That New Hotel Smell

I prefer the grand old hotels, with their special features and fixtures, but it’s nice to get a glimpse at the new hotel trends every once in a while, too. Last night I stayed in a Marriott Residence Inn in downtown Boise that the friendly woman who checked me in said had been open for all of two weeks.

The first thing I noticed when I got to my room was the smell. With all of the shiny new, just-out-of-the-delivery-box metal, plastic, fabric, and carpeting, the room had that familiar scent that made me feel like I was going to spend the night in a new Mustang on the local Ford dealer’s showroom floor.

There were some other signs of new hotel approaches, too. The room was a kind of mini-suite, with refrigerator and microwave (complete with a packet of microwave popcorn), and the Keurig coffee maker is definitely a welcome step in the right direction. The bathroom features an enormous, blindingly white walk-in shower that is guaranteed to blast the newly roused traveler into immediate wide-awake mode. And the room has two other features that go on the negative side of the ledger — heaps of those clunky, oversized “accent” pillows on the sofa that keep you from sitting down unless you throw them on the floor, and light fixtures that you have to carefully study to determine whether they are powered by a knob, a hanging cord, a wall switch, or a step-on device on the floor. Oh, for the days when every light could be turned on by a knob beneath the lampshade!

It’s a nice room and a nice hotel, but new or old, a hotel is always a hotel. I noticed that this one also has the loud, patterned carpeting that you seem to find only in hotel hallways and bowling alleys. Some things never change.

That New Copier Smell

Yesterday I went into the combination mailroom/copier room on my floor at the firm to drop off an interoffice envelope.  As I turned the corner, I was happily hit with that indescribable, yet immediately identifiable, new car smell.

IMG_1248There was no new automobile wedged into the little cubbyhole with the mail slots for the people on our floor, of course.  Instead, it was a pristine copier.  Nevertheless, it had that delectable new car smell.  I took a deep whiff and savored the sensation.

What, exactly, makes up the new car smell?  It’s freshly molded plastic, of course, with maybe a little hint of vinyl thrown in.  Whatever it is, precisely, this machine was radiating the delicious perfume that every new car owner relishes and wants to preserve for as long as possible.  It smelled great.  Who doesn’t want to be reminded of the last time they bought a new car, straight from the factory?

Soon the copier will lose that heady aroma, just as new cars do, and will go back to having no smell at all.  Until then, I’m guessing that the copier room will be a very popular spot for the people on our floor.  In fact, now that I think of it, I’m going to have to drop off a few more of the those interoffice envelopes.