I got home last night from a trip to Amsterdam, Brussels and Seoul… It was an enjoyable trip, but It feels great to be back!
During this trip, one of the challenges that I faced was the fact that I had to a couple of late night Webex / Teleconferences with customers in Asia. I imagined that it wouldn't be too difficult to just wake up in the wee hours, get on the phone, deliver the presentation and go back to sleep.
I hadn't banked on the "characterful" European hotel rooms that I'd be staying in …
(1) Amsterdam – The Gresham Memphis Hotel
A very "old fashioned" room, with a phone by the bed and wired internet at the desk. But no phone on the desk…
I spent an interesting evening trying to drag the phone from the bed to the desk (even the 5m cable that I tried wasn't long enough), and then trying to extend the LAN cable to the bed (couldn't plug my LAN cable in because the socket was buried under the carpet).
Long story short – I ended up dragging cables from two corners of the room and working in the middle.
(2) Brussels – The White Hotel
A much "cleaner" look than the hotel in Amsterdam (although I think the all-white decor would get a little old after a few nights).
Wired Wireless internet allowed me to work anywhere I chose too… But once again, there was a phone by the bed but not on the table. And again I played my game of stretch the cables…
The modern hotel that I stayed at in Seoul was cheaper than the European ones… and better in all respects. (Wireless internet, cordless phone, large desk, beautiful furnishings, excellent restaurants, attentive staff, etc, etc, etc … I guess I can thank the collapse of the Korean Won for that).
I hate to say it, but I'll be steering clear of hotels with "character" on my future travels.