I love luxury hotels. Hmm. Maybe not a sign of extreme discernment. But I don’t know if its one of those “Duh!” kind of things, or whether some really don’t care for the atmosphere. Wouldn’t want to presume. So let’s assume we are talking about a quirky predilection.
Given my preferences, I’m lucky to have stayed in a fair number of these places. The Lake Palace in Udaipur, St. Regis in Shanghai, Intercontinental in Prague, The Helmsley Palace and 60 Thompson in New York. The Peninsula in Chicago. Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. The Beverly Hills Hotel with my sisters for my 50th birthday. Where we all slept in one room with a trundle bed. Oh, and on the 82nd floor of the Shanghai Grand Hyatt, known locally as the Jin Mao. Neon on the horizon. The Four Seasons on the Big Island. But I am losing my train of thought in dreams of walking barefoot through hibiscus.
These days I’m less apt to splurge carelessly for a night, or nights, of grandeur. But, I can still sit in the hotel bar with some friends. And have been known to do so. Welcome to the St. Regis, San Francisco.
Zebrawood paneling. Low seats in colors like sage. A mural.
I don’t keep company with zebrawood on an every day basis. Nor chandeliers. Not even murals, although I suppose the wall marks left by kids bumping around might sort of count. But I can stash a green Waiwera water bottle in my bag. Take it home. Kind of like beach glass, if you will.
Confession. Even though I had paid in full for that water I felt a momentary High WASP pang of, “Is this OK? Am I allowed? Really?” as I walked out the door. A wave of preliminary blushing about the neck of the bottle sticking out the top of my already embarrassing Louis Vuitton. Sometimes you have to follow the signs of beauty past decorum.