I have made no secret about my desire to live in a hotel and I can’t really imagine why anyone wouldn’t have the same dream. I was amazed when, years ago, I mentioned this fantasy to my now-wife and she didn’t seem as enthused. “What about a kitchen to cook in?” she asked. I hadn’t thought of that.
I’ve had hotel living on the brain ever since seeing Gordon Ramsay exasperatedly turn up bedbugs in Hotel Hell. Hotels carry an air of glamour and luxury but the reality more often involves drab, interchangeable rooms and, worse, the kind of threadbare fleabags Chef Gord is trying to stamp out. Let’s be honest: when you dream of living in a hotel, the setting’s a grand(e) old(e) luxurious place with a pool and a dark bar to hang out in and a house detective (those still exist, right?) to solve mysteries with. Nobody dreams of living at a Hampton Inn.
Howard Hughes was the granddaddy of hotel living. The infamous germaphobe made his home in a number of hotels over the course of his life, including four bungalows at the luxurious Beverly Hills Hotel. In 1966, he moved into the top two floors of Las Vegas’s Desert Inn. When management asked him to leave after 10 days, he responded by buying the hotel.
Probably the most famous and notorious hotel the rich and famous have called home is the now-extinct Garden of Allah Hotel and Bungalows in West Hollywood. A den of golden-age hedonism, stars such as Humphrey Bogart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich and Ernest Hemmingway called the Garden of Allah home at one time or another. It is now a strip mall.
Lest you think hotel living is only for dead celebrities, know that 87-year-old Broadway star (and Alec Baldwin’s TV mother) Elaine Stritch lives in a suite at New York’s Carlyle Hotel. I don’t think Ramsay will be paying a visit anytime soon.
Do you want to live in a hotel? Do you not want to live in a hotel? Let me hear about it in the comments, or join the conversation on Twitter @slice_tv.
Paul Beer is a Toronto writer, actor and comedian. You can follow him on Twitter@pauldanielbeer.