ain’t nothing like the real thing . . .

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Back in the good ol’ days, for about 18 months, I spent weeknights in a Sydney CBD 5 star hotel; a perk that was part of the contract role for a project I’d fortuitously fallen into while living and working near my home a couple of hours drive up the coast. When the project relocated, my job moved with it and so I was always conveniently on hand to save me the inconvenience of commuter travel it included accommodation & expenses.

I drove down from the coast early Monday morning and back mid-afternoon on Friday circumventing peak traffic, en route connected by [handsfree] mobile phone and finishing my working week remotely… although because most of the project team were from somewhere else and in transit, demand was usually light.

But 10 hour plus working days Monday to Thursday were pretty common, as were team post-work drinks and dinners but I had enough time to myself to enjoy various pleasant diversions such as dinners with girl-friends, walks around Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Pitt Street Mall retail therapy.

It’s one of the few interludes when I didn’t make my bed each morning; a discipline instilled in me at an early age by my mother. When I returned each evening there were fresh sheets on the bed, clean towels in the bathroom, and the room tidied. Bliss!

One of my responsibilities was to arrange accommodation for the project team. I was familiar with staff at the hotel, and Reservations were kind about throwing better rooms my way, upgrading me to a suite at any opportunity when the hotel wasn’t full. Which is how I came to spend quite a few nights in hotel rooms larger than either of the inner city apartments the G.O. and I have resided in for the past decade or so.

Our apartment residences have been slightly bigger than micro-apartments but only just, by virtue of being endowed with 2 rooms (bedroom and kitchen/living) plus bathroom and balcony. Occasionally, disenchantment with constrained living space sans benefits and nostalgia for those heady hotel room days inclines me to compare.

Hotel: Spacious, stylish rooms and luxurious suites.
Apartment: Modern, open plan, low maintenance.

Hotel: Bathroom with internal window opening to living area with view of TV if so inclined to soak in tub (sometimes spa) with glass of wine after long day.
Apartment: Windowless bathroom and shower (only – no tub) with view of toilet and sink.

Hotel: Daily buffet breakfast.
Apartment: Make toast/eggs each morning.

Hotel: Room service dinner.
Apartment: Order home delivery from Menulog… or shop, chop, cook.

Hotel: Onsite health club.
Apartment: Walking distance to train station.

Hotel: Bars and Mini-Bar.
Apartment: Is there any wine left?

Hotel: Choice of restaurants.
Apartment: Leftovers or what’s in the freezer?

Hotel: Daily housekeeping service.
Apartment: Daily washing, wiping and vacuuming.

Hotel: Foxtel and movies on demand.
Apartment: Free to Air TV and Quickflix DVDs via mail.

Hotel: Proximity to Sydney attractions.
Apartment: Proximity to railway tracks.

Modern, open plan, low maintenance, close to transport…

Inspired by Francesca of Almost Italian’s post Behind the Fantasy

*Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing

34 thoughts on “ain’t nothing like the real thing . . .

    roughseasinthemed said:
    October 23, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Hmm I’m wondering. Who has the smaller flat? But no way am I posting pix of mine!!


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Both our apartments have been about the same size just slightly different configurations. What you can’t see from these pics is the chest of drawers, which was in the bedroom of the previous apartment, in the living room. We’re fortunate to have more space at TA 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    katechiconi said:
    October 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I’ve always found it perfectly possible to live in a small space – so long as I had an overflow: that place where you keep all the stuff your soul needs but which won’t fit into your tiny accommodation. In your case, there’s T.A. and room to swing the proverbial cat. I had a borrowed garage and my brother’s attic when I lived in London.


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      You came up with a great solution… we have a dusty storage cage aka ‘scary room’ in the basement car park and 2 rented car spaces. Mostly we come, go and hardly notice our space limitations. Only when we have time for lifestyle.


    Francesca said:
    October 23, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Wow Ella Dee, now that is exposing the reality of Sydney apartment living- quite a contrast to your room with a seaview’ a few weeks ago. It is very tight- I can see that the getaway up to Taylors Arm might be essential. Maybe you could do a series like Rachel Khoo who makes a tiny French kitchen look so romantic.
    Walking is always much better value than a gym!


