Hotel Max

When I was looking for a hotel to stay at for SIGCOMM 2008, I had trouble finding one in downtown Seattle which wasn’t insanely expensive. In the end I picked Hotel Max because it was only moderately expensive, instead of insane like the Grant Hyatt. The hotel is interesting because apparently it was quite run down until a few years ago when it was done up. Now every room has its own unique art, and the halls and lobby are filled with different bits of art as well. Very hip.

The room itself is quite small by American standards, which means its about the same size as the room that I stayed in while staying in London a few years ago. The shower and bathroom are literally cupboards off a corridor, but the bed is a full size queen. I’m not surprised about that given the reviews.

Given all I do in hotels is sleep and work on my laptop, I like this place. If I had the kids with me I would go insane however. Also be careful to get a room that faces Stewart Street. Mine faces an alley and I can hear the binging noise from the streetcar until about 10pm, and the air conditioning plant from the building next door for a while after that. I still slept ok though, so I guess people turned all that stuff off at some point during the night.

Update: I was wrong. The binging isn’t the street car, its instead the beeping thingie that all underground carparks seem to have here to warn pedestrians that there is a car about to enter the sidewalk. Its very annoying.


I am forever glad to be away from Dallas, which seemed to have few redeeming features (although perhaps that’s because I was staying in the worst hotel I have stayed in in the US). I’m now in Boston, where the Kimpton is very nice. It has a hilarious leopard skin print theme, but apart from that is very nice. The meat loaf for dinner last night was fantastic.

I have an idle day today, so the plan is to catch the metro to Boston Common, and then walk the freedom trail. I wonder if I’ll be freer at the end. I should try to remember to take a tea bag as well, and ceremonially throw it in the harbour. Then I can honestly say that I’ve tea bagged for America.

Arrived in Dallas

I arrived in Dallas yesterday. This part of the trip is to attend LISA 2007, spend some time on the Google booth, and present a poster about the initial research in my new-improved-previous-topic-abandoned PhD. I’m staying in the same hotel as the conference, the Grand Hyatt.

Staying at the Grand Hyatt has led me to make a conclusion — people mistake expensive for up-scale. I look at the hotel, and its pretty lame: parking is $18 a day, internet is $10 a day, printing is $1 a page, and all the food options are expensive. I can only assume that either they’re not interested in business travellers, or that they’re hoping people will confuse being gouged for being upper class.

Oh, and the room is noisy and poorly laid out. I much preferred The Hampton Inn I stayed at in Atlanta to be honest. Now there was a hotel that understood business travellers.

Extended Stay Hotels — shame on you

I’m a little horrified to have just received this email from Extended Stay Hotels (I stay at them under the name Homestead suites, there is one across the road from our Washington DC office, and another across the road from Microsoft’s Redmond Campus):

If you - or someone you know - are among the millions evacuating due
to the approach of Hurricane Rita, Extended Stay Hotels still has
room availability in the following metro areas:

	Kansas City, MO - From $38.99/night
	St. Louis, MO - From $44.99/night

Does anyone else think it’s icky that they’re advertising like this to people with their homes and livelihoods in danger? Perhaps Homestead should offer free rooms?

(Oh, and this indignant post is the 1,000th in the diary category here…)