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The wisdom of never leaving your hotel room (popula.com)
238 points by 80mph on Aug 31, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 198 comments

When I'm rich enough to afford it, I want to live in a hotel. A beautiful, luxurious hotel, where I don't have to worry about interior decorating - other than switching out the bland art for more tasteful pieces. Or cleaning. Or, keeping the fridge stocked. Or scrounging up healthy food in the morning. Or getting a good meal at any hour. Or paying the utility bills. Or worrying about the electrical wiring of my house. Or dealing with water storage in a drought. Or dealing with water at all. Or dealing with the home owner's association. Or thinking about home security. Or procuring the subtle furnishings that make a home a home. Or dealing with hiring the occasional cleaning lady or service. Or doing home repairs etc etc.

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.

You can create most of this for yourself at a modest cost in Mexico City, in fact, it's what I did for the last 2 years. For the cost of my mortgage in suburban Atlanta, I rented a very large luxury condo in the heart of the hottest urban neighborhood, including service suite. Earthquake proof building, with just a few very rich neighbors (including a novella actor and expensive airbnb). 24/7 security and valet.

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 can relate to some of that, but is that really what the life of the lazy wealthy westerners degenerates into? Shouldn't we be longing for some kind of collective, inclusive new community living spaces, taking inspiration from kibbutz not ritz?

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?

Neo colonialism? It's just leveraging an imbalance between markets at the expense of the imbalance itself. If more wealthy people go to a place to leverage their market advantage in a location, that market advantage pretty rapidly begins to disappear. It's beneficial to all parties involved, and consented to by all parties involved. Colonialism is not by consent.

By no means am I implying that you offer negative intentions by your comment, but the “beneficial to all parties involved, and consented to by all parties involved” line was once how some described the system of chattel slavery in the United States. Let all actors speak for themselves.

Colonialism, past the initial brutal conquest, has little to do with consent. Empires could not stand very long on brutality alone; they stand also on the consent of the victims.

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.

> 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

You addressed your surprise

Not everywhere in Mexico or everywhere cheap is polluted. I don't even think most Americans know that Mexico City has a lot of pollution. That's definitely not the reason.

Well the same thing can be done (minus the hot urban social aspect) all over the place in Latin America and other places as well.

I'd guess that's $800 for services, perhaps $2K for rent, and depending on lifestyle around $700 for food, drinks etc in CDMX. There's a type of deal-hunting digital nomad that would laugh at $3.5K/mo being called "modest" but the author is correct: it's quite achievable for many types of remote workers or ex-pats.

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.

You are right that many of the of older high-end apartments have these tiny rooms on the roof for the staff, but I found that repulsive. The place I got was in a new building and had a proper service suite inside with a decently-sized bedroom and nice bath.

> 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 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.

What destination have you selected in China that has less pollution than Mexico?

99% of China’s territory has less air pollution than Mexico City.

The pollution is the tough part there. Despite the great weather normally.

Have you found anywhere else comparable that isn’t insane expensive?

> the hottest urban neighborhood

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?

We’re you able to drink the tap water after that amount of time?

Nobody drinks the tap water in Mexico City. Most people either buy water cooler bottles at the local store, use portable filters, or if you're lucky get a filtration system installed.

I think that’s true of anywhere in Mexico - at least it was for me in Baja California.

Most countries don’t have drinkable (pottable) tap water, actually, rich developed countries excepted.

Montenegro is not rich. Same applies to surrounding countries, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia. Tap water is drinkable all over the region.

Do you have a source for "most countries"?

https://lifehacker.com/know-what-countries-guarantee-drinkab... and https://i.redd.it/q428xlnjh2f21.png

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).

Serbia and Croatia are probably just not listed due to lack of data or something. I drink the tap water there and so do locals. It's fine, never got sick.

I was drinking Serbian water straight out of standpipes on the mountains this summer. Not dead!

> 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.

They are based on information from the CDC. If you have better maps that you use for your travels, please link. Not that I travel at all in eastern/south Eastern Europe, so “don’t drink the water unless in developed country” works well enough for me (I mostly travel in Asia outside the USA).

