Ryan, on his 7th birthday, relaxing at our hotel in Cambria
I’m not what you would call an experienced traveler. But when it comes to hotels, I know what I want. I want a hotel that is centrally located to wherever I plan on being. I want a hotel that offers a free breakfast each morning. And I want a hotel that doesn’t charge for parking.
I’m fortunate that the hotel we stay at each year in Cambria meets these requirements. But I had no idea that what I was expecting to receive isn’t the norm at a lot of hotels. It’s not until I go searching for a hotel in a new destination (we’re planning a summer trip to Santa Barbara) that I’m shocked to discover what hotels do and do not provide.
First off, the nightly rate at a hotel covers less than 24 hours now. Check-in isn’t until 3 or 4 p.m. with check-out the following day at 11 a.m. Now, hotels want to charge for parking. That is outrageous to me. Where else are you supposed to park? You go eat at a restaurant, and unless you’re using a valet service, you park for free in the lot. Same thing should hold true for hotels.
And don’t even get me started on these so-called resort fees. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how some hotels try to nickel-and-dime their guests for every little thing. And as a matter of principle, I won’t stay at any of those locations. Instead, I go searching online, ask friends for suggestions, re-read old travel articles I’ve got filed away, until I find a hotel that will suit our needs.
In the movie When Harry Met Sally, Sally was described as being “high maintenance” based on the way she ordered her food. Meg Ryan’s character replied, “I just want it the way I want it.” And I’m the same when it comes to hotels. We don’t go away all that often, and when we do, I want it to be as pleasurable and cost-efficient as possible.
By the way, if any of my readers are planning a trip to Legoland, just thought I’d mention the West Inn and Suites in Carlsbad. We stayed there last summer and enjoyed free parking, free shuttle service to Legoland, free breakfast, friendly staff, and an overall really nice hotel.