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      The reality of Sydney apartment living is reflected in that garden variety apartments are designed for people who work and go out a lot! I admire and can relate to Rachel Khoo’s kitchen… the reality isn’t as glamorous however.
      I agree, I’m no lover of gyms but hotel gyms are better than public. I walked as many mornings and evenings as I could in the gardens, a few times being late and escorted out by the man locking the gates, but sometimes the late hour and weather meant the gym was convenient.

      Liked by 1 person

    ardysez said:
    October 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Very much enjoyed this Dale. On our recent trip we had a fancy upgrade to a large hotel suite with jacuzzi, kitchenette etc, etc. I longed for the smaller normal room from our previous stay. When I am traveling I just want convenience, which the larger place was not. If I was there for a long stay, however, I can see the space as a must. BTW I stopped making our bed daily after 30 years of marriage and total ambivalence on the subject from my husband! Occasionally I straighten the covers before climbing in at night but I freed myself from that chore and am glad of it. Of course no one ever sees our bedroom except us, which helps.


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      After that stint I was over hotel rooms for a while but now if we stay in one we opt for the best we can afford (and favourites such as the Tolarno in St Kilda) and are happy to get an upgrade. Mostly we simply prefer our own bed, made or unmade which with a doona and fitted sheet doesn’t make much difference 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    acflory said:
    October 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

    lol – I was lucky enough to stay in a couple of rather swank hotels while in Paris [40 years ago] but never having a bed of my own taught me the value of a bed that is kind to your back!


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      A swank Parisian hotel… in my dreams 🙂 There is much value in a good bed, and your own pillow.


        acflory said:
        October 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm

        My Dad made the reservation to be sure I was safe. 🙂 I moved out soon after into a backpackers dorm, but at least I can say I used a genuine, Parisian bidet at least once in my life!


          EllaDee responded:
          October 24, 2015 at 6:44 am

          More than I can say of ANY bidet!


          acflory said:
          October 24, 2015 at 8:23 am

          -giggles- You’re not missing much!

          Liked by 1 person

    Lori said:
    October 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Was this project something recent, or from some time ago? Did you like it?


      EllaDee responded:
      October 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      I’ve been in my current job for over 12 years. This was my job before that! It was busy, interesting and a great team.

      Liked by 1 person

    Cecile said:
    October 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    One can, very easily, get used to Five Star Hotels. In ‘my other life’, we often stayed at such hotels and I always, always loved it ! Talking about ‘smaller places’… here at My Yellow Farmhouse I have big house, a barn, attic and cellar all of which are pretty loaded with ‘stuff’ from previous homes, our travels etc. etc. etc. I’m planning to sell my lovely farmhouse in about a year and a half…. and I’m gonna have to downsize BIG TIME. As you mentioned, smaller is OK as long as there is still a place to ‘store stuff’!! ; o )


      EllaDee responded:
      October 24, 2015 at 7:04 am

      I got a little used to ‘living’ at the hotel, and it felt like home… although sometimes I’d get muddled about which room I was in that week! The hotel had wonderful beds which I missed when it was all over.
      I’ve had to downsize to move on from a previous life. It’s better if there is time, mine was a little rushed and I overlooked/let go of a couple of things in hindsight I wished I’d kept.


        Cecile said:
        October 24, 2015 at 9:26 am

        That’s sad EllaDee… that you were so rushed that you missed bring with you some of the things you treasures. My son said to me today, as we were out in my barn going through ‘stuff’, ‘It’s gonna be hard. So many of these things have story”.


          EllaDee responded:
          October 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm

          It’s ok… they were not so much treasures as much as things that would have been nice to keep had I given the future a little more thought. It’s lovely that your son is helping you sort and giving some input 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    davidprosser said:
    October 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I think II’m doing the equivalent of your ‘Modern apartment living’ here but I’ll just call it bijou.I confess I’ve never cared for the impersonal feeling of hotels when I’ve had enforced stays for work, but have on occasion been able to stay in B & B’s which I found much nicer.
    Hope TA is getting nearer on a permanent basis for you both.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


      EllaDee responded:
      October 24, 2015 at 7:09 am

      When I walk in the door of an evening I think home is home, no matter how great or small 🙂
      Hotels that are all corridors and no character are awful, but I have an affection for smaller, older style hotels still. I’ve found B&B’s to be an adventure… my experiences of them have been a mixed bag but they are great for getting local flavor.