Here's what CDC.gov says about Croatia:

> 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-...

Drank tap water in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, China, Egypt, Sri Lanka even the US and I am still here. I think it's more that you can't automatically assume if it comes out of tap it's safe. I was in Bulgaria this year and looked into it: there were like three villages with not safe water in the whole country. A lot better than the lead problem in the US. Ask people around, google and smell the water. It's probably fine.

A lot of places in Spain have safe water, but it often tastes so chlorinated you don't want to. When I was living there earlier this year, even after showering in the morning it smelt like I'd been to a swimming pool. I guess it's better than a high chance of getting sick if you have to drink the tap water though...

This map is wrong/inaccurate. Tap water is drinkable in Bulgaria too.

If you look k at the HDI, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_D... , the middle countries are Jamaica, Tunisia, Tonga. Quick searches indicate water is safe to drink but possibly not vot tasty on these places.

I don't know about "most countries" - at least, I believe it's OK to drink tap water in most of Europe and Scandinavia.

Yes, it’s pretty common in much of the developed world.

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.

Only one system of pipes and AFAIK there is nothing particularly labor or energy intensive about producing potable water (in temperate climates).

According to https://i.redd.it/q428xlnjh2f21.png, only much of Europe (EU mostly), not most (by population or area if Russia is considered).

There are lots of places where you can live like a king off the service of poor people in a country with a bad economy. (Hell, you can do it in the States)

How much was rent?

About 2700 USD

China is not exactly pollution free.

That said, how much was your room in Mexico?

I'm sure parts of China are - it's a huge country.

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).

I’ve had some great hotel experiences, but none feel like “home”. I’ve stayed at a few Ritz too and while they’re nice they still feel like hotels.

Your description sounds a bit like a luxury version of a nursing home.

It's really weird how hotels scale up. They prioritize appearance of luxury over function in most cases.

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.

Try staying at a five star resort villa style hotel in Bali or some other SE country. The last one we stayed at was two stories with a living room/kitchen/massage room on floor one (next to a private pool) and the bedroom/huge bathroom/walk-in closet on floor two. Seriously would love to have a real house like that. Most of the bungalows I’ve stayed in haven’t been as elaborate but have felt very much like home.

Hotel rooms in the city are always much smaller, but non urban tourist areas are very different (Eg Manila vs Boracay).

Is this tongue in cheek? Because it reads as more worldly and self aware but is largely about living a more extravagant, expensive and luxurious lifestyle.

It reminds me of the retirement home where my grandmother lived for several years. Her room was like a one-bedroom apartment without a kitchen. I visited her for meals which were served in what looked like a hotel restaurant. Guests could pay for a meal individually. The total cost for her was not extravagant--cheaper than living in a house and making your own food.

When you say "cheaper than living in a house" are you talking about one with a mortgage or one you own and just pay taxes and utilities? Because the later is hard to beat.

If you're of the age or condition where you're living in a retirement home, there's likely the additional costs of at-home care, panic / fall systems, etc. to add to your "living in a house" costs.

Nothing is cheaper than another thing if you arbitrarily remove a sufficient almost of the cost. If you have equity you can use that to pay for your apartment.

But what parent was saying is that a small assisted living apartment is cheaper than a big unassisted house.

Sounds... improbable?

Are you sure you’re not just comparing two areas of different cost of living?

To be honest, it sounds like quite a lot of big 'luxury' blocks of flats (gym, pool, cafe / restaurant, concierge) with a slightly higher class of building management than usual (the centralised cleaning and interior decoration).

Heck, this is basically the modus operandi of most luxury student accommodation in London.

Most luxury apartment buildings have an affiliated cleaning service and can recommend an interior designer.

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

A good 1 bed in new luxury highrise in SF can be had for ~$4k in the current market (2019), which is affordable on a dev salary (I live in one).

Assuming you’d spend 50% of salary on rent...

4k per month is 48k per year.

That's 50% of your salary(after taxes) if you're making 140k, but 1/4th of dev salaries in SF start above that.


Yeah, this is maybe something more appropriate mid career than when just starting out.

Plus 1k for the cleaning and delivery services.

