Tag - hotel

With love from Romania

It’s 2 AM in Bucharest and the dogs are barking in the distance.

I’m in town for eLiberatica, a conference on open source software, and I’ll be speaking tomorrow today, but I’m fully jet lagged and in spite of the fact that I was up and traveling for about 32 hours straight, my body has no desire for sleep. This is going to be interesting.

The hotel is an interesting mix of modern art/decor and 19th century eastern European. The spaciousness, funky color scheme, and contemporary furniture is the modern part; the unhappily combined lack of adequate A/C and window screens is the 19th century part. I’m not quite sure where the pirated stations on the 20″ CRT TV or the pulsating rhythms of the first-floor bar fit.

I came in at about 11 PM last night, was massively overcharged by an unscrupulous cab driver who expertly inferred my lack of local savoir faire, and took a brief stroll around midnight before coming up to fail miserably at the one task that matters right now: sleep.

At least the location is good – I’m about a block and a half from the Romanian Palace of the Parliament. Here’s a pic I’ve filched from Wikipedia:


And the neighborhood is intensely … interesting, from what I could tell of it during a late night stroll. Lots of graffiti, which makes you think a bit, but also lots of people including couples and women out late at night. Some amazingly interesting architecture – I can’t wait for a daytime photowalk. At the risk of over-generalizing from an insufficient sample size, I’m guessing turn-of-the-century Romanian design was not about minimalism.

Ah well, it’s now 2:39, according to my trusy iPhone connecting to RO Vodafone, and 6:39 “home time.” Time for another attempt at counting those bloody sheep.

Good night, or something …

The $30,000 toothbrush

Mike Wagner has a great post (and follow-up) on how poor service, breaking promises, and essentially not living up to their brand cost a hotel $30,000 … all for a missing toothbrush.

Here’s the story:
He was in town to deliver a seminar, had forgotten his toothbrush, tried to take the hotel up on their stated in-room offer of providing replacement items for things that guests have forgotten, and was invited to purchase an over-priced toothbrush at the gift shop.

Here’s the result:

A seminar participant shared with the group, “I’m negotiating a contract for more than $30,000 with that hotel later this week. We bring our most important customers from around the country here throughout the year. That’s the hotel where we were planning to have them stay. Now maybe we won’t. Their sales staff has been great to work with, but if that’s the way they deliver on their brand…”