Yesterday afternoon I arrived in Atlanta for a panel I am participating in with Elle Decor. My day is jam-packed today with meetings, the panel and visiting friends and trying to get in a few great meals (Atlanta has really awesome restaurants). Though I am staying at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, which is luxe and comfortable, it's still not home. So after I checked in there were a few things that I like to do to make the most of my stay.
#1 First, I unpack my suitcase. Putting things away helps me find things faster and keep a routine. I used to keep everything in my suitcase while in a hotel, but I don't like living out of a suitcase and inevitably everything needs repacking anyway. This way my stuff isn't in a heap in the corner. I also pack up all the little cards, pamphlets, framed notices, menus, binders & notepads that the hotel keeps out, I put them away in a drawer so they don't add clutter.
#2 Bring something from home, a smaller travel candle of one you have at home, a photograph, your husband's t-shirt, your favorite nighttime tea. Even listening to your own playlist will put you at ease. A happy memory of home through smell, touch, sight, taste, and sound will make the travel transition much smoother.
#3 Its helpful to keep some of your routine, if you exercise in the morning hit the hotel treadmill or better yet go for a run in the city you're visiting, if you normally shower then crawl into bed to watch The Daily Show, then do that.
#4 While I was writing this post, flowers arrived courtesy of ADAC (which is accessible to the public and I suggest a visit if you're into design and in the area.) When you open the door and there is a man holding a giant bouquet of fragrant flowers, you can't help but smile. But you shouldn't have to wait for someone else to order them, order a bouquet for yourself or just stuff some wildflowers in the hotel glass for a little happy greenery. Just as flowers make your home come alive, they will also do the same for your hotel room.
While I want my hotel room to feel more homey, there are also a few indulgences that I reserve strictly for solo hotel stays.
1- I can set the temp whatever I'd like. Extra cold with lots of covers or a little warmer at a temperature that my husband would find unbearable? Whatever, I'm in this room alone and I alone control the temp.
2- Watching cable tv programs like RHOBH & The Kardashians, which my husband refuses to watch, but also because we don't subscribe to cable is a must on solo trips. I catch up on what's going on in the world and it makes travelling alone that much more enjoyable.
3- Waking up and making a cup of coffee and then back into bed. Somehow this feels too indulgent at home most days but just right when staying in a hotel. I open the curtains wide to get a good look at the morning of whatever city I'm in and sip my coffee in bed. Usually wearing the hotel robe.
4- Visiting the hotel bar for an evening cocktail. I love the mystique of a hotel bar, the anonymity, the dark polished surfaces, candlelight flickering on conspiring faces - I may have watched too many movies but I enjoy sidling up to the bar with a good cocktail and people watching, knowing that my commute to bed is only about 60 seconds.
Sometime I'll do a post on how to make your home feel more like a hotel room.
But now, in the comments below tell me how you make your hotel feel like home?