Novotel New York is a Red Roof Inn in disguise

My new job started this past Monday, and what I thought was going to be a nice lull has turned into nothing but. I'd never met my new boss, and we'd only spoken twice, so I didn't recognize his voice when he called Tuesday morning and jumped right into a conversation about a customer I'll be working with. Thank goodness for caller ID, as it tipped me off as to where the call was coming from (and therefore that it might be him).

He asked if I wanted to make a trip up to New York later in the week to meet with this customer, and of course my response was affirmative. The Big Apple is having a really good year, and hotel rates are outrageous because rooms are scarce, so I choked when I booked the $300+ room at the Novotel New York. Novotel is owned by Accor, and in North America, they're best known for owning Red Roof Inns, Motel 6, and Studio 6.

If it didn't have a restaurant, the Novotel New York would be a Red Roof Inn. I arrived late into New York because of flight delays due a tornado north of the city and other bad weather, so I was very late checking in. The first sign I was in trouble was when I opened the door and the stench of stale cigarette smoke hit me. I immediately looked for and found the ashtray on the nightstand, confirming I'd been put into a smoking room. A call to the front desk confirmed my fear that smoking rooms were all they had left. I wish more hotel chains would adopt Westin Hotels' smoke free policy.

It was late; I was tired, so I went straight to bed. Morning came early, and I did a 6-mile run through Central Park. Arriving back at the hotel to take a shower, it surprised me that a hotel charging over $300 per night for a room has the amenity set in this picture--shampoo with the consistency of dishwashing soap, hand lotion which could be used to lubricate wheel bearings it's so greasy, and two "bars" of generic soap all on a plastic tray.

At least the bed was comfortable.