I stayed in a “microtel” this week, which I guess is a marketer’s idea of making a hotel with small rooms and no amenities sound good, and as an idea it really isn’t all that bad but in practice there are so many things wrong with it that I just have to hit the keyboard for a while to work out my frustrations. Ready? Let’s begin:

First, a good thing: The room is smaller, which sounds counterintuitive: Isn’t that a bad thing? Maybe, but the rooms in most of the hotels I stay in are huge. There are usually two king-sized beds, a dresser or a credenza with a flat-screen TV as big as the beds, an easy chair or two with a table for your drinks, a coffee maker, an ironing board with an iron, and sometimes floor lamps. I could live comfortably for weeks or even months in most hotel rooms. It’s way too much when all I need is a place to lay my head for a night.

The eensy-weensy microtel I stayed in, by contrast, was designed precisely for just that. It has one queen-sized bed, a wardrobe, a desk that’s really just a shelf hung on the wall, and a very modest TV hung on the wall above the desk. That’s it. There’s no easy chair, no table, no coffee maker, no ironing board, and not a whole lot of room to move around. It reminded me of a college dorm room. I could live there, but only if I spent a lot of time outside the room.

Now, a few of the things that are wrong with it: First, no coffee maker. I get what they’re trying to do: cut back on the extras to save a little money. A fine idea. But I’m just going to say, and I think 99.9% of Americans would be with me on this, that in the scheme of things a coffee maker probably ranks above the television set, the hair drier, and maybe even the air conditioner. How the designers of the microtel believed getting rid of the coffee maker was even acceptable is beyond me, especially when the coffee they make available in the lobby tastes like dishwater. Whoever made the coffee I tried to drink should’ve been hung. I had to walk across the parking lot to Kwik Trip to get better-tasting coffee. I’ll repeat that: I GOT BETTER-TASTING COFFEE AT KWIK-TRIP.

The television set didn’t have a channel guide. Oh wait, it did, on channel 20, right where anybody would expect to find it, right? I didn’t get to it for about a half-hour because the TV was on channel 50 when I turned it on and I went channel-surfing up from there. The remote had a button for a channel guide, but when it came on-screen every channel said (NO INFORMATION), and that started me surfing. In the wrong direction. Learned my lesson there.

On the wall behind the bed in my room there was what looked like a semi-silvered mirror. That’s not just wrong, that’s creepy. I couldn’t look at it without imagining the guys from True Lies watching me from the other side. I walked around the room in my underwear anyway. Can’t wait to see myself on YouTube.

The switch for the light over the bed was in the farthest corner of the room. It was literally the last switch you would turn on, unless you stumbled through the room in the dark to the far corner and started from there. Bizarre design choice, guys.

But to finish up, a good thing: Four big, fluffy towels in the bathroom, all for me.

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