Monday, March 10, 2008

Hotel hell

Have I ever told you all of my stellar luck with hotel rooms in SF?
Now for the few of you who know me well, yes, I did live in SF for a
number of years and know it well. However, just because I used to
have a pied-de-terre, but that doesn't mean when I go back, I get to
stay there nor in a hotel of my choosing.

take for example my one night at the Sir Francis Drake on Powell. Now that is a lovely hotel, one of my favorite chains, Kimpton Hotels, runs that bad boy. And I got a nice room really up high so I cannot hear the street noise. Now no one told the hotel that putting me up on the 15th floor with a nice view of Union Square would not drown out the drum circle that decided to form in front of the hotel to welcome and wake me up in the middle of the night. But then again, i was in SF, was anything but this expected? Also, as soon as I entered the stylish and well appointed room, I thought, nice. Then i looked to my left, the wall that partitions the bathroom from the sleeping area, and low and behold. The wall was undulating towards the bed I was gonna sleep in. Ok at that moment, i thought, crap! This is sooooo 'Nightmare on Elm Street'. I um, well, I....I went into the bathroom to make sure it was water damage caused by the tub so i could sleep easy knowing Freddie wasn't gonna come after me once the Sand Man made his fateful visit. Nope, no such luck. That wall was up against the sink, no water damage from this bathroom. So i tell myself, it is OBVIOUSLY from upstairs. OK, that makes me feel better, but my one question of the night is...why would you put vertical fabric wall paper over a wall that juts out like it's pissed at your face and ready to exact revenge - all in a mint green color? The wall juts OUT! that will not and cannot be hidden by vertical wall paper.

And then there is my visit to the Pickwick hotel in SF, the lovely hotel in the heart of homeless San Francisco that I stayed in while attending GDC, the Game Developer's Conference. Now let it be known that i used to walk by this hotel, only during daylight hours, and though it is right next to the newly renovated shopping center in downtown, that don't mean nothing to the ladies and gentlemen of the night. That hotel is getting itself together, but luckily, it still had the odor of 'The Shining' when I stayed there. Yeah. Ok, so as soon as I walk in, the guy is pretty nice, since I am the only one checking in to stay overnight and I am alone, versus with someone for a couple hours. So i get sent up to my room, and as soon as i get off the elevator, I swear i thought Jack Nicholson was gonna pop and and scream 'All work and no play make Jack a dull boy'. But that aside, i rush to my hotel room to check out the safe haven i can call my humble abode for the night. As soon as I walk into the golden wall papered room, i see them. There are paintings all over the walls, all portraits of women from the 19th century style of painting...and they are all STARING at me. So to keep my brain from jumping out of my head, I decide to move around the room a little and of course their eyes follow me! This is absolutely no 'magic picture' crap where you have to focus to see it, these eyes were just there, gazing....and they obviously had nothing to do, even the lady in the canoe was staring! GAWD! So i sit myself down on the oddly upholstered bed, which has the little tuft buttons and lyrical coziness one can only expect from the deserted hotel Jack Nicholson runs....and I look at the wall. Now remembering my experience with the Nightmare on Elm Street wall, where I seriously thought Freddie was behind there and pushing through it, I search this wall. Whew! It is flat. But of course, this old room isn't exactly straight. I see that they put in the effort to apply moulding, only to have it crooked to accentuate the ceiling's unparalleled nature. Gawd. The spooky staring painted ladies, The Shining hallway, eerie elevator and now crooked ceiling.

I think i just need to check into hotels earlier than 11 pm. And go in blindfolded. Problems solved!

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