What Does Your Hotel Say About You?

Where are you staying? It’s a question that comes up in conversation during almost every trip, often posed by a client or colleague. Your answer conveys something about you, your work and your business.

Imagine one of those Facebook quizzes that promises to analyze you: What hotel are you? Maybe those quiz results would say, You’re a Four Seasons. Or, You’re a W.

This got me thinking about some hotels I’ve adored and why they appealed to me. A few favorites come to mind.

Killer view from a room’s transformed balcony at the Andaz West Hollywood (Courtesy of Hyatt)

Andaz West Hollywood – I love the Andaz brand: cool enough to be interesting but not so over-the-top hip that I feel ancient. This hotel has such a colorful rock-and-roll history that they successfully play up, but I particularly appreciated the clever way the rooms have been updated, with former balconies transformed into incredible sitting areas that look out on the bright lights of the city. I dug it!

Mira Moon's Secret Garden bar offers a respite from Hong Kong's frenetic energy (Courtesy of Mira Moon)

Mira Moon’s Secret Garden bar is an oasis from Hong Kong’s frenetic energy. (Courtesy of Mira Moon)

Mira Moon, Hong Kong – I fell head-over-heels in love with the design of this hotel and wished I could take it home with me to transform my house with its aesthetic: brightly colored, bold, playful, and clean. Bonus points, especially for a writer: There’s a storyline, a folktale that involves a rabbit and the moon, that ties the decor together thematically. More bonus points: The Secret Garden bar is one of the loveliest and most surprising alcoves I’ve ever seen, tucked away on the third floor.

Stunning sculpture, Rising by Zang Huan, welcomes guests to the Shangri-La Toronto (Photo: Flickr/Joseph Morris)

A stunning sculpture, Rising by Zhang Huan, welcomes guests to the Shangri-La Toronto. (Photo: Flickr/Joseph Morris)

Shangri-La, Toronto – Something about this hotel really made clear to me the subtleties of the highest levels of service. Every single human interaction I had was sublime, whether it was with the engineer who fixed the Nespresso machine or the concierge who summoned a black car–conversations that were friendly but sophisticated, caring but professional. The hotel is also filled with incredible art, something I care about and that usually signals that fifth star. The hotel is oddly placed, but once you’re ensconced, it doesn’t seem to matter because within the Shangri-La’s confines, life is happy.

The airport/harbor location is what sets the Hyatt Boston Harbor apart. (Courtesy of Hyatt)

The airport/harbor location is what sets the Hyatt Boston Harbor apart. (Courtesy of Hyatt)

Hyatt Boston Harbor – Now, in great contrast to the Shangri-La, this hotel is quite basic and just what you’d expect from Hyatt. Which is fine. Service is friendly but inattentive. As I said, fine. But it makes my list because I was totally tickled by the hotel’s location. If your room is on one side of the hall, you have a straight-on airport view, right down a runway at Logan, with no sense of being close to the city center. If your room is on the other side of the hallway, you have a magnificent view of Boston Harbor and the city skyline, with no sense of being near the airport. And how cool is it to take a 10-minute water taxi ride to your meeting–from an airport hotel?

Who knows what these hotels say about me, except that I’m all over the place and every trip is different. But this I do know: When a hotel surprises and delights (because that’s a relatively rare experience), it’s something to celebrate.

What is your very favorite hotel?