I believe it is. This part convinced me it had to be a joke: "True, working lying down brings its own challenges: it’s hard to avoid dozing off every few minutes. My solution is constant snacking, the fear of choking acting as a stimulant."

Love this, I’ve done some of my best work in hotel rooms. My favorites so far have been in Chine with the mix of modernity and service.

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.

I once had to work a 5-hour production issue in a Hilton hotel room. The temperature, desk ergonomics, and lack of distractions (people or things) led to nearly superhuman levels of efficiency and clarity of thought. This solidified my view that open floor plans and cubes that are only a few feet high are absolutely horrendous for getting any work done. It perturbs me that offices are wasted on management that is typically in meeting rooms 90% of the day and thus can't take full advantage of them. I'm an extrovert too, so I can't fathom the annoyance of people who really don't like being in a crowd.

I remember reading that John Carmack used to stay at hotels just to get coding done. Apparently it's an anecdote in Masters Of Doom but I think I've heard it elsewhere too.

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

It’s also a pretty common thing that writers (of novels) claim to do to get work done.

> Love this, I’ve done some of my best work in hotel rooms.

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'.

Plus the fact that you're being bill nightly :) There's a need to make those dollars count.

So, something I've found in pretty much every hotel I've ever stayed in, whether it costs $50/night or $1500/night - internet access is slow AF, and prone to total dropouts every now and then.

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.

Do you get any discounts for long term stay? And, having status, will the hotel tend to upgrade you?

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.

It's hit or miss for discounts. The biggest discounts I've seen are just from booking early. If you can pick a good chain (Marriott/SPG has been the best for me since they're everywhere and reasonably priced) and get a rewards card it can offset the cost. Free food from the lounge is great too (pick a hotel with an Executive Lounge)--rarely pay for food.

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.

Yeah I was looking at Marriott, before seeing this post. I travel a moderate amount for work and had thought of consolidating it to get Platinum status.

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?

TBH, I don't do this very well, so I don't have any suggestions. I typically travel to the same places, so I stick to tried and true favorites I've discovered over the years or learned about from coworkers.

The "long stay" discounts you'll find online are often available for stays over 1 or 2 weeks.

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.

Beijing and Shanghai have some nice extended stay hotels that are 4 to 5 stars. Rates are weekly or monthly, I lived in one for a couple of months when I first arrived in China.

Just out of curiosity, what do you consider your best work?

When I'm able to break through creative blocks I've been wrestling with for long periods of time and seemingly get weeks of work done in days. It's some combination of the novel environment, lack of distractions, ambience, etc. I assume.

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.

"For example, in Shenzhen (tech hub next to Hong Kong) you can get a room for well under $150/night"

Well, also in the vast majority of the US, no?

Not in a tech hub. They also have much better food, service and s significantly more modern. I’d take them over a Ritz any day, even if they were the same price.

Well, if by "tech hub" you mean the Bay Area, there are hundreds of options under $150 right now. I assume there are other places that meet the definition of "tech hub" in the US, and I'm certain they also have many hotels under $150.

Not in a tech hub.

the people with enough money have staff working in their house that do all that for them so basically they have their own hotel.

It's still really difficult to manage. Someone has to manage the staff. Verify what they're doing etc. You have to do the hiring. Help them buy the stuff they need etc. It's less involved than doing it yourself, but for a large enough household, it becomes fairly involved and like a job.

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.

You outsource the "boss" role to the butler.

Butler + staff + cleaning + food + chef combined would be either in striking distance or more expensive than renting a suite for a year. The smaller suites are around $2k to $3k per night. You can usually get up to a 40% to 60% discount if you pay upfront for a year (or three) and they throw in all kinds of stuff for free.

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.

> 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.

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.

A butler charges $9k+ per month? That's about two-and-a-half times the median graduate salary in the UK: how does one become a butler?

It's a high trust role. You have to work your way up.

From where though? I've seen about high-class nannies, and presumably they might work their way up to being housekeepers (by which I mean managers of households as opposed to cleaner/cook type positions).

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?

Your staff can serve more than one suite. Family size will be a factor here.

