The joy of a hotel stay

Recently I have had the pleasure of a few stays in hotels. Honestly, it’s one of my absolute pleasures in life.


Is there anything better than crisp, white hotel bedlinen? Towels freshly stacked ready for use that someone else will pick up off the ground? Blinds that will shut until pitch black? A TV ready for watching that doesn’t involve Giggle & Hoot? A menu that can be ordered off for overpriced club sandwiches? It’s such a TREAT and one that I will never tire of. Ever.

But I have some questions for you that I have pondered on these last few visits.


Why is it so that so many hotels these days think it’s OK to use a two flat sheets with a blanket in between as a substitute doona? When did this become OK? I have noticed it in lots of different places and was THRILLED to see a recent hotel in Canberra not skimp and provide a fluffy DOONA covered in a crisp doona COVER. There is a GOD!


And thankfully in Melbs last week they had the same. Doona cover PLUS top sheet. Well played Intercontinental, well played.


All of them mocked me with their perky pillows though. I get that it’s less hassle and washing (I think?!) for housekeeping with the sheets but I don’t really get that theory because without a top sheet you are going to have to replace the doona cover and wash that and instead of two top sheets it’s just a cover? Anyway, I’d love to know why.

Secondly can someone explain to me how 5 star hotels in the main cities of this country think it’s OK to charge for wifi? I MEAN COME ON IT’S 2016. Nothing pisses me off more than seeing charges of up to $20 to use the internet. And yet? When we recently stayed at the Scone Motor Inn in the country, they have free wifi for guests to use. Same with a smaller boutique hotel I stayed in last week in St Kilda, free wifi. But the fancy pants hotel in the city? Nup. $29 or something equally outrageous. So you can get free wifi on trains in Europe, but not in a 5 star hotel? Hmmmmm.

So riddle me this friends…

When did the bullshit two sheets between a shitty blanket substitute donnas?
Why is it OK to charge people for the internet when staying in a 5 star hotel?
Where is the best hotel you have stayed in?
And what’s your favourite part of a hotel stay?

For me I think it would have to be this place in Bali that Rob and I stayed in a few years back. Or maybe this lodge in New Zealand that was just extraordinary. A very close tie between the two.


  1. Pretty sure it’s because the laundries the big hotels use cannot handle doona covers with their old-fashioned machines. That’s what I keep being told when i whinge about the same thing anyway 🙂

    PS hear you on the WIFI

  2. I love a 5star hotel stay. I recently had a couple of nights at the Stamford in Melbourne minus the hubby and kids….pure bloody bliss.
    I think my favourite would have to be The Langham in Sydney. We stayed there for our wedding anniversary a few years back. Opulence at its finest, very Pretty Woman kind of luxury.
    No free WiFi is bullshit….

  3. Although I love a doona, I think I love the idea that the blanket would get washed after every sheet change more. I’m not so sure that they would be washing or dry cleaning a doona every time??? Actually, I think I’m going to stop thinking about all the possibilities of grossness in hotel beds lol!!

    • On a business trip staying in a 5 star hotel I once found a pair of mens black business socks stuck at the bottom of a pair of sheets I was about to snuggle down into…(I obviously completely requested a room upgrade and got it), no sheet changing there between business people me thinks!!

      • That is gross!!
        I once also had a similar thing. I folded back the bed and there were peanut shells and a few hairs (chest hairs I think, ewww) lying on the sheet. I think the chambermaids were cutting corners that day!
        I just demanded the sheets changed, didn’t think to demand an upgrade though. Silly me!

    • Best we all don’t think about it too much!

  4. Doona between two sheets for me is weird but have only experienced it once (and when I questioned it the guy said it was normal??).

    I love Stamford in Adelaide (down the waterfront, I forget it’s name), hotel Windsor is in Melb cbd is lovely too.

    Free wifi all the way!!

  5. The wifi thing is VERY annoying and in my travels it seems to be an Australian thing (I’ve never seen it in hotels OS).

    The Westin in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray or Meydan in Dubai. Those Emiratis know how to do hotels. SOOOO much better than any hotel I’ve stayed in anywhere ever.

