That Old Hotel Trick

I'm back from vacation -- this one was a good one, thank goodness.

You know how sometimes you come back from vacation more exhausted that when you left? This wasn't one of those times. It was wonderful.

Of course, the fact that we returned the night before Mother's Day and I was obligated to sleep in until 11 made a big difference in my relaxed state. As my husband and children balanced a tray of instant oatmeal (our pantry was in dire condition after a week away) and coffee and juices and prosecco I had to smile.

"This is just like room service," I thought.

And then I started thinking about the little things that make hotel stays wonderful. And how we can do some of them at home. Unfortunately, daily maid service is unrealistic (but could you just imagine?) but that's no reason not to enjoy some of the other tricks hotels employ.

Little Luxuries Make a Big Difference

I got up and showered right after my breakfast in bed. Then I went outside and cut some lilacs that had bloomed while we were away, put them in a child's tumbler and placed them next to our bed where we could enjoy the fragrance.

While on vacation, we got so much pleasure when the bell boy showed up with a freshly filled ice bucket or the pool attendant brought us a pitcher of ice water "just in case" -- why not do something nice for ourselves on a normal day?

Tie In to Where You Live

Have you noticed how the best hotels have little details that tie them to the cities where they're located? We stayed in three different places on our vacation, an airport hotel, a luxury villa, and a conventional room in a big resort, and they all had something that reminded us of being in Arizona -- whether it was succulents by the door, a photograph of native women collecting fruit from a giant cactus or simply a touristy magazine next to the TV remote, every room tied in to their location.

You should do the same at home. This means that I need to buy a Gurgling Cod -- I've always wanted one and this is the perfect excuse!

(not our room, but nearby)

Infuse Your Space with Personality -- Your House Should Be Your Biography

This doesn't work very well at chain hotels, but for part of the week we stayed at a privately owned villa and though I'd never met the owners I could tell you a lot about them. They love rugged, big furniture, they play golf and most of all, they love horses. The house was filled with books about horses, every room was decorated with beautiful (and big!) photographs of horses (both wild and tame) and horse riding paraphernalia decorated the house.

What do you love? Where have you been? What makes you unique? Don't be afraid to show us who you are in the way you decorate your home. I read somehwere that your home should be your biography, and I agree.