Sunday, April 04, 2010
The W: A lesson on human discontent
With lighting and decor more suited to the set of the vampire guilty pleasure HBO series, True Blood, downtown Minneapolis' The W @ the Foshay was like an unabashed seduction of the senses. Its owners wanted you the visitor to feel very specific things: decadence, opulence, indulgence and if you so dared, your wildest fantasies come to life. For me, my first reaction was, how could I have been coming to Minneapolis for the past four years and not known that such a hotel exists.
Because you see, every time I did visit Minneapolis for the bi annual Eckankar seminar, my movements were restricted to the Hilton on Marquette Avenue, the ingenious skywalk that protected me from the city's unforgiving harsh weather and the convention center where most of the events would be held. Somehow, and maybe because I never inquired, I never heard about the W or knew that it was just a block away.
I was to share accomodations with friends--a good way to cut down costs--for three nights but because none of us could get ourselves and finances together on time, we booked a bit late, the result of which was that we were able to get two nights in our old faithful seminar hotel, The Hilton and one night at the W. None of us had heard about the W and we were just grateful that we were able to get a room at a very discounted price, last minute.
Our room's statement of purpose was clear: This is not where you bring your kids. This is not even where you come to relax. You come here to indulge. From state-of-the-art slate grey tiles and shower heads that moved by sensors, to a bathroom walls that would make the dedicated voyeur weep with pleasure, walls blackened for effect and every technological gadget you can think of. We spent almost an hour, just messing with the stuff. Anyone watching us would not know that between us three, was medical degree, an engineering degree and an architecture degree. Even the faucets came with a manual. And to drive home the point that the hotel was not for the "good" boys and girls, we had a bar stocked with the most number of alcohol brands I had ever seen outside of a liquor store.
All the time we had been coming, we had always been happy to stay at the Hilton. It was convenient and it was quite nice but two minutes into the lobby and we began calculating how we could afford the next trip and this time stay at The W, the entire weekend. When we had to check in to the Hilton, the next day, we did so with a sigh, nitpicking at everything in our room. That was when we noticed holes in the curtains or that there were some lumps in the mattress. Or that the soap provided for us to wash our hands had no exotic scent.
In short, The W had stripped The Hilton naked and spanked it public....and from the way The W was designed, I am sure it liked to do just that.
I was just tickled by the fact that before this, if you had asked me the best place to stay, I would have been singing the Hilton's praises even before you finished your question. I still like the Hilton, but now I want the Foshay. Talk about discontent....sigh.
What are you lusting after now and pushing to the back burner in other to have it?