A Hotel is Sometimes More Than A Place to Stay
(Above photo Berner Oberland, Switzerland, 2015
Hello my name is Steven. I live in Sacramento. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have lived in Davis, Madison, Wisconsin, Southern Calif; and New York City. VT has been a lot of fun over the last four years.
I have written articles and blogs on travel for many years. Most of these are of my experiences adjusting to Europe as an itinerant visitor. The good, the bad and the many lessons learned.
I have also attended the National Travel Show in San Francisco the last three years and written short articles about my experience there and how to best enjoy these short venues.
During May and June of 2016 2015 I traveled to Northern Europe and loved it. Krakow, Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Turku and Stockholm are among the many places I visited.
Most recent pages that I am working on include;
Vilnius- June 2015
Murren (March 2016 ) Sacramento (April 2016 update)
Nevada City, Ca. (April 2016 update)
Budapest ---- Cesky Krumlov (updated February 2016)
It's a warm summer day and I have been thinking of some of the great things provided by VT members on places visited and attractions seen. So much amazing information that has made my trips so much more enjoyable. However few of the homepages pay front page homage to the places stayed in. Hotels or bed and breakfasts stayed are most often in covered by a separate page that appears after, "things to do," or "off the beat and path."
So What Makes A Great Place To Stay?
For me where I stayed and the experience I had at that place is sometimes a major factor as to whether or not I want to return to visit the area. The information provided by the front desk or concierge can be as valuable as the information provided by VT members. Celebrating those sanctuaries of rest here does a couple of things. First, it gives VT members and visitors to this site the ability to ask questions directly of real people. Unlike the very popular tripadvisor.com a VT member will respond in e-mail to a request about a place statyed. In addition, focusing on hotels also pays respect to the primary financiers of VT the web sites that sell hotel and b & b rooms.
Certainly the factors i look for is a well laid out room, comfortable bed, adequately equipped bathroom and a low noise level. If a breakfast or meal is included having fresh fruit or vegetables and a hot dish is a nice touch. However those are just minimum standards that I come to expect.
So back to what makes a hotel great? One factor is the conscientious desire on the part of the hotel staff to meet the unexpected needs of hotel guests. Take my recent trip to Eastern Europe. On the way to Bratslava from Vienna my suitcase handle broke and became nearly impossible to move. Arriving at the Danubia Gate Hotel in Bratslava two members of the hotel staff went out of their way to fix the problem. This included calling the luggage repair man shop manager at home on a Sunday and being seriously concerned as to how we will get to our next stop on our trip. Truly amazing staff here!
It is also the hotel staff sometimes offering a free service without even being asked. In Orvieto when we told the manager of our hotel that we wanted to go to the old city at night he offered to drive us because he knew the walk could be dangerous. It is these kind of services that set the truly great hotels out from the good or very good lodgings.