Might be different in other countries, but in the U.K. at least I believe the highest-ranking member of staff is usually the steward / majordomo.

If you live in the Bay Area, you can already afford to live in a hotel in a lot of places. $2,500 to $3,000 a month (price of a studio) = $83 to $100 a night (median hotel price in the US is $133). Considering hotels give discounts for longer stays, this should be more than enough.

What luxury hotel is $133/night?

Tons of luxury hotels (4-5 stars) around the world have rooms for $133/night or even less.

Note that the grandparent didn't say "luxury" anywhere.

Fair point.

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.



Steep hotel taxes are what generally make this infeasible.

I've always wondered if there is are hotel/apartment combos. I would love that. One that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, manages a towel/trinkets service, handles laundry.

I'd throw my money at that without hesitating.

In Winston-Salem, NC where I now live, the prototype for the Empire State Building, i.e., the R. J. R. Reynolds Building [1] now has a Kimpton Hotel on the bottom 6 floors [2], and apartments on the 11 floors above [3]. There may be some way to arrange hotel cleaning for the residential apartments, or you could hire outside, but I believe residents also get access to many of the hotel amenities, e.g., the basketball court, etc., and of course the restaurant and bar. The building is beautiful, and there's plenty to do outside the doors as well on 4th St, Trade St, the other mini-downtown-areas, Innovation Quarter, Old Town Salem, etc., with some awesome biking / walking trails not too far away (round-trip to around Salem Lake is 16 miles [4]).

If I were to choose the hotel-like lifestyle that would be a good, perhaps affordable, option.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_Building

[2] https://www.ihg.com/kimptonhotels/hotels/us/en/cardinal-hote....

[3] https://www.apartments.com/the-residences-at-the-rj-reynolds...

[4] https://rootsrated.com/winston-salem-nc/trail-running/salem-...

In France they're (cleverly enough) called "appart'hôtel". You can stay there for one week up to several months (or years I guess if you keep paying?) and you can use it as a hotel or an apartment depending on the level of service you want. You can cook yourself or eat outside, you can order the number of times a week the room is to be cleaned, etc.

What you’re looking for are called serviced apartments in the UK at least. As with hotels these go from mid quality to very high end - the Savoy in London has serviced apartments attached to it for example which give access to all the hotels amenities (or at least used to - not sure if it still does after the most recent refurbishment).

Many of the hotels in Las Vegas allow you to buy condominiums on the highest floors. Often the top 10% of floors are permenant rooms and suites that are sold as apartments. You purchase them like a house, you can sell them any time, and you are the sole owner of that room.

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.

Ah that's neat! Although when I really think about the attractiveness of "living in a hotel", the entire idea is about moving away from ownership, even of things like furniture and dishware. I'd prefer a rentable option. Still, very cool.

I know there's some flats you can buy in London close / connected to some major luxury hotels that provide that. E.g.


Been thinking about this for quite a while. Now, trying to make it happen - https://primechasm.com


I love this idea.

Dedicated apart hotels are pretty common and its fairly common for "normal" hotels to have apartments or even entirely separate houses.

Some hotels rent or even sell apartments (former suites or whole floors) and offer their services for rent, though they are pricey.

You're probably rich enough to afford it, i believe that is what digital nomads do. Co-living in large scale serviced properties is probably better for the environment.The technology is not there yet, but maybe one day it will be the default mode of living. It's what weWork would do if it was a real technology company.

I like a lot of the other comments here about other countries and situations where you can hire full time staff to take care of you.

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.

To add...

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.

By the way you can cruise 24/7 with all of this for $2500 a month if you plan it right. (NCL has a high quality 7 day cruise from NYC to Bahamas you can buy for $499)

It’s my understanding that plenty of older people who are getting to the point where it’s difficult to stay totally independent do this as an alternative to having to go into residential care. Makes sense too, it’s probably one hell of a lot nicer if you can make do with the medical care onboard.

High speed internet would the problem.

Have we finally found the perfect use case for SpaceX's Starlink here? Assuming you get a suite with a window that the pizza-box receiver can use...