    I really need a hotel stay….

  6. Funniest fancy hotel experience was in Beijing with my kids. After a couple of weeks of travelling around “my province” and staying in ample but very local accommodation we went back to the fancy pants hotel for a night. Whilst sitting at buffet breakfast (Asian fancy hotels can excel at this, this one included a chocolate fountain) my then 3 year old announced “I like this Heltel, this is a real Heltel”. When questioned about what makes it real “It doesn’t have any stairs”. I was gobsmacked by his approach!!
    I just love most hotels, and most places we’ve stayed at. I adored Batu Karang in Lembongan, the Centara in Hua Hin Thailand, The Eastern and Oriental in Penang – the list goes on! All of these are with the kids in tow – we just don’t do holidays without them it seems!!

  7. I love a good, massive, puffy doona. My hubby thinks its weird that I call it a duvet but hey, summer or winter, I want it on my bed. So YES, totally NOT cool that hotels seem to be going up and up in price but lower in standards.

    We stayed at a hotel in Bowral last year and did have free wi fi but it had a rather small limit on it. Soooo thats when it is handy to have an I.T husband who COULD have (not saying did!) but could have reset it for a new limit as many times as we liked. Up the security peeps.

    My fave place to stay in more recent times would probably be the Edgewater Resort at Lake Wanaka NZ – amazing service and bed and wi-fi!

    And heck yes – Scone rocks! (My home town!)

    Love the blog ?

  8. I love the blanket betweens sheets. The sheets get washed more often than a doona. I always take the decorative pillows and throw off the bed the minute I arrive and put them in the cupboard, they don’t wash them every change of person.

    Yes to free wifi, it’s ridiculous that Australian hotels charge.

    My favourite hotel to date is the Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu, the low rise pink one on the beach, staying in the refurbished old part. Absolutely stunning. And no resort fee.

  9. Ummm, I’m a ‘doona between 2 sheets’ bed maker. I find it easier to get sheets dry in winter than quilt covers and I also love the completely tucked in look of a bed. (And if my doggie decides to jump onto the bed in the mornings after he’s been outside for his morning ritual, and has wet or muddy feet, it’s super easy to rip the top sheet off and add back a clean one. No fighting doona covers.)
    That’s my take on it anyway.
    Love your blog Beth.

  10. I love the scent they put through the air con at fancy hotels. Yep, weirdo I know. I inhale deeply in the lobby and then I’m all ‘$29 room service club sanger, come at me!’. I only found out about the scent machine thing a few years ago – and according to Google, Sofitel has a signature scent! I need some for my house.

  11. I think you always need a doona and a top sheet. I think for health and safety reasons that the doona cover always needs to be washed in between each guest – even if a top sheet is present. You never know what people are getting up to at hotels… although, nothing but sleep would enter my mind right now.

  12. We stayed at the Sydney Intercontinental recently as Club Intercontinental guests and the experience was underwhelming, and as a Sydney-sider, I kept looking across the harbour towards home wishing I was in my own bed- with my fluffy doona AND top sheet. It is hard to find true luxury in chain hotels I think. I just don’t see any difference between $200 a night rooms and $480+ a night rooms in most of them. Small boutique stays is where it is at. They usually pay much better attention to detail. I have fond memories of this place in NZ (can’t work out how to hyper link). Give me a country lodge or quaint little BnB any day…

  13. Cindy Finch says

    I HATE the sheets with a blanket in between – you know they don’t launder those blankets between guests – and I spend all night stressing about the blanket touching my face – just HATE IT!!!!!
    Cindy F

  14. As a thank you (reward) for staying 4 weeks with his parents with our 2 kids in the UK my husband booked a stopover at the Shangri-La hotel in Abu Dhabi. Oh My be jesus juice great clean sheets great everything…check it out:
    (pity it was only 4 days and not 4 weeks)
    p.s. the reception staff even came to our door to sing happy birthday to my husband on his birthday (lucky because I had completely forgot!!)

