Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eldon Luxury Suites

I never wrote about the hotel room because every day there was the day's activities to write about, so it's time to come back to that.

Usually we stay at cheap, simple motels, along the lines of Super 8, particularly on trips where we're going to be out all day doing things. Because the hotel is just a place to crash at the end of the day. It just has to be quiet and safe, and have a bed and shower. And most trips, the restaurants are as big a part of the plan as anything else we're doing, and in many cases bigger.

But this trip, the restaurants weren't a big part of the plan. Sure, D.C. being a big cosmopolitan international city has lots of fine restaurants and ethnic food, but it doesn't really have its own characteristic style of food, so there was nothing that if we didn't have it then we would never get to have it.

Between that and having a whole week, and considering the limited availability of hotel rooms in the area at low prices, we thought it might make more sense to rent a suite that had a kitchen. That way we could make our own meals some of the time, which would save the amount we'd spend extra on the suite. We had one booked, but they changed the zoning (or just caught the renter on ignoring zoning) and we had to give it up, so we switched to the next best price, which was the Eldon Luxury Suites.

It's priced comparable to other rentals of rooms with kitchens (or was at the time; the price has gone up, but we had locked in the lower price) but it's absurdly swanky and upscale. And I couldn't mean that more. Think of any one of those absurdly "fashionable" home design things you've seen on TV shows or at home fairs, the stuff that seems only to have a place in apartments of Manhattan high-powered business professionals who never cook but only entertain. (People like that seem fictional to me, though I know it really happens.) Well, all of them are here, jammed in next to one another.

Marble floors, and just about anywhere else you can think of shoving marble. The kitchen has all stainless steel appliances including a dishwasher... this is in a hotel, mind you, a hotel room with a dishwasher. A marble shower with one of those three-function showerheads (the huge square main sprayhead, a separate handheld sprayhead, and an array of tiny mist jets to hit you all over all at once, though at least not from the sides too) and glass walls. Recessed lighting everywhere. Absurdly trendy non-representational art in the halls. One of those trendy sinks that is a big bowl on top of a shelf instead of recessed from a shelf (I just don't get the appeal of that), and this one looking like an old-fashioned china bowl that has been painted black except for three roughly circular spots where the old pattern shows through (what's up with that?). Toiletries that were all labelled "Keiji: Memory of Senses" (what does that mean?).

It wasn't all goofy, though. There was also a wall-mounted HDTV with DirecTV HD (though not a DVR). It was only 720, and we rarely used it for much, but it was at least a kind of trendy swankiness that I could appreciate.

The room also had another nice feature we never used: a great ninja attack escape route. It happened to be right over the entrance, so if you opened a window in the kitchen (and they're the kind that slide up leaving plenty of room to slip out) it led you straight onto the glass balcony over the entrance. There was even another room that also opened onto the same balcony on the other side, so in case of ninja attack, you could get out, cross over to the other room, and sneak in there. Fortunately, the ninjas didn't find us so we didn't have to use it, but it's nice to know it's there.

It was perfectly comfortable, even when we spent more time there in the evenings recovering, and the shower was very nice, and in all, the room was ideal. (Except for the cab snafu.) But I kept feeling kind of out of place. People really live like that?

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