It goes without saying that I spend a lot of time in hotels and, as every hard-traveling person would expect, this has had an inevitable effect on my standards and even my patience.
The following is my Bill of Rights for Hotel Guests:
I. A clean room. Really clean—no wayward strands of hair in the basin or on the floor; crisp bed linens; and pristine robes (along with slippers in appropriate sizes for men and women).
II. Good lighting. I must be able to read in bed and at a well-lit workspace.
III. Accessible electrical outlets. For recharging my laptop and BlackBerry and plugging in my electric steamer.
IV. Quiet. That means no more carousing neighbors, booming steel bands, or sobbing violins—please, insulate my room!
V. Storage space. Easy-to-open drawers; a closet with the right hangers for pants, skirts, dresses, or shirts.
VI. A nice bathroom. It should be comfortable and equipped with fluffy towels and amenities I can use (soaps that won't dry my skin, shampoo that won't strip the color from my hair—let's face it, most women have highlights, at the very least).
VII. Dependability. No more cold poached eggs, or pressed clothing delivered after I've already left for that meeting.
VIII. Adjustable thermostats. To avoid deep-freeze and heat-wave room temperatures (and at a tropical resort, you shouldn't need a coat to walk to the elevator).
IX. Key cards that work. If you've ever had to make an extra trip to the lobby, you know what I mean.
X. Good upkeep. No frayed carpets, scraped paint, or tattered furniture—they make me feel unpampered.
But this month, in Travel + Leisure's annual Hotels Issue, it's the places that get it right that concern us. You'll find an exceptional range—from the classic (the St. Regis in New York, and Ireland's country-house hotels) to the traditional with a modern twist (Japan's sleek and sensual hot-spring resorts) to the superluxe (the Point, in the Adirondacks).
Hotels are the inspiration and the soul of our second annual Go to a Hotel Month package, with its honor roll of the best features at favorite destinations and a selection of 25 ever-so-indulgent getaways. Why shouldn't we at Travel + Leisure return the warm welcome that hotels and resorts offer us?These outposts of tourism—the world's largest industry—are vital to America's local and national economies and play an important role in our efforts to attract visitors from out of state and abroad. They're also on the front lines when security or economic issues arise and occupancy rates plummet. There's nothing like the shelter that a good hotel provides—the Bill of Rights for Hotel Guests then becomes the furthest thing from my mind.