Published Dec 26, 2003

So, as noted in the last entry, every Christmas we go out of town and stay in a hotel. This year was no different, with Christmas celebrated at my grandmother’s while my parents and I stayed at a hotel.

For many years we stayed at the Four Seasons in Houston, but they never remodeled. Sometimes an old-fashioned hotel can be nice, but the unremodeled Four Seasons was just an expensive place with threadbare carpet and, worst of all, cheap furniture with drawers that barely pulled at all. So we changed to the Intercontinental, which was beautiful, if a bit expensive, and was frequented by Air France crews so it had a French TV channel in all rooms, which my parents loved. But expensive is expensive and my parents are always happy to cut a budget, so we found the Hotel Derek.

Derek is a modern hotel, newly-built and well-located. The interior designer had a fun theme: a hotel for a man named Derek, who the designer saw as an aging British rocker. So the interior is eclectic and fun and filled with bright accents.

My room is pretty well-designed, with an attention to detail and only a few bad touches (sadly, one is the alarm clock — a failing shared, admittedly, with just about every other hotel out there). A few pics, as per the request of my Wonderful Girlfriend:

The meat of the room is along one wall, where the TV, the mini-bar, the mirror and the closet are all built into alcoves:

If you look under the TV there, you see a few boxes, which fulfill the role usually assigned to a chest of drawers:
I actually like this, clothes are kept out of the way but it’s all very stylish and, best of all, the drawers never fail to pull as they once did in the Four Seasons.

Next to the alcoves is the desk:

Past the desk, along the exterior wall, is a built-in sofa:

In some nice attention to detail, there are contemporary photos of urban items next to the sofa:

The bed is giant and comfortable, although I have to say I found the pillows quite hard even for me:

Even the bathroom is stylish:

There are a few mistakes. The desk lamp is too stylish — quick, how do you turn it on and off?
(The answer: it’s a three-way light, tap it once for each light level)

The clock radio is difficult-to-operate, with too many functions; there has to be some better wake-up solution than an unfamiliar and multi-buttoned machine:

The curtains, seen behind the sofa, are also a bit of an annoyance; look at the picture above, where’s the blackout curtain? Now look again:
The answer is, behind the light curtain, the reverse of what you see in most hotels. A new arrival may not know of the blackout curtain, and anybody coming in after dark won’t be able to tell if it’s down or up without lifting the light curtain aside. And even after discovering the existence of two curtains, there’s the matter of operating both of them. The light curtain has a pull chain, the blackout is operated with a crank:
Sadly, the crank is difficult to operate with the light curtain down.

But that’s all there is to complain about. I like the hotel; after all, how can you hold anything against a place that turns on the fireplace when they turn down the bed?

1 Comment

that hotel might be worth taking an unnecessary trip to texas!