Every month my subscription to Town and Country magazine provides delightfully relaxed sittings of reading (with a cup of tea alongside) a bevvy of witty writing as well as gleaning the latest wearable fashion information, being inspired by the beautiful page after page of photographed interiors and seeing new ideas for current and future gardening projects I find myself mulling over.
Last month's and this month's issues have been especially fun to read with the addition of a series they're titling, "What The Rich Love To Steal." Hilarious!
The first article is all about hotel soaps. My favorite line in this tongue-in-cheek essay (titled, A Slippery Soap) as to the syndrome now recognized as HSS, Hotel Soap Syndrome is the recognition that, "They are a madeleine for the groomed set, a sensory magic carpet to a time out of time." The author, Vanessa Friedman, does a wonderful job of peering into this purveying for the posh. I laughed throughout it because though I'm not a collector of soaps so to speak, I will throw into my airport regulation-sized ziplock plastic bag half-used hotel amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and definitely those cute little containers of hand/body lotion.
It's part Scottish-ingrained frugality on my part with wanting to not waste things and thus bringing them back with me to complete the use of them when returned home and part... well, partly I guess my desire for extending the experience-feel of staying amid the various truly-lovely hotels n' resorts I've been fortunate to enjoy spending some time around.
Some places I've returned to because I enjoy them so much like the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan and the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale. Other places are within a group of well-run hotels and resorts...James and I particularly like the Hyatt properties around the globe for consistency, high level of service and simple-elegant design n' decor for the most part. Then there are stand-alone classics like The Grove Park Inn and The Homestead: two timelessly elegant places where their spas still rank at the top of any spas I've ever experienced!
James and I agree that where we stay is as much importance as where we're traveling around.
We can budget with the best but of course however... as for travel experiences, we try to stay at the best the area we're within offers or close to it. Sometimes it's fun for us to try-out a smaller boutique hotel like we did when in London a couple of years ago: it was right on Trafalgar Square and super-modern. Not "us" but a blast to be in for a long weekend together we enacted at the last minute. Other times, like the week we spent in Paris, it was well-worth staying in a drop-dead elegant place flanked by Tiffany's, Cartier', Louis Vuitton and other fine purveyors not to mention amazing art galleries, gardens, restaurants, petite' cafes, boutique-styles bakeries with the best madeleines and so forth and so on.
This past spring we took off for two weeks and took our kayaks, fishing rods and snorkeling gear with us down to the Florida Keys: dividing time between Key Largo and Key West. I still have some of the half-used hotel amenities from that vacation and am now using them up here in the Savannah carriage house. The tropical scented lotion evokes key-laced sun, sand and sea bliss.
For some reason, it's the lotions which connotate memories the most for me. I enjoy this...
...soaps? Who needs soaps when a small, neat tube of hand lotion will suffice?
Ahh, the lingering pleasantries of hotel toiletries! Just gotta' laugh at ourselves because yes indeed, it IS sometimes the smallest of things which are indeed ever so impactful in life!