The sea sickness is a severe downside for some

Rick Majerus lived long term in hotels. Maybe he felt the same way.


> I would settle for a good suite at the Ritz.

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.

Given the Ritz’ reputation they have nothing to gain from offering volume discounts to a long-term guest as they are pretty much fully booked anyway, but for a smaller hotel it would definitely make sense for them to offer a discount, and in fact most do. There are even serviced apartments whose entire business is to provide long-term “hotels” at a much more affordable per-night price than the short-term equivalent.

You can buy a Ritz condo in LA for $1.2 million and pay about $2000/month for HOA. Or lease it for $5500-6500/month. If you bought a bunch of condos, could likely reduce the HOA fees.

Comes with an amazing free breakfast and a target on your back for confidence artists.


Edit: https://www.zilbert.com/ritz_carlton_bal_harbour/ritz_carlto...


TV looks kind of cheap shrug

I've "lived at a hotel for a couple of months" twice due to moving for a new job, and it's never very satisfying, it never feels like home, and it's more cramped than even the tiniest studio apartment. One hotel room I lived out of had 'cooking facilities' (a microwave) but it still was more hassle than I could bear.

When my income increased significantly due to switching to contracting I considered a serviced apartment. It was much cheaper than I expected. I'll let my current lease run out but it's definitely a possibility and definitely not as expensive as you'd expect.

Just leave the western world and you can have this.

Source: been traveling for six years for less than 12k a year.

So you want to be Zach or Cody.

Why not both?!

Book recommendation: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

It gets boring. Hotels are full of airheads. Even Trump got bored of it.

Some people are saying that this sounds like a parody. It's not. I totally understand where the author is coming from. Also, bear in mind that he is a writer, and writers need very specific things to function. Many writers do great work in hotel rooms. JK Rowling famously checked into a hotel room to finish Harry Potter. Maya Angelou used to check into hotel rooms for weeks at a time to finish her books. There is something very helpful about removing all of the known objects of your life, each with its own history in your brain, and replacing the functions (bed, desk, bathroom) while clearing out the connotations. Now you can focus on your interior story without having it compete with the running to-do list that, say, seeing your drippy faucet might spark.

"Writers in hotel rooms" makes me think ineluctably of Barton Fink. And The Shining.

I actually do this once a years. Inspired by John Carmack. I leave my kids and wife at home—or wherever they want to spend that particular weekend—and lock myself into a hotel room. I bring food, my own coffee grinder and a laptop and just spend the whole weekend programming, playing chess, read or write.

It’s the best weekend of the year and I spend the rest of the year looking forward to it.

And Bill Gates wrote the first code of the FAT system during a 5-day stay in a Albuquerque Hilton hotel.

Where can I read more about this Carmack?

If you can post on HN you can surely use Google/Wikipedia :)

The particular anecdote GP is referring to is here though:


HN discussion:


He did Joe Rogan's show a few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udlMSe5-zP8

I've heard a lot of good about this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FBFNL0

Not reading, but he just did a joe rogan podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udlMSe5-zP8

It seems to me that the person who wrote this article might be too much tired and not in a good healthy environment in their everyday life: that would explain why they enjoy the calm and order of an hotel room, they don't have "free" space in their mind to discover new stuff, they just need to rest and quietness... This is a bit sad.

Also snacking all the time just to stay awake is so NOT healthy

That was surely joking exaggeration.

On the opposite side, I wish there was an efficient hotel market for people like me who don't care at all about the aesthetics or size of the hotel room, room service or amenities but do care about having a single room, pitch black and silent during the day, and with a comfortable bed.

Airport hotels fall into this category. There are some airport hotels near Singapore and Kuala Lumpur that are super quiet, and has tiny rooms with nothing but walls, a comfy bed, and a mini bathroom kit.

Motel 6?

Generally most hotels fail on the pitch black during the day requirement because they only have curtains (only roller shutters, aluminum foil on the window or having no window can block all light), they aren't very good at being silent (no soundproofing, room service with carts at morning, road in front without properly insulated windows, etc.) and you generally don't get an high-quality mattress and bed unless you go for an high-end hotel (with lots of useless amenities) and often the bed is not even acceptable (too small, no wood foundation, bad mattress, sheets that aren't big enough to always stay tucked in, or even sheets that can't be tucked in at all).