    Bill said:
    October 23, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I spent a week in the Ritz Carlton in Sydney on a business trip once. It was hard to enjoy it, as I was working all day and jet lagged. One of the most memorable parts of the stay was that the doorman looked just like the James Bond character “Oddjob” and he always greeted me by name when I entered or left the hotel (even the first time I entered–how did he know??).


      EllaDee responded:
      October 24, 2015 at 6:50 am

      The Ritz Carlton was Sydney’s celebrity hotel. It’s reopened as an Intercon, so I imagine many celebrities stay there even now, much as they do at the CBD Intercon across from my firm’s offices.
      I’ve had similar experiences when traveling, hotels begin to look the same.
      Hotel door and concierge staff are amazing -they know everything!


    Glenda said:
    October 25, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Ella, I am still smiling, I love it!! Geez, I would be battling to fit all my kitchen stuff in your apartment 😀


      EllaDee responded:
      October 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you. It’s quite funny when we get visitors to the apartment and we can see them looking for the other rooms, of which there aren’t any! Our storage approach is quite elastic… clothes in the dresser in the living room, pantry items & kitchen stuff under the bed, and wine in the wardrobe!


    sara said:
    October 25, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Very entertaining Dale 🙂 I love the sound of the swanky hotel give days a week and fresh sheets every day! Yum :). I make my bed every day, although that’s a relatively recent habit, maybe in the last 5+ years or so. I get the kids to make their own beds too; it’s a good discipline.


      EllaDee responded:
      October 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      I can still remember my mum saying if I was old enough to go to school I was old enough to make my own bed.
      There were times during the hotel interlude it was hard being away from home as I had a dog and 2 cats but fortunately it suited my sister to live there as she was working on the same project at the original location, occasionally standing in for me and staying in the city, so it worked out quite nicely 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        sara said:
        October 25, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        That did work out very well for you 😊
        Your mother sounds like me, and mine before me 😜 I guess we don’t relish the role of servant!

        Liked by 1 person

    diannegray said:
    October 25, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I’ve moved from a very small space in the city to the rather large RUC. A smaller space is great for cleaning, but I love the openness of a big house. I’d love my bed magically made every morning 😉


      EllaDee responded:
      October 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      I find with smaller space it needs more regular attention but can be whipped around in less time. In the apartment it’s one person in the kitchen at a time or we trip over each other, at TA we are always losing each other…

      Liked by 1 person

    memoirsofahusk said:
    October 26, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Less is more. Or, more cleaning is less sanity. Visitors tend to be the main reason for housekeeping here! I just hate the way you work your way through the laundry baskety and the wretched thing just fills up again. (Odd, by the way, I didn’t get the usual email that you’d posted, just saw this in Reader – hmmm.)

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      October 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      When I lived in a proper house with a clothesline in the backyard I washed a couple of times a week. Similarly even with 2 inside-outside cats and a dog I spent a few hours once a week cleaning. But with the smaller space and front loader washing machine, I wash every day, and do some housework every day. The inner city location is quite grimy and evidence of our residence is concentrated over less space is the only explanation I can think of.
      I’ve heard other recent reports of blog post notifications going AWOL from email notifications or Reader. The go-to suggestion/solution is to unfollow then follow anew.

      Liked by 1 person

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    November 26, 2015 at 7:02 am

    It’s funny whenever I come back from a long trip, I am so annoyed that there is no one to make me a buffet breakfast. 😉 How cool that you got the chance to live in a hotel for work–what an experience. Your apartment looks so functional and low maintenance the perfect city dwelling.


      EllaDee responded:
      November 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

      The apartment is truly fit for purpose for city dwellers… but the G.O. and I are country folk at heart 🙂


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