No, I want to outsource all of that.
I want to be able to wake up. Get to work on a dedicated high-speed internet connection. Yawn a bit. Go down to the lobby in my pajamas. Grab a good healthy breakfast buffet. Sit down next to the pool. Pull out my Kindle or iPad, read a textbook or Iain M Banks. Get a work out in by swimming around after I'm bored. Go back to my workstation in my suite. Do a few emails. Shower in the gorgeous bathroom. Dress in something comfy. Sit down, get some serious hours in. Have a keto snack or two brought to me for when I'm peckish. Go down for dinner. Enjoy the hub hub of people. Go behind the bar (something no one else can do). Pour myself a small drink. Talk to the chef about what he's into that night. Have a tiny portion of that for dinner. Go to swim in the pool again. Go back up, read a book, and then fall asleep.
It's a seamless frictionless lifestyle. And when I have enough money that I don't have to worry about money. That's what I want. I don't want fancy cars or planes and stuff — just a life where I can think about the better things in life.
Having your own house is overrated. I would settle for a good suite at the Ritz.
For about $600/month, I hired a live-in cook/head of household named Maria. She handled all the shopping and cooking, including fresh fruit every morning when I woke up, and a large mid-day meal. She made my bed every morning once I was up, and reminded me to do things that needed to be done by me.
Maria was only about 6 years older than me, but fit easily into a mom role. A mom that was never judgmental, and always sweet and accommodating. A true friend, who I could pour my heart out to if necessary. In the evenings, she played guitar and sang, which made it easy to forgive her for listening to the same pop female playlist on youtube almost every day.
For another few hundred per month, I got Denise, who would come in 3 days a week to handle all the laundry and cleaning, and help with meals and shopping. I tasked Maria with managing Denise so I didn't have to, including making her schedule and making sure she was doing what she needed to do.
During those 2 glorious years, during which I worked from home, from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I went to bed at night, I didn't have to do anything at all at home other than work or have fun. My meals were provided. My bed was made. My house was always spotless and sparkling. The fruit in the morning was always fresh, and the food in the afternoon was always delicious.
I'm constantly surprised that more people in my kind of position don't relocate to Mexico.
After a couple years I got fed up with the pollution and decided to do the digital nomad thing for awhile, which is why I've been in Europe all summer and headed to Bali and China in the fall.
I once though digital nomadism was part of a solution to the cancerous formations we call "cities", but maybe that's just newspeak for neo-colonialism?
I do not doubt that all involved parties do consent (although some more than others).
I am more skeptical about market advantages disappearing, as I've rarely seen any exemple of this that was due solely to market equilibrium, and I therefore consider this a fantasy -- indeed, I doubt market laws but I do not doubt the laws of psychology that make popular the ideas that are needed to justify domination (oftentimes by both ends), however remote from reality.
But maybe am I myself the victim of some lesser known psychological laws that makes me too suspicious? I'd gladly accept this possibility if we agreed not to start a thread that's been too political already.
> After a couple years I got fed up with the pollution
You addressed your surprise
It's common for higher-end apartments in Mexico City to have a room for a live-in maid (often on the roof). These quarters are very small, often just big enough for a cot when you account for water heaters or other equipment mounted in them. I don't think I could pay someone to live in such a small space. (Yes, I know it could be a step up from wherever they're living now.) To be 100% clear, I don't know that that's what this post is describing; also some people/cultures are raised with this arrangement and so aren't bothered by it.
I left China a couple of years ago because of the pollution. We could have had a similar lifestyle 10 years ago, but today labor costs are a bit too high in a first tier like Beijing. We might consider Kunming, Guilin, or even Lijiang after our kid grows up (southwest China has the best weather).
I always wound up meeting a few digital nomads whenever visiting Bali.
Have you found anywhere else comparable that isn’t insane expensive?
This could describe a number of neighbourhoods in Mexico City. But I'm quite interested - could you direct me to any resources? E.g. how did you find the condo?
Do you have a source for "most countries"?
