Tuesday, July 7, 2009

anticlimatic & strange

Two very different topics:

Sort of. I'm not really into birthdays, but there is something a little weird about being in a hotel room in a strange city by yourself on your birthday. It was a pleasant enough day for being at a Boring (yes, capital) conference, and I did get about a million facebook happy bdays, a couple of texts, 2 emails, and, not to be forgotten, a phone call from my parents about an hour ago. Lets note that its almost 9 pm. And we're in the same time zone. But whatever...I obviously got my ambivalence about birthdays (and holidays in general) from somewhere :)

This hotel. Its nice. Its kind of fancy-smancy, the kind of place where people who can't afford the Ritz (which is pretty much next door) have fancy-smancy downtown weddings. High ceilings and crystal chandeliers.
And the smallest hotel rooms I've ever seen. As a disclaimer, most of the hotels I stay in are conveniently located outside of a city, near the airport and a large park with uprights, so I'm not sure how big "city" rooms usually are. That said, the towels here are rougher than those at the ComfortInn. Ugh.

But check out my door. Weird box protruding off of it...its on both sides, on every door to a room. What do you think it is?

I initially thought perhaps it was a fire-door upgrade (since this building is quite old...you can tell in the molding, besides the architecture). But there's a little lock/knob thing...

I guess not every hotel guest feels the need to unlock it, because it took about 5 minutes of jiggling (plus moving the regular handle to the deadbolt-locked position) to open it.
So, what is it?

Answer: Its a Servidoor. Apparently this structure at one time was common enough in fancy-smancy hotels (see above) to have a brand name. The sign inside of it basically instructs you to leave your clothes in there for the Laundry or Valet. There's even a clamp on the right for your sleeve (also labeled, not a random guess), presumably so it doesn't get stuck in the door.

Wikipedia says a valet (besides the car driving kind) is a male servant that deals with your personal goods...but that doesn't really explain for me why I'd leave my clothes (well, if I was a male living 80 or 100 years ago) hanging in my door at the hotel for him...

1 comment:

  1. My guess would be that they had a laundry/dry cleaning service of sort and the guest could put their clothes in the compartment and then the attendent/valet could get them out without bothering the guest or didn't have to enter the room to get them. They they be returned there once they were clean.