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There’s no place like…

Over the years, my wife and I have stayed at numerous hostelries. Many of them have had words like “super” or “motel” included in their names. We’ve learned that the word “deluxe” in a lodging house’s title is often a form of irony.

Sometimes — especially when someone else is footing the bill — we will stay at a hotel with the word “the” in its moniker. This is meant to signify that the joint has extra-luxurious accommodations, boasting such amenities as top-drawer dressers.

We have noticed some patterns regarding hotels.

For one thing, why is it that the more expensive the hotel, the more likely it is that they will charge for internet access? Shouldn’t it be the opposite? After all, you’re probably paying more than double the price for a night’s stay than at the nearby Ease On Inn motel with its free internet.

Even a coffee shop can afford to give away Wi-Fi, and their beverages don’t cost nearly as much as a stay at the Sleep Tight Tonight. That is, unless you order their dirigible-sized mocha chocolate Frappuccino, brewed from coffee beans that were picked by blind albino civet cats. A drink that includes a gold-leafed cumulus cloud of foam and a triple shot of free-range mountain goat milk.

Another thing we’ve noticed is that, generally speaking, the more expensive the hotel, the smaller the pillows. It’s impossible to get any shuteye while trying to balance the old noggin on a teetering tower of pillows that are the size of Chiclets.

The last hotel where we stayed — which had the word “the” in its name — supplied its guests with tiny pillows that were also susceptible to collapse. The slightest amount of pressure on the pillows would cause them to scrunch down to the thickness of a postage stamp.

That particular hotel gave us a room which was away from the street. This was good. Out here on our farm, we’re accustomed to peace and quiet; a few hoots from an owl are enough to cause us to remark about the racket. Having a room located at the interior of the hotel would insulate us from the incessant din of traffic.

As soon as we checked in, I peered out a window and took in the view. An elegant vista of the gritty bricks of the opposite wall of the hotel met my gaze. Just below our window was a warren of ductwork. Perched on a platform only a few feet from our room was a ventilation apparatus that was the size of a truck.

The air handling unit made a blowing sound which was similar to that of a howling blizzard. The noise annoyed us all night. When we ventured outdoors the next morning, we expected to encounter snowdrifts that were deep enough to cover a cruise ship. Imagine our surprise when we were instead met by a sunny, early spring day.

The hotel must have made a deal with a mattress company that also manufactures chalkboards for schools. The mattress people must have misunderstood the hotel’s instructions because my bed was about as comfortable as a piece of slate that had been covered by a sheet. I prefer a certain level of cushiness in many things, especially beds.

Why is it that only the hotels that are at the el-cheapo end of the spectrum offer free breakfasts? At glitzy inns, you have to go to their dining room where you’ll wait 10 minutes before a member of the waitstaff finally brings you a menu. In that amount of time, you could have cooked your own waffles and assembled a hearty biscuits-and-gravy dessert.

Free coffee was available in the lobby of the hotel where we last stayed, but it was the kind of java that was brewed from beans that had been roasted to the point of “Oops, I burned them!” The coffee was strong enough to dissolve titanium. The only way I could drink it was to doctor it up with glugs of cream and heaps of sugar. So much for categorizing that morning jolt of joe as a diet beverage.

A guy once said of his hotel, “The towels were so fluffy, you could barely close your suitcase!” I’ve never found this to be true. Hotel towels generally feel as though they were made from recycled sandpaper.

After a couple of nights, my wife and I quit the hoity-toity hotel and found a different place to stay — a humble boardinghouse where the beds are soft, the pillows are fluffy and not prone to collapse, and the breakfasts and Wi-Fi are always free.

It’s a quaint little place called, simply, Home.

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