  15. We often stay at the Hyatt in Canberra – best part is the piano guy in the lobby (he’s the piano dude from Playschool when we were kids). We see him each time, and he always remembers us. A few years ago he stopped playing mid high-tea to play “Happy Birthday” to my son, who was turning seven that day.

  16. Best hotel has to be Cape Weligama in Sri Lanka.

    The bed – tick
    Doona – tick
    Free and fast wifi – tick
    Complimentary mini bar – tick
    Delicious complimentary afternoon tea – tick

    Highly recommend and I have stayed at some wonderful hotels.

  17. I’m guessing the sheet/blanket/sheet thing is because it’s easier to wash and also faster for the staff to make the bed if they don’t have to faf around with a doona cover.

    My most recent round of hotels was a 6 week road trip in the US two years ago – and I ended up using my own doona! Bought it cheap together with a cotton cover at Ikea when I arrived, and dragged it in and out of each hotel. I was guaranteed clean, BREATHABLE, non-polyester top layers. And I washed and donated it to charity before I flew home. Got a few comments from hotel staff but not many. I’ll do it again for my next longer trip, although it’s not really worth it for a short stay.

  18. My 2 absolute faves are the Shinta Mani Club in Siem Reap (the club not the resort). The club is across the road from the resort, delightfully small and usually no kids. Complete luxury. The One and Only on Hayman Island is also blissful. My kids are older so I am now doing a bit of travel with just my husband or girlfriends and it is wonderful. We can afford to stay in places that wouldn’t work for a family (well wouldn’t be affordable for my family!!)

  19. I LOVE the two sheets sandwiching a duvet so much that I now do it at home. It’s so much easier to launder and make a bed smoothly. No bunching or shaking or stuffing. The staggered sheet layering gives you a faux fold over without the additional top sheet. And I buy high quality baby soft sheets and never really get that same effect from duvet cover until many more washes. I also buy a sheets a size bigger do I can tuck the duvet into the bed for a tidier look.

  20. Go stay at The Omnia in Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland and then you will understand why all other hotels in the whole entire universe are rubbish. I’m not even exaggerating.

  21. Jodie Carter says

    I highly recommend the Parkroyal Parramatta. You get sheets and a Doona and free wifi and parking. We get a package called the fuel saver package which includes a free breakfast the next morning in the restaurant plus a Caltex fuel card for $25. Which pays for itself. Such a awesome deal plus they are in the heart of Parramatta and just around the corner are some amazing eating places. I suggest checking it out!

  22. We’re travelling in the States and Canada and planned to get a local SIM but no need because there is free wifi everywhere. And it’s faster than the speed of light (compared to Australia.) We just stayed in the Disneyland Hotel complete with Mickey Mouse carpet, Mickey Mouse taps and a light up musical headboard. I love me a good hotel stay!

  23. Yep, I’m all for the two sheets over the doona cause you know they are clean and you don’t have to touch the doona.
    Can’t stand the old bed spreads and blankets. Ewwww.
    I love the leather lounges cause they can be wiped over. Can’t stand the fabric lounges, I never sit on them. Ewwww once again !!!
    Oh dear, such a 1st world problem isn’t it!! Listen to us all!!

  24. Cate Lawrence says

    haha we went for a romantic weekend here in Bad Saarow (east germany) a few weeks ago. East Germany means retro. Retro means a traditional German bed. That’s two singles pushed together like this oh and Germany pillows are usually square and soft like lying on a feather boa. Not great.

    Wifi nope. Internet access meant requiring a lead to connect to your computer which we of course did not bring.

    (We actually bought our pillows online from M&S and had them shipped to Berlin. Much better!)

  25. oh beth! I hate the blanket between sheets thing and everything tucked soo tight how can one move! … at least it seems clean all white and crisp!!!
    give me doonas any day! … not so good for cleaning though! … eek!
    lol m:)X

  26. Oh dear lord I was envious of your hotel stay recently! My bestie and I (with a 3.5yo and 2yo each!) have been talking about going to stay in a hotel for the night, just for the pure luxury of a freshly made, comfy bed, room service and a sleep in. Heaven! My husband and I have our 10year wedding anniversary next month and he wants to go camping!

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