This month we are using this space to remind you that there are things you can rent a room in a hotel for besides sleeping. Maybe, from time to time, you have other needs. Perhaps you’ve wondered whether or not we could accommodate those desires. Well, the answer is that we have rooms that offer a wide range of possibilities, and have no problem helping you to host even a pretty large group. We are very experienced and quite flexible. That’s right, I’m talking about the meeting rooms!
We have large meeting rooms and small meeting rooms. We can set your meeting up classroom style, with whiteboards and rulers for rapping knuckles. Or we can open the room up and run a buffet along the wall. Speaking of the buffet, we have a nice range of menus from you to choose from when you book one of our meeting rooms. From contemporary California cuisine to home style Mexican to random recipes from the kitchen of our general manager, you’ll find something to suit the tone of your event. And if you don’t, then complain and we’ll figure it out!
I’ll say this: If you’re reading this, chances are you already love spending the night with us. And if you love going to bed with us, I’m pretty sure you’ll love us in the daytime too.
The day after Osama bin Laden was killed, I saw a comedian do a sketch, on The Daily Show, in an airport. He had a Big Gulp and a machete and he said he was ready to get on an airplane. He appeared crestfallen when Jon Stewart told him that airport security is here to stay. Maybe the machete was a bit much, but I think all of us who travel can relate to that. We wish the terrorists would go away and flying could get back to pre-911 mode.
Toiletries are the worst. The rules about liquids are fuzzy and seem to vary slightly from airport to airport. For sure you can’t just transfer what’s already in your shower into your bag and go. The decision is, do you want to reduce your supply of lotions, shampoos and other essentials down to what will fit into a sandwich bag? Or do will you choose to take as much as you want and pay the hefty new baggage checking fees?
Why do we travel with toiletries at all, though? Every hotel in the world comes with basically everything you need right there in the room. The answer, which we all know, is that what comes in most hotel rooms mostly, for lack of a better word, sucks. Not here, not anymore! From now on, when you’re flying to this hotel, you can leave those cumbersome toiletries behind and rest assured that your hair and skin will be soft, and have the gentle smell of fresh citrus. We’ve got new toiletries!
I’ve been walking around lately with a Christmas song in my head. Do you know the one that goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”? That line spins round and round in my head each day as I feel the sun warmer and warmer on my face. I’m sorry that whoever wrote those lyrics was so turned around, but I’m thankful to have a tune to welcome summer back with. Summer is coming everyone! This, truly, is “the most wonderful time of the year”!
And if summer is back that means that Wednesday night poolside BBQs are back too! That’s right, for all the months that the sun stays high and the air stays warm, we do the only thing that makes sense: Fire up the grill. You’re invited to join us every Wednesday night this summer for dinner by the pool. We’ll be cooking steak and chicken, baked potatoes and corn. A variety of salads and deserts round out a meal even a vegetarian can love. And, of course, the bar will be open throughout the night. Plus, a night in at the Inn is the perfect opportunity to try out one of our many board games. Maybe you can get to know a coworker, or even to make a new acquaintance or two. If you’ve never joined us for a Wednesday night BBQ before, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of our favorite traditions and we’re excited that its time has come yet again.
As this country ekes its way out of recession, we here at the Cupertino Inn want to be a bit frank with you. The last couple of years have been rough! Maybe you noticed that the breakfast buffet was sparsely populated. Maybe, on checking in, you were asked if you might not want a second room to keep your luggage in. Maybe you never noticed at all; hotels are transient places, and, anyway, you probably had your head in your own recession woes. The point is, in recent times you could pretty much just saunter in here at any old time and get yourself a room. More and more, though, these days, as we are proud, relieved and just the slightest bit sorry to say, it’s seeming like it’s officially time to announce, once again, that you’d better make a reservation if you want to stay at the Cupertino Inn.
And, actually, in the glow of our newfound bounty, there may even be a time when you call to make your reservation and find that we are already booked. In that case, our reservations manager might suggest that you stay someplace called The Grand Hotel, in some faraway land called Sunnyvale, instead. This could be disconcerting, we know, so we’d like to take a moment to explain ourselves a little bit.
First point of clarification is that the Silicon Valley is actually a massive suburban web that meanders along, changing names every so often, perhaps just for sport. Thus you could, for example, start out in Santa Clara, walk a few blocks, cross a street and be in Sunnyvale and a few blocks later you’d cross another street and end up in Cupertino. Though the idea of staying in a whole other city sounds like it will be disorienting and make you late for work, actually the Grand Hotel is a five minute drive from the Cupertino Inn. No worries.
