ‘things hotels do more for the effect than the experience’. Instagram… you’ve got a lot to answer for.

Picture of a floating breakfast in a small pool, taken from above

Floating breakfasts

An elaborate, expensive breakfast on a floating tray, served in the swimming pool. It must be the most impractical hotel experience of all time. Do you like apple bobbing? Well, so do we. At Halloween. But breakfast? No. Save your money and as you eat your breakfast tomorrow, put your hand in the sink and grab a croissant.

Instagram influencers are responsible for this awful trend. Floating breakfasts look inspirational in pictures, so they’re in demand, and now hotels think they’re what people truly want. In reality, surely even the influencers can’t even enjoy them? Do they actually eat breakfast in the pool? No, of course not. They take the photo and then remove it from the pool, probably dropping a bit of scrambled egg in the process. Let’s keep our breakfast on a table on dry land from now on.

Awkward Destination Dining

Someone creative once decided to set up a table on a concrete plinth picturesquely positioned in front of a spectacular view. The awkward destination dining experience was born. It’s usually a special dining experience in an unusual, remote location that is meant to be the most enjoyable night of your life. But you can’t shake the feeling that you’re being watched. The poor waiter has been stationed close by to make your experience special and is hovering just out of your eye line. The poor fellow is poised, ready to pounce. You slide the knife and fork anywhere close together and your plate is gone.

The lighting is either too dark, so you have to use your phone torch to see your food, or so light you’ve attracted more insects than an entomologist could shake a magnifying glass at.

Oh, and the food is cold as it’s come from the resort which is 10 minutes away. By boat. And the candle blew out in the wind. And the bottle of wine you want to order is back at the resort. And they’ve put white things over your chairs, with a bow. And it was about $350 ++ per person.

You’ve been warned.

Floral Bed Arrangements

“Ahhh how lovely, look they’ve put a rose petal heart on our bed saying ‘Just married’, that’s so romantic”.
“Yeah ok, that’s lovely but they’ve spelt my name Tim instead of Tom and we’ve been married 20 years”.
“What are you doing?”
“Well I want to get into bed and I don’t want to wake up with rose petal stuck to my face”
“You can’t move them! Someone has spent ages doing that”.
“Well what do you want me to do? How are we meant to get into bed?”.
“I don’t know?, Let’s move them somewhere else, we don’t want to be rude”.
“I’m putting them in the bin.”
“No, you’re not.”
“I am”.
“Hmmmmm”.

Happy honeymoon people.

Over the top lighting situations

Don’t get us wrong. The more luxury the room, the better the lighting should be. It’s all about the ambience. But seriously, do we need to control every single one? And come to that, where even are they all? There is always at least one switch you can’t find? Is this a cruel trick played on us by hoteliers?

Ah, it’s hidden in the bedside drawer. Of course.

The holy grail is the master switch. One switch to rule them all. Find it. It’s your friend. Your enemy is the electronic device/tablet beside your bed, which controls all the lightning. See if you can find the ‘I’m a bit tipsy after dinner and want some soft lighting’ setting. (NB: no hotel actually has this setting. Shame.)

Baths in the middle of the bedroom

What? No. Stop this immediately.

Pointless Plunge Pools

The floating breakfast of the mid-noughties. A few years back, when any hotel said “closed for renovations” it was code for “installing plunge pools”. A gimmick that sounded nice but one that no one really needed in practice. Unheated and in the shade. Small. And a magnet for dead leaves and insects.

Never get fooled into paying extra for a room with one of these. Luckily, you’re more likely to come across a dreamy private infinity pool these days, but beware, the originals are still out there, and their bigger, bolder siblings are laughing at them.

Well, there you have it.

With apologies to hoteliers everywhere. And people who love rose petals on their bed. We don’t mean to be rude. Apart from the floating breakfasts. We’re deadly serious about them. Stop it. PLEASE!

FANCY A LUXURY HOLIDAY WITHOUT THE LUXURY HOTEL EXPERIENCES WE LOVE TO HATE?

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