We'd rather stay at the Travel Inn, say travel writers

21 September 2009

Bitterwallet - crazy concept hotels? No thanksThe world of the freelance travel writer seems a piece of piss to anybody who's not tried it. Sunshine, beer, food until your gut bursts? Magic. In reality, it's long hours out researching followed by longer hours writing up, sleep lost to timezones and sometimes no guarantee of payment for it. You don't get to see the world so much as pass through it at speed.

So when it comes to accommodation, it's not a great surprise that travel writers might prefer to stay with soul-destroying hotel chains than a bizarro theme hotel with a reception sculpted from jam and a room with a gnu. Journalist David Whitley has written a blog post about this, which he calls the travel media's "dirty little secret":

"Newspapers and magazines... rarely admit the truth about what a large percentage of the travelling population actually want. And the truth is that people go somewhere to see the destination, not a hotel. This silent majority doesn’t really care where they stay as long as they’ve got somewhere decent, reasonably priced and comfortable to rest their head. A cool hotel is a bonus, rather than a necessity.

"This isn’t to say that all design hotels, boutique hotels and charming, quirky guesthouses are bad. Far from it – there’s usually very good reason for them being selected. But they’re not necessarily the best accommodation option within the price range, or an ideal place to stay for someone who cares more about exploring the sights than staying somewhere cool."

The same seems to go for many travel writers, too. A lack of surprises is exactly the reason why hotel chains are sometimes the best option - you know what to expect for your money before you arrive:

"If I wasn’t being paid for it, I’d much prefer to stay at a soulless chain hotel where I could work in the evening... I’m sure many travel writers will surreptitiously nod in tacit agreement."

Judging by the response in the comments to Whitley's posts and those floating about on Twitter, plenty of travel writers agree.

TOPICS:   Travel

7 comments

  • Amanda H.
    Ive found much better hotels than Travellodges. To find them, look out for their special saleswomen. They usually come out at night in the hope to grab a few more customers with last minute special offers. They take you back to the hotel and personally tuck you in. Except for Candy, I think shes got ADHD? she keeps fidgeting and cant keep still. Bless.
  • Tom P.
    Posted by Amanda Hugginkiss | September 21st, 2009 at 6:36 pm "They take you back to the hotel and personally tuck you in" Do they throw in a BJ to relieve your tension?
  • Stephanie
    "So when it comes to accommodation, it’s not a great surprise that travel writers might prefer to stay with soul-destroying hotel chains than a bizarro theme hotel with a reception sculpted from jam and a room with a gnu" LOL I laughed at this comment, so true. I'm gonna check out Whitley's blog, thanks for the article!
  • andy y.
    All US motel rooms near reception have peep holes in the bog.If your room allocated is no-one near reception that's because they think you are pug ugly.
  • David W.
    Actually, scratch all I've just said. Where's this room with a gnu? I'll have a bit of that (as long as the wifi works and they've got a bloody shower holder on the wall rather than a freehanging head that soaks the entire bathroom). Thanks for pointing people at my blog as well. I'm sure they can find some nice gratuitous swearing once they arrive.
  • ElBuc
    Check out the rooms at the Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo http://www.madonnainn.com/features.php I like the Caveman room
  • Andy
    Tom Pickering, a fantastic example of not getting the joke, there.

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