Tuesday, January 11, 2011

on turn-down service

This seems to be one of those things that harks back to a simpler, gentler time - a time before there were gyms in hotels that helped develop the musculature needed to turn down one's own bed cover. While the official line seems to be that it's also an opportunity for housekeeping to replenish towels and toiletries, that's surely only useful for the kind of person who also demands fresh sheets every day, in contemptuous disregard of the polite hotel requests to care for the environment by sleeping in last night's sloughed dead skin. I have three towels provided in my room, and the one I use is dutifully hung on the appropriate rack so I can use it again without needing a replacement. The only way I can see getting through all those towels in one day is if there was an inadvertent birth in my room.

There's a part of me that can't help wonder if the turn-down service is provided so they can ensure you haven't died that day. Given that the hotel is one of the regular habitats of the over-stressed, over-weight executive, I imagine deaths are relatively common. In that case, I do find it a small comfort that there's a twice-daily check on my continued existence.

I suspect what really brings me to question this ritual however, is the disappointment it seems to almost always bring with it - the lack of a chocolate on the pillow. Maybe it's considered too cliché or uncool, but I would much prefer a small square of Lindt than a pair of slippers by my bed. Just a small token of the hotel's appreciation that I haven't died on them ...