Looks like unsafe dominates safe to me, by far. In the America’s, only Canada and the USA have potable water. In Asia, it’s only South Korea, Japan, and the rich city states (HK, Singapore, Brunei). In Africa, nothing, in the Middle East, just Israel.
Europe is the exception, but then it’s mostly just the EU countries. Serbia and Croatia aren’t listed as having safe drinking water (I assume it’s the pipes that are of concern, not source, like first tier Chinese cities).
Croatian here. It's not the pipes, it's just nonsense. Tap water is perfectly drinkable in Croatia and, as far as I'm aware, of great quality.
I've also traveled and stayed in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria (in addition to already mentioned Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro) and no one mentioned anything about not drinking tap water.
The link you provided seems to be very unreliable source of information.
> Food and water standards in Croatia are similar to those in the United States. Most travelers do not need to take special food or water precautions beyond what they normally do at home.
So no, it's not based on CDC.
Both maps are just wrong. The reality is, 70% of global population has drinkable tap water, here's the data: https://data.unicef.org/topic/water-and-sanitation/drinking-...
But if you think about it, it’s a pretty big waste of resources to use water purified to the point of being safe to drink for showering, filling toilets, watering the garden, washing the car, etc. The vast majority of the water you use doesn’t need to be drinkable.
That said, how much was your room in Mexico?
For example, I visited Guilin a few years back, and there wasn't any detectable pollution (I'm asthmatic, so I really feel it where pollution is bad).
Your description sounds a bit like a luxury version of a nursing home.
Will I be able to be able to stream video to the TV? Probably only at cheaper hotels. Beds and rooms get bigger, fine, but showers and closets? Could be tiny. Gyms? Some great ones out there, but it's really inconsistent, a lot of expensive places still just have a row of treadmills, some dumbbells, and giant inflatable ball.
Extreme breakfast buffets are a common perk. Would you prefer to pay $100 for the same admittedly phenomenal breakfast several days in a row, or would you rather spend that money and those calories on the best dinners in the area at several different places?
Towels. Towels are the only thing that's predictably better. Something's strange about paying a few hundred per night on great towels.
There's an opportunity for a mobile concierge service. Uber eats, sure, but maybe also press clothes for less than $50 per item. Maybe it could even loan you a set of really great towels.
Hotel rooms in the city are always much smaller, but non urban tourist areas are very different (Eg Manila vs Boracay).
But what parent was saying is that a small assisted living apartment is cheaper than a big unassisted house.
Are you sure you’re not just comparing two areas of different cost of living?
Heck, this is basically the modus operandi of most luxury student accommodation in London.
Find one with a restaurant on the bottom floor and you're done.
It'll cost close to 5K/mo all in for decent square footage. That's before food, which will probably run around 50/day at least. Still very achievable on a dev salary in a major market, as long as you don't make any other expensive life decisions (i.e., children). Not what I would spend my money on, but certainly an option if it's what you want
That's 50% of your salary(after taxes) if you're making 140k, but 1/4th of dev salaries in SF start above that.
In particular I’ve had great luck with Marriotts it’s Shanghai and Shenzhen. I was surprised since Marriotts are nothing special in the US.
A friend’s Marriott room in Hong on the harbor was also great, but I didn’t stay there.
The great thing is you also benefit from permanent elite status, which makes it more affordable and the stays even better with the lounge, free food, etc.
For example, in Shenzhen (tech hub next to Hong Kong) you can get a room for well under $150/night—less than some SV rents monthly. Pay with a hotel/travel rewards card and you’ve got something good going. I’d seriously consider doing this if I didn’t have wife/kids, but pretty happy with things now.
This HN comment mentions the anecdote, but also others who have done similar (eg coding on cruises):
EDIT: Missed that this has already been mentioned in comments below too
One of the things a hotel room has going for it is that it's very uncluttered and maybe even 'feng shui'. As such it doesn't have a lot of distractions (visually with objects) that a typical home or office has. That alone (imo) can go a long way toward being able to do your 'best work'.
Honestly, that alone makes working from a hotel a bloody miserable experience - even if you're staying in a luxurious suite with your own butler.
