Wednesday, 1 August 2007

A Little Bit of Luxury

Not that I've stayed in that many, but this hotel could be the best I've ever stayed in. And here's a tip for tourists. If you come to Finland in the "holy month" of July, business hotels actually reduce their rates rather than put them up. Reason being, they're half empty as no one in Finland does any business in the one month of the year where there is really no chance of snow, sub-zero temperatures, 24 hour darkness etc.

So for less than a hundred euros we are enjoying a room the size of a five-aside football pitch, with stylish contemporary bathroom fittings and three arm chairs (the third presumably in case a friend drops by in the night).

I have to confess to a weakness for posh hotel rooms. Well, any hotel rooms really. There's something about the feel of starched white sheets against the skin. Or could it be the promiscuous entertaining of hundreds of stangers who have come before me and will come after? The lure of the cable channels and the temptations of the minibar -- we only took one beer (for the sauna) but we could have drunk it dry if we'd felt like playing at rock stars on tour.

But on top of all these delights, a dream came true last night when we found we were the only people in the restaurant, or at least the small bit that we were in, and we could at least pretend that we had arranged a private room for our romantic triste. The food incidentally was excellent. I had lake trout with a chanterelle sauce and for the starter, I even enjoyed the beetroot, the one vegetable I generally avoid. Washed down with a bottle of 2004 Chianti a bit of a compromise choice as Kaarina was grabbing the chance to eat steak.

So now, as my beloved sleeps it off, I sit reading Newsweek in the tastefully furnished lobby, contemporary but not sombre, with mustard yellows and warm reds replacing the standard cold greys of so many so called boutique hotels. And no doubt breakfast will be copious piles of bread and cheese and cucumber and maybe some herring...but I must stop as the thought of it, is making my stomach rumble so loud as to wake any other guests still sleeping.

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