Next, and more important, while the two hotels try very hard to maintain their separate characters, the Cupertino Inn thinking of itself as homey and down-to-earth, and the Grand Hotel maintaining a more dignified elegance, they are, essentially, the same. Same ownership, same management. The staff trades back and forth, sometimes within a single day. Sammy serves breakfast at the Grand Hotel and cocktails at the Cupertino Inn, for example. Adam, infamous taker of any shift anytime no matter what, will happily start his day at the Cupertino Inn, pop over for a quick 8 hours at the Grand, then hop back for a graveyard in Cupertino, if we don’t watch him closely enough. And, oh-so-importantly, they have identical happy hours and breakfast buffets. If you like the Cupertino Inn, you’ll like the Grand Hotel and vice versa. That’s a promise!
Our rooms are pretty steadily booked up these days. At night our bar is full of smiling faces. We get pretty favorable comment cards. Some of you even claim to read this newsletter. It kinda seems like you like us, maybe. The thing is, we’re just not sure if you’re really, truly our friends. Real friends, you know, willing to admit to the whole world that you’re with us. Like on facebook, for example.
The thing is, actually, I have to admit we’re not very popular on Facebook, and we’re feeling kind of self-conscious about it. It’s like we’re the school nerd who no one wants to sit with at lunch. And, so, in the spirit of Sixteen Candles, Can’t Buy Me Love and who knows how many other cinematic gems of teen angst, we’re offering to pay for popularity! For every hundred new friends we get on facebook, we’ll keep happy hour going at the bar for an extra hour. And how will you know about these super happy days, you ask? Well, by checking in with us on facebook, of course!
This is shameless bribery, for sure. Forgive us. We didn’t choose this modern world, but here we are in it. In the good old days, like two years ago, a hotel could know she was doing well by having rooms full of familiar faces. Now, though, we have to wonder why, though you continue to stay with us, you won’t proclaim your affection to the world. Are you ashamed of us? Are we comfortable, but not cool? Oh, please, help! Be our friends! This social network anxiety is killing us!
Not to be a bummer, but isn’t this the worst time of the year? The holidays are gone, New Year’s resolutions have already been broken, it’s cold outside and the days are still short. We’re supposed to get cheered up, I guess, by things like Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, but, really, who cares? This time of year, in my opinion, cannot pass fast enough. I’m sick of movies, sick of fires, sick of hot cocoa! What can we do?
Well, ok, maybe it’s not really so desperate. There are always things to do to cheer yourself up. One of the best blues beating choices around here is Rooster T Feathers, friendly neighborhood comedy club. The therapeutic qualities of laughter are pretty undisputed, so it’s kind of like going to a health club. Plus, though the hit-or-miss nature of some comedy clubs can make venturing into one a little scary, I swear to you that Rooster T’s lineup is almost unwavering in its quality. And, to top it all off, as some of you already know, our guests get in free! That’s right, what we’re offering is free therapy! It’s times like this that I can look people in the eye and say that I work for the best hotel on the planet!
My first car was a hand-me-down. And, not only was it a hand-me-down, but my mother bought it from a car rental agency, drove it for five or six years and then handed it down to me. It always ran perfectly, for some reason, but superficially it was kind of a mess. A new piece would fall off of something at least once a week and every time I had a new passenger I would have to reassure them that it was not their fault when the center console suddenly plopped down into their lap. There was neither heat nor air-conditioning and the windows didn’t work, so in the summer I would have someone permanently fix them down, then reverse it for winter. I loved that car! Its death was premature and unnatural; a drunk driver smashed into it one night as it sat, innocently parked in front of my house. I know it wouldn’t have lasted forever, but if any car ever deserved to go until its very end, it was that one.
Our old limos, on the other hand, got to drive into their graves. Only five years old, they each had over 200,000 miles on them. And, no, it’s not because other people are special and get to ride in them to San Francisco when you’re told “no”. They racked it all up on trips that averaged around 4 miles each. I wonder if any of you noticed how they had started sputtering around? Certainly you could not have missed that, like my beloved red car, some of the not-so-vital pieces had started to go cockeyed. I guess you probably didn’t know that we had our fingers crossed everyday, hoping it wasn’t yet time for a guest to get stranded en route to the airport. Now that we’ve got our shiny brand new limos and are safe for another five years, I can tell you how close we shaved it: One of the old workhorses died about 25 miles into its drive away from home. The transmission just gave up.
The new ones are great, all sparkly and perfect. Still, I have to confess, I’ll like them better once someone has opened a door into one and a bellman has clipped a pole with the other. You know, once they’ve built a little character.
It’s the end of the year, the holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, New Year’s Eve etc. are upon us. It’s the time when wishes get made, and whether that means casting out desires for the new year, asking Santa Claus for the latest video game, or something in between, we’ve gotten used to asking for stuff in the final weeks of every year. And, no, this isn’t an attack on materialism or the commercialization of the holidays or anything like that. In years past, as some of you may remember, this hotel’s holiday newsletter has been a compilation of the wishes of our staff and, really, the wishes for world peace and enough work for all typically far outnumber the longings for PS3s and flat screen TVs. As much as anything else, this is a moment to think about renewal, and checking in with our desires is a great way to do that.