This may be a good work travel option: pick a city with high quality but cheap hotels, stay a few weeks, get excellent work done, have everything handled and food largely provided.
As for upgrades, yes almost all the time if you're top tier status. You just have to pick a hotel that isn't fully booked so they can upgrade you. It pays to research upfront to find a hotel with a lounge, good upgrade options, good free breakfast and seldom fully booked, but its worth it.
There are a lot of things to consider based on what you want. E.g. gym, pool, fast wifi, lounge, free breakfast, near a park, good place to run/walk outside, high-rise for the views while you think through problems, rooftop bar, near a movie theatre, rewards card, airport shuttle, etc.
Your post made me realize I could also go to a hotel 3x per year when I have a big writing assignment to finish. Could work very well with having the status and upgrades.
>It pays to research upfront to find a hotel with a lounge, good upgrade options, good free breakfast and seldom fully booked, but its worth it.
Any good resources to research this efficiently? I looked at marriott's site, and it wasn't obvious which hotels had lounges. I think it's by brand, but apparently some are missing/closed/closed on weekends.
Likewise for breakfast, how do you research it?
For really long-term stays, if you are able to speak to someone at the hotel, then it's often possible to negotiate much more favourable discounts than you'll find online.
I've trained myself to be somewhat "productive" on planes to get large amounts of work done out of necessity, but the creativity (new/novel work) tends to happen in hotels with the ambience I described. On the flip side, shitty hotels tend to have the opposite effect--completely unproductive (the ironic costs of saving money).
I hope that makes sense. I actually haven't thought deeply about what makes this work before, so these thoughts are rough.
Well, also in the vast majority of the US, no?
There's also more of a lady and servant relationship in a one-to-one scenario. That's extremely uncomfortable for me. In a hotel, it's a job and some chains actually pay their employees quite well, making it a true profession. A professional job where no one is under you per se or serving you explicitly is much better than having people follow your every whim directly. There are buffer layers here and the hotel can very much say no and protect their employees if the guest goes too far.
Assuming $1.5k as a conservative estimate, we get about $550k/yr. Or, $45k/mo. If you have a mortgage, then for a marginally expensive home ($3M in the bay), a 20-year mortgage all in at 3% is $21k.
A good butler starts at around 9k/mo before taxes etc. And goes up to $12k/mo to $15k/mo. Let's assume $10k, then that's $31k so far.
Add about $6k more for household cleaning and a part-time chef (pricey!), then we get to $37k before the groceries are brought in.
Depending on how you shop, this can be between $2k/mo/head to $5k/mo/head. let's assume $2.5k. So $39.5k before utilities, upkeep etc are taken into account.
Add $2.5k in high-speed internet and utilities. If you want a house with a good HVAC system, air purification and all the other bells and whistles that are incidental in a hotel. We're now at $42k with a $3k difference so far. I'm sure that can be easily made up if you buy a more expensive property or the property taxes go up or you refurnish your home...
It's fairly price competitive to live in a hotel for a rich person versus having your own gigantic household. The biggest tradeoff is space. And I'm happy to do that for the greater peace of mind.
Not only you are comparing a “small suite” with a probably much larger $3mn home but you’re comparing renting with buying over 20 years. You should count only the interests paid.
In the past private school fags, or military batmen presumably might follow a "gentleman" in to later service, but I don't see where it fits in now? I'd guess it must be like being an equerry, about social positioning in the first place?
Note that the grandparent didn't say "luxury" anywhere.
If you're good with 4 stars you could probably get there with a little internet sleuthing.
Casinos running specials trying to attract gamblers during the off season is probably the best bet. Or low population areas like the midwest.
I'd throw my money at that without hesitating.
If I were to choose the hotel-like lifestyle that would be a good, perhaps affordable, option.
Most of the hotels also have private elevators only for condominum owners so you don't have to mingle with the guests.
You pay an ongoing fee each month for the hotel services and utilities. But this is flat rate and is surprisingly affordable. Comparable in price to a high-end HOA fee in an upscale planned community ($300 - $400 per month). Remember this also includes utilities, access to hotel amenities, and house cleaning on a limited schedule (usually just 1 time per week). Additional house cleanings are sold at a fixed schedule of around $50 per cleaning.
