I’ve spent most of my adult life being a total snob about boutique, very local hotels. Even when I travel around the world, I ferret out the locally owned, totally unique option. And there’s a lot to love. The delightful touches of the Japanese soaking tub. The phenomenally chic hotel bar. 

But, well, I guess I’m just getting old. Because lately I am super into no-frills hotels. The kind that have a pantry where you can grab some mac-n-cheese and a half bottle of wine when you check in—no need to call room service. The kind where you can grab yogurt and a banana in the lobby for free, not waste time at a sit-down breakfast. The kind that has COFFEE IN THE ROOM. Many boutique hotels make you call down for coffee. Why? It’s wasting all of our time. 

This started when I took my kids to Tahoe to ski, booked late, had little money, and picked a Hampton Inn. OMG, it was ideal. It had everything we needed, they couldn’t destroy valuables in the room because there weren’t any, and we could grab what we needed to fuel us in about five minutes in the mornings. They even had free shuttles to the ski resorts. I can’t imagine at this stage of life staying a fancy ski resort instead. It would not only be far more money, but there was nothing we lacked. 

This past week, I was about to snap up a chic downtown Seattle hotel for my one night in town on Hotel Tonight when Paul suggested I stay at the airport Radisson. My younger self assumed he was joking but my older self said, “Go on…” He pointed out I had an early flight, and late at night when my dinner was done, I wouldn’t care about a slightly longer Lyft ride and a less cool decor, and I’d be thrilled when I got to sleep later and just walk across the street to catch my early morning flight.

It was one of my best hotel experiences to date. Walked over with my luggage, checked in in five minutes, sat in the super boring but friendly cafe and did some work, and then returned at night and slept. I MADE MY OWN COFFEE IN THE MORNING, grabbed more in the lobby, walked back to the airport, and took off. 

Easy has trumped cool at this stage in my life. I’m about two years away from understanding the appeal of the Early Bird Special.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

* * * *