It’s occurred to me that I could do a pretty thorough series of hotel reviews while on this tour, and, while I’m not that interested in writing (or reading) reviews, I thought it might be a neat experiment to try it out at least once.  I don’t have any tools like blacklights or checklists to keep myself on task, and I don’t have an overarching theme or clear to the review – yet more ammunition against writing anything, but still.  As a final caveat, I’m a low-maintenance traveller.  I read other reviews and wonder how these people even get through the night.  I don’t care about the front desk, the bellhops or really, the size of the room.  I’m just interested in my experience, so here it is.

First thing about my room at the Dallas City Center Westin is that it’s the first room I’ve ever had where my room looks indoors.  And there was no opening the any of the three floor-to-ceiling windows (not that more processed air would have done me any good anyway).  A disadvantage of the atrium being just outside my window is that noise from the food court below (I was on the 12th floor and the food court was one floor below ground) echoed clearly up to my single-panes.  The neighborhood, or lack thereof, is downtown nonsense – totally dead, boring and lifeless all weekend long, despite a young leaders’ conference and a HS volleyball thing happening in the hotel, too.  No restaurants, no 7-11s, one coffee shop and a closed mall (where I was staying, no less).  One of those downtowns that’s the product of “urban planning” when the meaning of the phrase is to have everyone move from one place to another to another for work, play and domestcation and which leaves the first place lifeless more than half the time, the second soulless and uninspiring and the last closed-off and suspicious.  But I digress – this is a rant for another day.

Besides a king bed, the room had a table-cum-desk and two chairs, one with footrest and little side table.  There was a dresser that I didn’t open and a ~32″ flatscreen that I didn’t turn on.  The bathroom had a dual-head tub shower and the hallway (where I finally discovered the bathroom light) had a switch whose purpose I could not determine.  Dual-heads weren’t really very useful, because I could have smashed my face into the top head while turning around, and I very nearly did.  I was relegated to the back-bend/knee-bend situation that plagues so many showers the world over, something that happens so often that I’m totally used to it.  Any showerhead that’s taller than me automatically rates highly, but there are amazingly few of them.

The bed was short-sheeted, something that would have driven Drew crazy.  Since he taught me the term and I’m not sure I learned it correctly, I’ll explain.  There wasn’t a proper fitted sheet, but instead a flat sheet laid out for me to sleep on.  It bothers me more now that I know about it, but it’s always, always way less comfortable than a bed with a proper fitted sheet. Nothing matches the smoothness of a fitted sheet, and hotels that don’t know this lose points.  The mattress was comfortable, and whatever padding they inserted between the mattress and the bottom sheet was nice because it softened the effects of the uncomfortable divots that seem to be the hallmark of “good” mattresses everywhere.

Internet was free to me, but it wasn’t free in general, which is a travesty in this day and age – absolutely absurd, in fact.  I can’t complain about it because the tour picks up this necessity at most places, but it should be mentioned that so-called luxury hotels (my “room rate” posted on the back of my door was $299/night) that charge for this service are profiteers and deserve to be avoided.  It’s ironic that cheap hotels offer WiFi in an effort to differentiate themselves (and I always choose one with WiFi over one without, even if I don’t intend to partake) and expensive hotels charge more for less time to seem more exclusive.  Ghetto.

Okay, this is a totally pointless exercise, so I’ll quit it now.  I can’t give my recommendation to this place because what’s there to differentiate it from the hotel down the street?  The neighborhood is a total zero no matter where you stay, the inward-facing windows are a novelty that doesn’t work and the room itself is identical to thousands of others nationwide.

This has been your first (and likely only) Hotel Review courtesy of Clapboard.  Happy travels!