You might be interested in checking yourself and a bed into a storage facility. It fits your requirements perfectly.

I don’t know if this is a serious suggestion, but I’m quite confident you can’t just live in a storage space in most parts of the developed world, it’s definitely not legal.

I guess the author and I are polar opposites. I detest light drenched streets and much prefer controlled spats of nature that you see in cities.

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 find this city too full of nature and open spaces“

I feel kinda sad for the author. How can one come up with a concept line that?

This was the point I thought it was a parody but then by the end I realised it was not.

I'm also perplexed by it, but to instinctively assume that your perspective is better makes me sad for you. </irony>

Ahh too bad I can't delete comments after N minutes. I always feel bad when one of my comments gets downvoted, and I realize it was unnecessarily hostile and/or vapid. Maybe I need to make a Hacker News proxy which lets me post things and then change my mind later...

Its also too dark, they prefer Tel Aviv with its "stadium lit streets". Not my cup of tea either.

I enjoyed this! It's the first time I recall reading an article about travel that obsessed over the local neighborhood of the hotel (including the hotel itself) rather than jetting here and there across the wider city.

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.

It is a bit extreme but it is a valid counterpoint to vacations where people plan to visit 65535 places per day

I was prepared to disagree with the idea after reading the title, but the author makes a pretty good case in the article.

Growing up in Southern California, the annual day at Disneyland had an incredibly packed schedule, full of strategies for when to go on a particular ride.

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.

It's always interesting how people differ.

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.

>Like any great invention, I stumbled upon the idea of the hotel-room vacation by accident, nine years ago, after Toony and I arrived in Chania, Crete, for our honeymoon. The “magical Venetian town” I’d read of in a British travel magazine turned out to be a maze of souvenir shops, Irish pubs, and “authentic” Greek tavernas, so described on the doors and menus. Our hotel room, though, was amazing.

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...

This reminds an article I read years ago about airport blues, explaining that you are baby-sat the minute you step in the airport (more so back then when you had to to talk to humans to check in), guide to your gate, have restaurants and shops right there, welcomed on the plane, served food, told where you are and when you'll arrive regularly, etc... But the minute you land, they want you out of the plane and there's nobody anywhere to even answer basic questions, your all alone and better hope there are signs to the luggage carousel.

The little charms of everyday life are what I find most interesting about staying in a different country. I would find a hotel room too anonymous though, too stifling. I'd recommend Airbnb instead, which forces one to participate in the local neighborhood a bit more. This past summer I spent a couple weeks working out of an Airbnb in Paris. The room had a modest collection of art selected by the local owners, and I quickly acquainted myself with a local patisserie for a daily almond croissant and cappuccino.

As a kid, I would go on vacations with my parents and wonder about the lives of people who lived in all the strange little houses around Europe. As an adult, I was fortunate enough to actually find out through a year of Airbnb hopping. Best travel experience of my life!

Hotels are time and culture frozen. I don’t think I’d ever want to stay in one again.

My partner and I have went on several trips where we spent a good chunk of time in the hotel room. For those skeptical, I recommend trying it before knocking it too hard.

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.

You might like a cruise.

But the hotel stay comes without being terribly bad for the environment and (some of the) negative worker conditions.

Cgp grey does this, he talks about it occasionally on the Cortex podcast.

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.

I'm a full-time freelancer and I travel for about 8 months every year. I can relate to the mindset of the author.

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.

https://popula.com/2018/08/08/honestly-yonatan-raz-portugali... looking through previous posts by the same author

This blog post reads like a public journal. It's kinda interesting. I wonder if any of his posts were meant for such a large audience. Yet, they seem to be, as he requires some Bitcoin for comments.

This is what "blogging" used to be like 15-20 years ago. I liked it.

Sounds delightful. After years of staying in Marriott chains for work trips, I wasn't even aware hotels lkke these existed.

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.

Check the 'boutique' hotel option in the hotel search engines, it will show you the non-chain, non-corporate hotels.

