In a recent installment of my UAE trip report I wrote a review of the InterContinental Abu Dhabi, which can be found here. Reader ORD-TGU left the following comment:
I am afraid that too much exposure to premium properties has you desensitized and numb! You state “On the whole I had a pleasant stay”. pleasant? Just by looking at those pictures I would be jumping up and down in bliss, it looks outstanding!
I hope all my vacations I could stay in these kind of properties! The lounge food selection looks great!
I invite you to a couple of nights at a motel 6 by the highway and breakfast on mystery meat so you can redefine “pleasant”
All in good spirit!
You know what the sad thing is, from my perspective? ORD-TGU is absolutely right, and I know it.
As I wrote the review of the InterContinental Abu Dhabi I tried to be as positive as I could. After all I got a suite with free minibar, access to a pretty nice club lounge, etc. I had a pleasant stay, but I can’t bring myself to say more… only because as a relative matter it wasn’t that special.
And this is the one part of my “hobby” that drives me nuts. Even if I don’t come across that way sometimes, I’m incredibly thankful for the trips I’m able to take and the fact that I’m able to do what I’m passionate about every day. At the same time, it drives me nuts that I can’t really get all that excited about flying business class anymore, or staying in a four star hotel. I remember how excited I used to get when I’d be able to fly, even if it was in a middle seat in coach.
But at the same time, I don’t want this blog to come across as if it’s written by a 12 year old girl that just won a day with Justin Bieber. Otherwise every review would read “ZOMG IT WAS AWESOME!” and I doubt that would help anyone out or be interesting to read.
When I fly international first class I always pinch myself, thinking about how I’m flying it for pennies on the dollar. At the same time, I try to be a bit critical and view my experience as if I paid full price. Why? Because if I didn’t, all of my trip reports would read exactly the same — “guys, I got on this airplane, and you won’t believe it… I HAD MY OWN BED! AND THEY FED ME REAL FOOD!” So for me it’s the little things that separate a great hotel stay or flight from a mediocre one.
But back to the InterContinental Abu Dhabi. The sad thing is how jaded I’ve become. Not to play the victim card here, but I did stay at three Aman resorts in India, which no doubt have me jaded for life.
I mean, at the Amanbagh in India we had five people (including the GM) wave us goodbye, not to mention we received a departure gift and there was a departure ceremony just for us.
At the Aman-i-Khas hotel we had eight people tell us goodbye, including both of the GMs.
After consistently receiving that level of personalized service, how can you really be wowed by anything else?
Anyway, I’m not sure what exactly my point is, but admitting there’s a problem is the first step to recovery, right? My next vacation will need to be at a Motel 6, I guess.