HotelCrush: a vehement, furious, downright pathological appreciation for hotel design and culture


We love hotels. We love room service. We love poolside cocktails. There is nothing more decadent than a trip to a hotel, the epicenter of our social circles and respite from our daily life. They are destinations in themselves, with the acumen of the location converged in the design and the sensibilities of its inhabitants. Hotels are daydreams made real, with amenities at your fingertips and a dip in the water just steps away. More than temporary homes, today's hotels aspire to be just like home - whatever home it is that you are looking for.

When Good Things Go Bad

12/3/11: it's not going to happen

The faint memory of a sweltering afternoon spent cooling down in a rooftop poolside cabana has kept the Renaissance Hotel peripherally alive on our radar. A hotel at Hollywood and Highland was never going to be anyone's favorite, but surely it couldn't be horrible, and yet...that's what it disappointingly has become. A recent night culled the following impression:

  • jarring, loud live "jazz" music
  • impressive, Vegas-stature fluorescent lighting
  • processed, casino-like feel
  • awkward spiral staircase
  • world class, airport terminal-like discomfort

We are impressed that such conspicuous mediocrity made it out of the gate unchecked, but as our favorite graphic novel Ghost World says, "It's so bad it went all the way to good and back to bad again."


The Dreamers

8/12/11: in the air, it's not going to happen

You can always spot the car that's just run a red light. It's the only car on that side of the street bolting at mach speed, with a driver furtively scanning for police. Such is the mentality of the entitled business traveler at the airport, recovering from a delayed flight. It's the waiting room of United SFO, notorious for fog-related delays, with a full operation of complainers in swing.

"UN-believable!" shouts a man in a suit, red face and bulging eyes indicative of an untreated thyroid problem. "I have a meeting in LA in two hours and it's YOUR fault if I miss it"

"I'm NOT flying into Long Beach. NO. You're going to put me on the next flight to LA or --" Thyroid snaps back to his mobile, "Brian, these jerk-offs at United say my flight is delayed an hour and a half AT LEAST, excuse me--"

"If I have to pay for a ticket on another airline, which I will, I am invoicing YOU the cost"

And on. And on.

Oh yes, that delayed flight. What did we do? We stepped calmly to the desk, arranged a different flight, and settled into an email starting with "I'm so sorry I'm going to be late..." After all, what are the chances your new client is on the same plane?

We'll just say it's happened..


W-here's the Pool?

8/5/11: it's not going to happen, dc

We accept certain things as hotel standard issue – body lotion as part of the bath amenities, a chocolate brownie on 24/7 room service, negotiable checkout of at least +1 or 2 hours, and, if the climate is widely known as one of the most humid and punishing on the East Coast, a body of water to park next to with a lounge chair and glass of lemonade. So things aren't exactly coming together for us. We love the W with the passion of 13-15 room keys, and have found pools in unlikely (and no doubt underappreciated) circumstances like the W San Francisco. So, a few steps from the White House (also known as a building with prime undeveloped rooftop real estate), our horror was realized as we ascended to the roof and took a stark look around. Reality setting in, we acknowledged the obvious – we should have checked Tablet.


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