I have a friend who has an apartment in the top of Las Vegas Trump Tower (yes yes, i know all the political presidential comments will follow now, but really the hotel is incredible). This caused me to look it up for myself. I live nearby in Utah and visit Las Vegas frequently. I considered purchasing an apartment in a hotel for myself.
Like any other house, these are listed on the MLS. You hire a real estate agent, etc. I looked at Cosmopolitan, The Palms, MGM Signature, and a few others. They are all surprisingly competitive. Prices start around $250k (which gets you a studio style room). $350k seemed to be the average price for a 1 bedroom. And $500k seemed to get you in the 2 bedroom range. Penthouse suites are also available in the > $1M range.
But all-in-all you can basically live in a hotel for roughly the price of buying a home. Even the ongoing hotel fee isn't too far off what I pay for utlities alone at my home, and also includes the hotel services.
Vegas is not alone in this concept. I know that New York does the same thing and there are similar ones when I was visiting Vancouver, Canada last weekend. Look at most premium hotels and they will often have this option available to a certain amount of their rooms.
Tl;DR: for anyone wanting to live in a hotel, it is INCREDIBLY realistic.
But you can really have a similar lifestyle in any big city in the US on a mid-level tech salary. It’s not a hotel but you can rent a 1 bedroom apartment in a building with a pool and a gym, and order dinner every night on Uber eats/DoorDash/etc. Get groceries delivered and eat a combination of quick minibar style snacks and delivery for breakfast and lunch as well. Pretty much the way a lot of young professionals in cities live already.
If you have enough money for that, the hotel can easily be accross the street from your company. Why commute when your commute can be two minutes.
If you need to focus on a different office, just move to that office.
How much would this cost a month, roughly? Would you get some kind of volume discount? For comparison, a $3k/mo mortgage would be about $100/night (30 days a month).
Most Ritz suites I see are about $579 - $2,500/night.
Comes with an amazing free breakfast and a target on your back for confidence artists.
TV looks kind of cheap shrug
Source: been traveling for six years for less than 12k a year.
It’s the best weekend of the year and I spend the rest of the year looking forward to it.
The particular anecdote GP is referring to is here though:
I've heard a lot of good about this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FBFNL0
I also prefer things being dimly lit, with many low luminance lights scattered around.
However I do prefer sticking around my hotel room rather than spending a lot of energy being in public. Navigating crowds drains me emotionally and I usually need time to recover from a vacation.
Conversely I don’t like being the “lazy” type of tourist that just stays on the beach and eats. But that’s my personal prejudice. :/
I feel kinda sad for the author. How can one come up with a concept line that?
I find so many delights in becoming familiar with a single building and its surrounding mere few blocks, with their quirks, people, shops, and eateries, than to hop around all of the busy "top" attractions. This has huge benefits if you tend to visit smaller cities too, as you are less likely to get bored if you engage in tourism "in the small" and don't need or want large attractions or spectaculars to satisfy you.
Being autistic and generally obsessed about the details of things rather than the big picture may have a huge role in my thinking, though. Clearly the majority do want to hit all of the attractions, and that's okay! :-)
Only vaguely related, John Carmack also seemed to make a habit of going on work-trips to hotels. You can read about it in his famous .plan files. He would drag a workstation to a hotel a reasonable distance from home and work for a weekend or an entire week without distraction.
We still enjoy Disneyland today, but I've learned to just slow down. Look at the colorful brickwork of the castle, eat at a sit down restaurant in New Orleans square, watch a parade. Maybe I skip riding Pirates of the Caribbean if the line is too long. Maybe we head back to the hotel when the lines get long and enjoy the pool. It ends up being a much more enjoyable day, something closer to what I supposed Walt Disney imagined so many years ago.
Sometimes you do get more by doing less.
I pretty much have this experience. I mean, I don't indulge in most of the luxuries, I usually go for lower end places like Airbnb, but I don't really have to, at least not in the medium term, it's just a personal preference because I don't like having servants.
