“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” -The Eagles
Friends, you know I’ve got a low bar for my lodgings when I travel. My policy has always been if a place is clean, safe, and quiet enough to sleep in, I don’t care much about what it looks like. Two weekends ago, I got to stay in a gorgeous hotel with some of the Fit School women in Austin, Texas where we were spoiled with good coffee in the mornings and a driver to take us where we wanted to go in the city. It measured far above my usual standards and I enjoyed the room–and the company.
This week, Bill and I are trekking down I-5 and decided to make a stop in Oakland so I can scoot over to Berkeley in the morning to have coffee with my editor from Seal Press. In a rush to finish up our travel plans last week, Bill booked us a room online at the Jack London Inn. Sounds literary, doesn’t it?
After arriving and seeing the state of the place, Bill went down to talk to the clerk at the front desk.
Bill: “The website says there are coffee makers and hair dryers in the room. We don’t have either of those things.”
Clerk: “That’s because everything has been stolen. You have to make a special request for those.”
Can I just say that you should never, ever, EVER be so cocky as to fail to read the reviews online before booking a room. This place is not so clean, probably not safe, and most likely won’t be quiet. Take a look:
The moral of the story is that you should ALWAYS read reviews. We trusted the Jack London Inn website, and that was a mistake. On the positive side, Bill and I have a sense of humor–we’ll be fine. Plus, as a writer, I never know when a bad experience will be fodder for a good story, so it’s hard to be too dismayed over anything that happens. Still, I wish we could be sure we weren’t sleeping in a room next to a crack dealer.
I’ll give credit to my husband… he sure knows how to show a girl a good time!