There's nothing quite like a night of rest in your own bed after several days of travel. It could be a quirk peculiar to my own instincts, but the depth and length of my sleep cycles is much more restful at home. For the first time since last Tuesday, I feel a clarity of mind and eagerness of body that only follows a healthy night of sleep at home.
Today's far out riff is a simple concept that's very challenging to execute, creating the perfect home away from home. Personalized lodging can mimic a few of the most important little things that make one's house or apartment feel cozy, without any of the downside: upkeep, cleaning, dirty dishes, and laundry. I'll begin by identifying a few essentials that conjure a sense of comfort I associate primarily with home.
Don't make me have to think when I connect to a remote network. Setup a login and password over secure email before I even arrive so that my personal data network seamlessly integrates into the hotel's backbone. While staying at the Fairmont in San Jose there were some quirks related to networking that should never have existed: weak wifi in rooms, $14/day, and getting cut off and having to resubscribe each day. On the plus side they had fat pipes up and down once connected of 20-40mbps depending on network load.
Customized Kingsized Mattresses as an Option
Tempurpedic mattresses may cost a little more than their standard spring bound cousins, but to someone who's grown accustomed to these luxury sleeping foam layers of awesome, they're essential. We have ours setup on the floor at home but any hard surface should suffice, preferably low to the ground to minimize catastrophic roll over error ;).
Healthy Food Variety, Always Available, at a Reasonable Rate
At home we have a kitchen with stocked fridge/cabinets and cooking area. While not every hotel needs these, at the very least there should be a 24 hour dining area that doesn't break the bank with a nice variety of food. One major pain in the arse was not being able to enjoy breakfast with my wife last week. No local breakfast spots opened until 6:30am, and the first AMP conference meetings began at 7am sharp each day. We'd head over to the convention center and I'd grab some terrible microwave snack at Starbucks and she would get a complimentary day old baked good at the conference. We'd sit for a moment together before she ran off to the meeting. I'd write a post then go for a walk or travel by bus/train about the San Jose and lower valley region.
At home we have a fan running at night, an AC in the summer, and a humidifier in the winter. White background noise is the status quo for sleep at home. The hotel had a very quite fan, and abrupt random banging of neighbor room doors between 11-2am. Small things like sound can have a huge impact on quality of sleep. Smell is probably much tougher to dynamically alter, but even if we don't
consciously think about odor, it has a deep connection to our mind's pattern matching with home.