Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A seat for my purse.

I have always loved Pastis in New York. The energy. The Fresh Arugula Salad. The La Vie En Rose cocktail. And the fact I do not have to clench my purse in between my thighs during lunch. That's because they have shelves above the booth seating. Hit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A two in one appointment.

I know which doctor some of you think I should see. Next time I am in New York I will make an appointment.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why didn't I think of this?

"You will think this is strange," said Crystal, a waitress at Caracas Arepa Bar in New York. Strange? I LOVE IT. I LOVE CRYSTAL. After Crystal presented me my take away sauce wrapped in a plastic glove -- which BTW the cooks in the kitchen all wear while making arepas -- I told her I was the Hygiene Hunter and nothing could please me more than food wrapped in a plastic glove. She was worried the lid could come off the container and make a mess of the inside of my purse if not sealed properly. Fantastic food and thinking. Hit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Of course I inspected this.

I inspected all of the light fixtures in my room at the Connaught in London. I stopped counting at 50. I didn't find any dust, fingerprints or small children. At the end of this Hygiene Hunt I collapsed on my pristine bed. I was revived with the most delicious fresh-pressed juice from the in-house Hélène Darroze restaurant Espelette. I will not drink juice unless it is fresh pressed. So many restaurants refer to their juice as fresh. That does not mean pressed upon order. There is a significant difference and level of nutrients present. Hit.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A lifesaver.

This handrail, while not stunning like the one at the Connaught in London, serves a purpose. It is meant to keep you from being killed. Scenario. And I am not speaking from experience. I swear on a stack of organic hand wipes. You stumble out of a pub or a sale at Selfridges and you feel disoriented. Instead of walking into a bus on Oxford Street, you walk into this handrail. So while it is likely germ-laden, I salute this metal masterpiece. Hit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I am watching you.

While I was admiring the beauty and immaculate condition of the wooden handrails that grace six floors at the Connaught in London, I realized I could spy on the Concierge. The stunning period feature won out. Hit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More of what I like.

Hardwood floors are perfect for individuals who suffer from allergies and Hygiene Hunters who are suspicious of carpets and what they may harbor. Confession. I, the Hygiene Hunter, will admit to being present when body lotion -- and no this is not a euphemism -- has inadvertently fallen onto a hotel carpet. And, I the Hygiene Hunter, have smooshed said body lotion into the carpet. No, not with my finger, my slippered foot. As my penance I knelt on the hardwood and marble floors in my room at the Connaught in London and prayed for Mr. Clean's forgiveness. Hit.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Naturally white.

I loved the roses in my room at the Connaught in London because they were whiter than white. A color generally associated with clean and the promise made by skin bleaching cream.

While white is obviously a color found in nature, some things need a little help like hotel towels. I have never experienced sensitivity to hotel towels. Based on the number of people who use these towels -- and Lord knows what some people do with these towels -- I am glad hotels use some form of disinfectant in their cleaning process. I would prefer it be as kind to the environment and humans as possible. That said, I must admit I do like my towels white.

Undoubtedly, years of programming by Mr. Clean. Thankfully these roses smelled like roses instead of bleach. Hit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No contest.

The wardrobes in my room at the Connaught in London would have been a dream for Eddie Munster as they were for me. Just for different reasons. Unlike Eddie, I don't sleep in drawers. Although if I did, that would do away with the mattress inspection. Wardrobes feel so much cleaner than standard hotel closets making it a joy to unpack. Hit.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Really good news.

It was delightful to find the daily newspaper hanging on the doorknob of my Connaught Hotel room rather than lying on the ground in front of the door like at most hotels. I am all about bags for things and things in bags and keeping things you touch off the floor! Hit.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your own bubble.

I often dream of living in a bubble. Some say I already do. This rickshaw in London is a close approximation. Unfortunately, other people have been breathing in it. So no go. This plastic wrap will protect you from other elements like rain, pollution and the evil eye. Hit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A hat orgy.

Hats available in Small, Medium and Lice from this street vendor in London. Miss.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mini-mattresses for your feet.

Of all of the hotels I have stayed in, the Connaught in London holds the title for Plushest Slippers. I adore hotels who provide slippers. And I thank guests who wear them. Personal comfort and cleaner flooring are two great benefits the Hygiene Hunter can get behind. Hit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Touching history.

