The Forbidden Hotel

I got down to L.A. yesterday after a day and a half of meetin” and eatin” up in The Valley. And while in L.A., I”m staying at The Forbidden Hotel.

The Forbidden Hotel is the stuff of legend around my office. It used to be the standard choice for people coming out west, but someone at some point decided it didn”t look good for the Atlanta people to be “in residence” here when visiting the L.A. office.

And thus it is now Forbidden.

I”m at The Forbidden Hotel because The Favored Hotel and Backup Hotels 1 & 2 are all booked up. So I won”t be in trouble for staying here. Several of us are holed up here, and it should be noted that our rate is lower than what”s being paid at The Favored Hotel.

But I can see why the company declared this place Forbidden. The Forbidden Hotel is all about “service”. There”s only valet parking; I was escorted to the front desk by a bellman even though I said I didn”t need help with my bags – he needed to “announce” my arrival to the clerk – and I had to turn down an offer from yet another bellman to “guide me” to my room.

When I stopped at the front desk to change a $20 for all the palms I need to grease, I actually felt like I might have to tip the clerk for making the change I needed to tip everybody else. He presented my change like some kind of magic trick – holding it high in the air and dramatically thumbing off each bill.

I came back from dinner last night and discovered that the “turndown service” had left a little tube of toothpaste in my bathroom, apparently having noticed the gimpy remnant of my Crest tube. That”ll earn housekeeping a nicer tip.

I”m pretty frugal with company money – I won”t be getting a $30 breakfast or expensing any massages or “eyelash tinting” – so I can see how this place can get out of hand. And honestly, after several days of travel, I”d rather stay at a place where I feel more comfortable throwing dirty laundry on the floor in my room. Here, I”ve got my dirties stashed in a laundry bag inside my suitcase, and my coat it neatly hung on the in-room “valet”. I even hang the plush robe back up on the back of the bathroom door.

I”ll be back out in L.A. next week. I”ve booked a room at Backup Hotel 1, where there”s no valet, no room service and no bellman. Call it Forbidden Hotel guilt.

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