I'm not sure if the author was being serious, but he suggested:

> search TripAdvisor reviews with the words “needs urgent renovation!”

> Each comment costs a little ETH cryptocurrency to post

First time I’ve seen something like this. I wonder if it drastically cuts down on comments made, which could be a good thing.

It reminded me of Amazon. They noticed that even the smallest amount of shipping fee, in the order of a few cents, made people order less than when shipping was completely free.

Or increases the output of low quality articles, trying to draw them? ;)

"The places I find ideal to encamp at are the luxury hotels of yesteryear, built around the end of the 19th century for train travelers, shabby and dated, thinly staffed and clinging on mainly through inertia. They are easy to find, just search TripAdvisor reviews with the words “needs urgent renovation!” Another sure sign of a Once-Grand Old Hotel is that the bathroom is larger than the main room. This architectural choice encourages repeated baths, which also help in the battle to stay awake."

Exactly my "strategy"! They usually also have nice underrated views from their balconies.

Im sitting here in a hotel room in Leipzig for the past week and can totally relate.

How's Leipzig? I've been meaning to visit for ages, for reasons I'm still unsure.

If you are into Bach at all, it is a must see. There's a museum, the church where he worked and his tomb. Also a Mendelssohn museum. And a preserved Stasi headquarters if you haven't seen one elsewhere in the former GDR.

Thanks, good to know!

I'm doing walking videos when traveling. Here's one of Leipzig: https://youtu.be/udrqN2QArHo


Berlin is really spread out. I agree on that part. It's like a complex of cities rather than a city.

I can see the virtue of that as a resident but as a visitor/sightseer it's annoying.

Staying in a hotel room and not going outside... But also telling other people that you are someone else, as he mentions doing. I can understand the phase, a kind of complete isolation. Not sure it should be instead, rather that in addition to, other kinds of activities.

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.

They’ll call you in my experience after a couple of days to check if you want the room cleaned. Especially if it’s an electronic sign, people tend to leave it on by accident for longer than they meant to.

Constant snacking is also my solution to not fall asleep while driving long distances.

This article is the weirdest shit I ever read. I would rather jump off a cliff than do what’s described there- not an exaggeration. Dude!

Please don't make light of suicide to display your confusion with the article.

It's not constructive and it's pretty juvenile.

It's a common figure of speech that conveys an established sentiment. Don't nitpick on trivialities.

It's not constructive and it's pretty juvenile.

>It's a common figure of speech

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.

My sentiments exactly. I honestly can't tell if the article was intended to be serious or satire.

Same. I kept wondering if the whole thing was younger in cheek. Was he trying to make a commentary on people that actually do this? No, I think the author was serious. Strange indeed.

Yeah... So, where's the "wisdom"? And what's the take-away?

I recommend Chelsea Hotel (nyc) for a pretty vacant vacation. It's not exactly Hotel California -- some manage to leave -- but it is pretty close.

This site reliably crashes my iOS browser. Anyone else?

Same -- iOS in both Safari and Chrome

> My confinement caused me to enjoy Berlin for the first time: not going out into it, I couldn’t be disappointed, frustrated or cheated. From the hotel room, the city seemed so full of potential for adventure. Through the window, everything looked so interesting!

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.

Sounds dreadful. I don't think I've ever heard someone complain about green spaces in a city before:

"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.

I love meeting people that see the world in an entirely different way than me.

Moreover this article is basically content free.

Considering it's about not venturing from your hotel room, I think the author does about as well as is possible. But yeah.

I believe one big benefit of the hotel is the lack of items in the room compared to the average house. I keep a room in my house completely empty (save some yoga matts and fitness balls) and it does wonders for stress relief.

I'll be downvoted for this, but this is so astoundingly tonedeaf and entitled I have trouble finding words. Fly around the world to lounge in a room all day. In a world of climate crises, most of which arise from overconsumption and CO2 emissions at all time highs, we need fewer people doing this. Please, just stay home. Or at the very least, find a hotel in your area and pretend.

He’s the most efficient tourist I’ve come across.

Yeap and he called it "wisdom"

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