If you are going to have a piano in your hotel room the keys should be as flawless as the ones on this 1909 Steinway Grand Piano. Admittedly I didn't dust for fingerprints, but I did attempt to play a Chopin score. Failing at Chopin is more admirable than receiving an F for the chopsticks.

Fortunately, the Sutherland Suite at the Connaught in London is soundproofed. Rumor has it Bette Midler has performed The Rose on this very piano in this very room. This very piano is even more historically significant. It belonged to Jewish-Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman whose survival of the holocaust was retold by director Roman Polanski in the triple-Oscar winning film The Pianist. I am humbled. Hit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No need to call housekeeping.

The dreaded bed inspection. As I peel back each layer I fear what I might find. Truth be told I would ask for a new mattress even if I found Colin Firth between my sheets. The Connaught passes! The bed was also extraordinarily comfortable. Hit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

So far. So perfect.

Immaculate hallways are just as important as immaculate rooms. The hallway leading to my room at the Connaught was perfect. The air was fresh, the carpet free of stains, lint and small critters, and the walls were in mint condition. God Bless wide hallways. I have never checked out of a hotel because of dinged walls, but they do make me think less of an establishment. Particular. Check. Obsessed. Check. While the Connaught has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, it is clear excellent housekeeping practices are followed. I can't wait to open the door to my room. Hit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Welcome to the Connaught.

If you have been reading this blog then you know how much I stress over staying in new hotels. Not new as in brand new. New as in new to me. On one of my visits to London, England I opted to stay at the Connaught instead of the hotel I always stay at for the love of high blood pressure. This hotel has received great reviews from numerous sources. I needed to know if they could pass my test. I don't impress easily.

The hotel was off to a good start upon arrival. The revolving doors were fingerprintless. At hotels, first impressions are always made at the door. Throughout my stay I would often see the panes of glass being cleaned. So not KFC. I can only imagine what their doors look like based on the fast food company's slogan. Hit.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A well mannered canine.

This dog wasn't slurping his soup. That's because he wasn't eating soup. He was, however, drinking water in a most dignified manner at Scott's in Mayfair. Mayfair is one of the most exclusive districts in London, England. Perhaps he attended Eton College.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Piddle is a problem.

While taking this picture I was almost knocked unconscious by the creator of this reminder. I forgave him because how was he to know the Hygiene Hunter would be standing behind the slightly ajar door taking a photograph?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I was abducted by aliens.

And for their perverse pleasure I was plunked into this less than pristine taxi in Vancouver. The Hygiene Hunter reduced to a social experiment! When I came to, I had the presence of mind to document the moment. Then I called home.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meet the Canadians.

It has been confirmed. The birds in yesterday's post are not Canadian Geese. For my penance, I had to wake up very early today and walk around Stanley Park in Vancouver for a bird lesson. Canadian Geese have black markings. The birds in this photo are Canadian Geese. There is absolutely no hygiene lesson in today's post. Unless of course you are tempted to drink untreated bird bath water. Don't. You may be delighted to hear I was able to identify a Loon and a Mallard. Loon's are also black-throated just like Canadian Geese. Just much smaller. Either way, the white birds pictured yesterday were far more concerned with personal hygiene.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Duck? Duck? Goose?

I am not a good Canadian. Yes, I know the men's hockey team won Olympic Gold on Sunday. Yes, I know the words to our national anthem. Yes, I know Céline Dion is desperately trying to have another baby. But I did not know immediately that these were Canadian Geese. Actually, I still do not know what they really are. I know they are not canaries. An ornithologist I am not. These birds meanwhile knew exactly who I was. When I stopped to admire them on the shore of Lake Ontario they immediately started cleaning themselves. And nothing impresses the Hygiene Hunter more.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How incredibly classy.

Do not feel sorry for this gentleman. He was not suffering from deep-vein thrombosis. We were not into the 19th hour of a long-haul flight to Australia. Actually, we had not even taken off from LaGuardia enroute to Toronto when Mr. Class chose to put his feet up on the wall of the aircraft. I say, "Why stop there? Why not just relieve yourself in the seat pocket in front of you?"