Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Premade? Still working on this version.

Well, fancy that. Thanks, Google Alert! It's kind of exciting, to know there's a Sim with my name - and what are the odds that she's a traveller? She's also described as tan (nup), thin (hah!), Pisces (Scorp), brown-haired (who knows?), single and normal - but her eyes are grey and she aspires to Knowledge, so that's near enough. As for living in a 'secret sub-neighbourhood called Exotic Destinations' - well, how about Bay of Fires, Tryphena, Ningaloo, Koblenz and Paris? And that's just the first half of this year. (Sorry: but this blog is called TravelSKITE.)

I'm not so sure about the 'visiting foreign hotels' bit though: that sounds suspiciously like what's depressingly titled 'site inspections' in the trade - something that travel agents get saddled with when they're whisked overseas for what other people assume is an exciting, exotic free holiday. While we travel writers see ourselves as in an entirely different category from agents, I've been caught up in some of these myself on group famils, and also heard true horror stories of having to be shown round 20 hotels in a single day. It's madness: you can't distinguish them from each other after about the first four, so it's a total waste of time. But mainly, how tedious and dispiriting, to be shown some fabulous hotel room all marble, 1000+ count linen, balcony overlooking turquoise bay dotted with islands, and dazzling bathroom, and have to focus on the fact that the bath-tub is too high for elderly clients to climb into.

What they should do is give the agents video memory sticks of what's available, and then let them just enjoy the hotel they're staying in, which they will then remember both vividly and - hopefully - fondly. Like Indigo Pearl on Phuket, with its classy industrial-chic theme; or the Hong Kong Peninsula's 6-room suite with TV over the bath; or the Raj Palace in Jaipur's croquet lawn and super-attentive staff; or the roses and hand-made chocolates in the Plaza Grande in Quito; or the intricate pattern of bougainvillea petals on the bed at Legends in Mauritius; or the fireplace in the bathroom and the Inca walls at Hacienda San Augustin de Callo at Cotopaxi in Ecuador; or the over-water villa at Lagoon Resort on Aitutaki; or the rustic four-poster in the tent at Kangaluna in South Australia; or the 16th century longhouse in Anglesey that smelled of lilies and hay. See? I remember them all perfectly - and I'd recommend any one of them, totally (almost).

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