No Hotel for Seasoned Citizens

This Christmas we decided to head out of town for a mini-vacation.  The kids had headed up to Ohio to visit relatives so we were footloose and fancy-free.  I had stayed at an Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO and loved it.  It has become one of my favorite places to stay.  That made our choice of hotel pretty easy – we’d go with Embassy Suites again, this time along the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

Here’s my review:

Parking Valets and Bellhops:  Driving into downtown San Antonio was a bit harrowing (remember, I’m a girl who loves small towns…really small towns).  We found the hotel but had to hunt a bit before finding the valet parking.  Now, I’m used to hotels that have parking lots right near the hotel.  Free parking, right?  Here you had to pay about $30 a night for the joy of having the valet park your car.  They were pretty efficient, though, which was nice.  Also nice was that we were so cheap about not wanting to have to tip every time we would want our car that we ended up doing lots of walking instead.  More on that later.

When the valets took our van, they asked if we would be needing help with luggage.  How nice.  “Nope”, we told them. “Just point us in the direction of the luggage carts and we’ll do it ourselves.”  They quickly took THAT pipe dream away as they told us this was a 4-star hotel and luggage carts were not provided to the guests to do it themselves.  Enter the bellhop!  Again, he did a fine job.

Kitchenette and office space

Room:  Our room consisted of a bedroom, bathroom, and living area.  It was lovely, at first glance.  However, livability proved to be a different thing entirely.

Let’s start with the couch.  It wasn’t very soft.  There were no cushy pillows for your arms along the side and nothing to cushion your back.  It was also VERY low.  I can’t begin to guess how many times my knees cracked as I tried to get up from the couch.

Footrests or torture instruments?

Next came the footrests or whatever those things were supposed to be.  They were NOT at the level of the couch.  They were higher.  You had to have your legs up higher than the couch which was extremely uncomfortable.  If you kept your legs in that position for any length of time, you’d get an automatic charley horse in your upper thighs when you tried to bring your legs down and stand up, again accompanied to the sound of cracking ligaments and bones.

Sitting Area TV

Now let’s add the TV into the mix.  It sat on top of a high credenza…much higher than the couch.

Angle of viewing

You had to have your head at an unnatural angle to view the TV.  This is not good for older people.  Heck, it isn’t good for any age person.

Ouch, my neck!

I ended up with a crick in my neck for the duration of my stay at the Embassy Suites.

Anyone got a booster chair?

I’d try to alternate between the couch and working on my computer when we weren’t out sightseeing.  Man, the little desk was really high and the chair provided was really low (are you sensing a theme here?).  I had to type with my hands in this position.  I’m a crack typist and I still remember how my typing instructor told me to keep my wrists level to avoid strain and injury to the hands.  Wasn’t going to happen here.

Time for Bed?

The Bed:  Our first night, we got ready for bed and plopped down on the sumptuous-looking bed.  Oh, my goodness!  I practically broke my tailbone.  I’ve never slept in such a hard bed.  The mattress had no give to it at all.  It was like sleeping on a thick board.  My hubby has arthritic hips and knees and mine aren’t much better.  It proved to be agony.  In fact, it was so bad that we barely slept each night.  The pillows were those frou-frou ones that are all downy and have no support whatsoever so that while my body would be lying rigid on the mattress, my head would have sunk down to a strange angle.  I would sit on the uncomfortable couch and get a sinking feeling (everywhere but on the cushion) knowing that I had to face that bed each night.

The “almost” perfect shot

The Stumble of the Alamo: To make matters worse, on the first full day we had to sightsee, we had walked to the Alamo.  As I approached that venerable building, I was looking at my phone as I tried to center the perfect shot when, yikes!  Off I sailed over a very high curb and landed on my arm first and then my hip before flipping onto my back.  As one of my waggish friends said later, “Well, I guess the mystery has finally been solved as to who was the last person to fall at the Alamo.”

Man, I was so embarrassed as big, strong guys came running, a policeman came running and even a park ranger.  I assured them that I was fine (just shaken up) once they got me back on my feet.  However, you guessed it, this did NOT help my aching hips, which were soon joined by an aching forearm with a big knot, a bruised shin, and a back that was complaining about the unnatural twist.  If it could talk, it would have been saying, “I give you a ‘2’ for your landing.”

It now became even more agony trying to sleep on that bed.

The Bathroom:  You guessed it, the toilet was LOW.  I think it was built for a tiny person.  Once you fell down on it, there were no handholds to help you get back up.  I wasn’t going to call a bellhop to help me with THAT!

On the plus side, they had lovely breakfasts included in the price and a manager’s reception each evening that included free drinks and fruit and nachos.

To make a long story short, we ended up cutting our stay short and heading on home a day early.  Honestly, we could not face the thought of one more night in that bed.

The morale to all of this, and yes, there is a point, is that the room (which cost plenty) could have been more user-friendly to seasoned citizens.  We aren’t all 20-something and flexible.  Whoever designed those suites needed to actually try to sleep and live in the rooms for a few days and see what could have been improved.

I’m just glad to be home and boy, am I looking forward to a good night’s sleep on our Tempurpedic and my nice, comfy recliner.  I guess like my namesake, I can heartily say, “There’s NO place like home.”  ZZzzzzzz!




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