Still, these are some crazy times we’re living in. We’re scratching our way out of a major recession, if you listen to some. Or else we’re sitting in the eye of the storm, if you believe the others. One in ten are jobless, and they say that’s a deflated number because it doesn’t acknowledge all those who aren’t looking anymore. We’re still at war. Driving through a town in California’s Central Valley last week I saw a village of tents set up on the grounds of a church, and less than a mile away was a huge development of vacant homes. But the bankers will get their multimillion dollar bonuses right on schedule. And, whatever your political sway, it’s hard to think that Washington is doing anything but preparing for the 2012 elections. It’s a hard year to believe, even in Santa Claus.
So, this year, rather than thinking about what we want the world to give us, we here at this little hotel are trying to think of what it is that we can give to the world. How can we, individually and as a little team, nurture our community? All of us want things, as, I’m sure, you also want things. Fine, that’s easy to acknowledge. But it seems like it’s a better time to think about what we have in excess, what we can give away. We’re not quite sure yet how this is going to manifest, maybe just a few extra smiles. To start with, we’ve decided not to make a year-end wish list. And to talk to all of you about it.
It’s heavy, this holiday missive. There’s plenty of artificial cheer around, though, if that’s what you want and we kind of think that maybe this can lead to some genuine lightness.
I remember those old commercials for the Hair Club for Men. At the end the spokesman would always say, “I’m not only the president, I’m also a member,” as they showed his very own before and after photos. Well, this month I’m saying to you, “I’m not only the newsletter writer, I’m also a guest.” Due to, well, I’d rather not say what, but due to some personal things I recently had the pleasure of spending a night at this hotel. It was so great! I had a thoughtless number of drinks, since the things I normally think of are: How much does it cost, and how will I get home? I ate whatever I wanted for breakfast and someone else did the dishes. It all felt so decadent and I was loving it.
But then I wanted to iron my shirt. At first I thought the iron was just sort of snapped into a little holder on the ironing board. That seemed really clever to me. I couldn’t figure out how to get it out, though. It took a while for me to realize that the iron was actually permanently attached to the board. What a crazy idea! And what an awkward thing it is to manipulate a scalding hot piece of metal that’s constantly trying to return home. As soon as I was finished I called our dear general manager and offered to pay for every single stolen iron, from now on, if only she would detach them.
I learned two things from that conversation. The first is that I am by no means the only one who has made that complaint. Or that same offer. Lots and lots of you are relating to this story and to my frustration.
The second thing I learned is that they are not attached to prevent theft. Of all the things that are not attached in these rooms, those little irons are pretty far down on the value scale and no one was ever stealing them. What people were doing, when iron and board were not mated for life, was being too lazy to set the board up. That’s right, and I know I’m not talking about any of you, my readers, but some people out there thought that, rather than taking 30 seconds to set up one of the lightest, simplest objects that exists in the world, it would be easier to just use the bed, say. Or maybe an armchair. Perhaps the floor. So that the rooms, pre-attachment, were littered with burn marks. But once our general manager figured out how to permanently unite the two, the burning stopped and so the final word is that we are never going back to iron and board as separate objects. A few people ruined it for everyone. I wish we at least knew who they were.
One of the things I do not understand in this country, and forgive me if this sounds un-American, is Budweiser. And Bud-Lite, and Coors, and Miller’s Hi-Life, and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a few others I could think of if it were worth trying. I’m sure you’ve gotten the category I mean to describe. All of that watery, pale-yellow, bitter nothingness that get passed off as beer in our homeland makes up one of the big roadblocks to patriotism for me. I can understand it as the high school kids’ beverage of choice, as it’s cheap and the alcohol content is low enough that young experimenters can drink lots and lots and lots of it and only rarely will someone end up in the hospital. But grown men and women continuing to act as if this were a legitimate beverage choice is just not something that makes sense to me. The world is too big, there are too many interesting things, both complex and simple, to choose to put into your mouth. How is it that Budweiser doesn’t just survive, but thrives?.
If you, my reader, are with me on this, if you don’t get it either, then I have an announcement that may make you happy.
And if you’re not with me, if you are perhaps even offended that I would slander something that’s been a part of your life for so long, I apologize, but I also really believe that what I’m about to share with you will make your life better.
This hotel will, from now on, feature a different micro-brewed beer every month. That means that every month we’ll have a new beer, crafted with the same love and attention as each of the wines we serve, to offer you. No pressure. We’ll still keep the old stuff stocked too. But, just in case you ever wondered if there was something more out there, if somewhere deep in your private fantasies you questioned this choice that you’ve been making for so many years, we’re offering you a chance to look around a little bit. It’s even free.
This is my kind of activism, by the way. In sharing this with you, I feel that I’m doing my part to make our great nation even greater.