No Request Is Too Small
Cars & Bars is a storytelling series compiling specific moments, mundane and exotic, from my work as a valet and bartender.
Last night, Sylvia Martinez [not her real name] wrote about her overnight stay at a mid-luxury hotel:
Perhaps giving guests a sleep mask. The rooms are comfortable but several people, myself included, at the conference I attended complained about the brightness of the peephole, around the door and the curtains letting in light on the corners at night.
With the tentative blessing of my hotel superiors, I have written Ms. Martinez a letter of response.
Dear Ms. Martinez,
First things first, minus that strange use of a comma two-thirds of the way through your overall comment, you are to be properly commended. Although we do our sincere, occasional best to provide each room with various amenities—moderately upscale shampoos, conditioners and lotions; a terrycloth bathrobe that a few daring guests have been willing to steal; heating and A/C; cable television; a coffee maker that works approximately 60% of the time; access to a mini-bar; and tourist pamphlets providing information that one can find just as quickly via the Internet—it is no little thing to summon the courage to ask for more.
And, naturally, we always wanna give you more.
Here I cannot over-emphasize our Guest Services motto: No request is too small. In the case of our oversized peepholes, the motto applies rather literally. But unlike other hotels we mean it when we say: Nothing says hospitality quite like a peephole. (OK, we do not actually say this. In fact, our lawyers have advised against it. Also, I suppose you should probably do a Google search of Erin Andrews.)
Anyway, I wanted to assure you and the other three to five people who might be curious: we are on top of the oversized peephole "problem." However, a cursory cost-benefit analysis by our comptroller has revealed that, due to more pressing infrastructure concerns, it is financially unfeasible to replace each hotel room door with a smaller peephole. We hope you understand.
Notwithstanding, management felt the need to do something. You might be happy to know that we have contracted one of the architectural firms at the forefront of the Tiny House Movement. I know, I know, it is very exciting. The initial prototype plans drawn up by the architects are truly spectacular. By spectacular, I mean really really small. The firm actually faxed us the plans on wallet-size photo paper.
Picture this: miniature canopies, miniature Phoenician blinds, miniature Bermuda shutters—all of them encompassing your hotel room's peephole. It is nothing short of a magnificent vision of the future. Of course, by magnificent I mean really really small.
Whether guests receive access to canopies, blinds or shutters would depend on the peephole package selected for purchase. We strongly believe these peephole options will give our guests God-like powers over the ratio of light to dark in the universe that is their hotel room.
Meanwhile, for the user's convenience, and because we don't want anyone bloodying a hand on the excessively tiny, razor-sharp gadgets, a remote control will come standard with most peephole packages. This will provide each guest with the ability to maximize or minimize the canopies, blinds or shutters to his or her peephole preferences.
(By the way, the architects tell us that the peephole remote control will be nearly microscopic. If you struggle to find the TV remote control in your hotel room, you certainly will not be able to find the peephole remote control without assistance from a housekeeper or possibly a bellman. Do not ask a manager in just about any department; he or she will not be able to find it.)
Indeed, technological advances have made for extraordinary times in the hospitality industry. It is our conviction that if humanity can learn to manipulate or control the light/dark aspect of a hotel room's peephole, there is no stopping our pursuit of bigger and better things. By bigger and better things, I mean really really small lives.
All the best,
The Guest Services Team