While planning for a trip, for business or pleasure, choosing a hotel is always an important factor. Although 80% of your time away from home will be spent outside of your hotel, your experience as a whole is reflected by where you are staying. Why is that? Despite our personal backgrounds, when it comes to traveling, I personally believe we all assume a snobbish persona. And why shouldn’t we? A trip, whether for business or for pleasure, is a chance to get away from the normality of our lives. We are paying a lot of money and dedicating our precious free time to getting away, even if it is just for a day and in a town over. And while we only really spend our time in our hotel rooms to sleep and change, it has a huge impact on our outlook of the trip overall.
When choosing a hotel we think of three things: location, price, and ratings. Price is going to be the dominant factor between the three when deciding where to stay and it obviously makes getting a good location and a hotel with good ratings difficult. For some people, sleeping in a slummy area is no big deal – “all part of the experience” they’ll say. But many people want a bang for the buck especially when it comes to hotel quality and their view. Thinking back to the two-week Europe trip I went on in high school, I didn’t have control over the planning. With a huge group of students to work with, my high school Spanish teacher had the challenge of coordinating hotel and meal arrangements for a large amount of people. Honestly, I am glad I didn’t have to deal with that stress. The only bummer is that with a working budget and very few hotels willing to have that many teenagers under their roofs, we were limited to okay places to lay our heads.
When we arrived to our first hotel, I have to admit, my nose turned at the sight that had laid before me. It was small… even for Europe, it was very small. Looking back at it, it was cute and quaint, but after a full 24 hours of having to deal with flights, airports, and shuttles, I just wanted to spread out in a spacious room. Which this was not. Sharing a two-bed closet with three other girls and our entire collection of luggage was difficult. But we had a lovely view of a cobblestone street. I know what you are thinking, “Really a street? How could that be lovely?” Maybe it’s because I was in a different country, but there was a sort of magic about my hotel view that changed my perspective all together.
After a couple nights, we had to pack up and travel to our next location, yet another tiny hotel. This time instead of a street we got an alleyway, complete with a neighboring building practically an arms length away. I’m sure this sounds terrible, but man was it beautiful. It’s wall was old and worn out, the roof had vines spilling over, and there was a section that was completely tiled. To me, it captured one of the things I absolutely love about traveling: history. You could just tell by looking at this one wall across from our window, that these buildings have weathered much. It was absolutely beautiful.
Our last and final hotel for that trip took us from Portugal to Spain, right in the middle of Madrid. For those of you who might have had a different perspective of my previous hotel views, I am sure you would agree that this one took the cake. At the time of our arrival, the sun was saying goodbye for the day. The pastel sky dropped a pink hue over the city and with the beginning evening lights this sight was breath taking. It was so open and kind of freeing that the constant noise of traffic, people, and construction just dissolved. The way the balconies of the hotel were set up made the experience even better. We could chat with our neighboring classmates while enjoying the view that had laid before us.
Perspective is a huge aspect of traveling in my opinion. While we all assume that snobbish persona, it is important to keep in mind that every place captures beauty in different ways. To me, there is no such thing as a bad hotel view. That window or balcony depicts a focused view about the place you are visiting. Whether it is cobblestoned roads, an old wall, or an entire city, your hotel view shows you something about the location that you never would have experienced had you not stayed there.