I've discovered, over the last few years, that I need some sort of struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Yeah, there are programming projects, I can learn a new (spoken) language, etc, but ultimately, because it's kind of 'unforced', it doesn't give me the same level of drive.
What I actually want, and am working towards, is a stable home, on a bit of land that's mine, that I have dominion over. Gardening, building small structures, working on the house, learning how to provide shelter for myself basically.
I actively don't want everything to be done for me. I think the ultimate limiting case of that is basically to be wired in to an IV drip, with a VR headset or something, and just wither away into nothing.
In the grand scheme of things it's no more or less pointless than anything we do, but it doesn't sit right with me.
Souvenir shops and Irish pubs aside, Chania is indeed a "magical Venetian town", that can enchant even Greeks (who're used to all the tourist hoopla). There are also plenty of really authentic Greek tavernas if one looks beyond the tourist strip. And there's a whole island, of great beauty, and tons of places untouched by tourism all around.
The rest of the article (which has its merits) aside, that the author preferred their hotel room tells us more about them, than about the place...
Some people can find authentic places even in Las Vegas or Times square, and some people wouldn't know authentic if they were hit on the head with it...
Hotels are time and culture frozen. I don’t think I’d ever want to stay in one again.
We decided to try it when we realized that whenever we traveled, we’d sometimes stay in a hotel that offered so much but we’d completely ignore all of that in order to be outside in the city. We thought it would be interesting to take a trip where we planned nothing and didn’t even particularly care about the destination except the hotel. It turned out to be incredibly relaxing. It’s not really a replacement for a normal trip, but a new variation that I totally recommend on occasion.
It’s actually great for working some too, which obviously goes against the norm for vacations.
I've frequently done a version of travel working. I find it best for writing, though it could serve to work on a single project as well.
I usually choose an airbnb though, and while I do get outside a lot, it's often more the neighbourhood trips the author mentions. I find it deeply satisfying to get a brief glimpse of daily life in a foreign country that way.
My most productive times have been in cuba, where their local airbnb equivalent ("casas particulares") includes the option to buy breakfast and dinner. So you effectively have zero daily chores or maintenance or commute and effective have 2-3 hours freed up in a day.
As much as we like to _think_ of working at a beach or next to a waterfall, it's not really that practical. Sometimes the wifi doesn't work in the coffee shop, the coffeeshop is busy and loud, or you don't have a power supply to work more than a couple hours.
For me, the sweet spot is staying longer in every place I go. I sometimes take multi-day hikes and forget about my work. I come back, order food delivered, and get my work done at the comfort of a hotel room with good chairs and tables. I can focus more, I am more productive, and it feels better knowing that your next adventure is just a few days away.
"Never" leaving the hotel room is a strong word, and I think everyone doing it should take some time to hit a nearby local restaurant, a pub, or take a walk at the beach for some fresh air.
Anyone have suggestions for locating hotels like the ones in the article? I'm not even sure how I would find one out of the hundreds that'd show up on any city hotel search query.
> search TripAdvisor reviews with the words “needs urgent renovation!”
First time I’ve seen something like this. I wonder if it drastically cuts down on comments made, which could be a good thing.
Exactly my "strategy"! They usually also have nice underrated views from their balconies.
I can see the virtue of that as a resident but as a visitor/sightseer it's annoying.
I can relate to room service being annoying. Though leaving "do not disturb" on the door usually works, even for 5-6 days in a row. They do not knock when they see that. Just pester you at the corridors if you pass by.
It's not constructive and it's pretty juvenile.
Only for certain audiences of a particular age group.
It's not globally common. It's commonality doesn't remove the other characteristics of it which ruins the entire point of drawing attention to how often it's used.
Please don't be disingenuous when the conversation needs to be more constructive in the first place.
Full of potential for adventures you'll never have. What good is potential if you never act on it? Just stay at home and replace your real window with a TV screen.
I'm clearly not the right audience for this—but I don't get it.
"I find this city too full of nature and open spaces, too vast for a long city walk, and way too dark at night"
I would not like to meet this person.