That time I lived in a hotel and what I learned.

Last year, I had the rare opportunity to live in a hotel.  Not just an extended stay hotel, but a very cool Hyatt Regency in the North Dallas/Richardson Area of Texas.  So you are probably thinking, maybe she just stayed for a couple of days and didn’t actually live there.  I didn’t even think I would be there for more than a week, max 2 weeks, but that turned into 47 days.

Before you ask why I did this… I will give you a simple answer.  I agreed to help someone out and trade places with them for a work assignment. I thought the assignment would only last for a short time and then everyday turned into “Groundhog Day”, you know the movie where each day is the same until the very last day for the main character.  Well that is what life was like for me, but I did try to do something different each day to get something out of the experience and over all it wasn’t terrible and I could have been placed in a different hotel (for that I am thankful).

I arrived to the hotel after a 1 night stay at the Hyatt House.  The hotel was booked the day before due to a huge hail storm that had happened one week prior and was full of insurance adjusters.  One thing is for sure, I learned on day one that anything could be happening at this hotel on any given day.

The staff was very polite when I checked in and assisted me with my reservation.  I was placed in a king room on the top floor and they asked, ‘How long I will you be staying with us?”.  The most interesting part was my answer “I don’t know”.  I literally had no idea of how long I would be there, I just knew that I was there for work. So I said, ‘Let’s start with 2 weeks and go from there.”   They laughed as if it was a joke, I was serious, but laughed anyway.

My room was normal, a king bed, coffee pot, tv.  U know the usual.  However, when I looked out my window. I had a pretty good view.  (Night image featured below) The first night I was getting used to my new surroundings so I ventured down to the bar to have a drink.  This was a great idea as I was able to meet the bar manager and the bar staff. (Note: Always network with the staff in a new place, they can tell you things that others won’t)

The most awesome part about living in a hotel in my opinion is not having to take out your own trash or clean your room everyday, someone does that for you.  I loved every minute of it. (Don’t forget to tip)

I learned a lot from this experience and I would like to share my very important tips for hotel living.  These are keys:

  1. Make friends with the staff, after all they are the ones that can help you out when you need assistance. I quickly met the staff and arranged for a microwave and mini fridge to be placed in my room, the staff will look out for you if you are nice to them.
  2. Treat the bar as if it is your living room.  Dress  appropriately, but enjoy the perks of happy hour and whatever the hotel offers. It will feel like you are at a house party/social everyday and you can meet new people.  You will feel more comfortable when talking to people and when you get the question “So, how long are you here for?”, you can just respond with “I live here.” (there is your icebreaker and conversation starter)
  3. Figure out who on the bar staff makes the best drinks, and remember to order from them everyday.  (Don’t forget to tip)
  4. Ask the staff where the best food places are around town.
  5. Take a look at the crowd when you are in your “living room” every day and see if you see the same people everyday.  You can make some friends and form a “crew” of people that are living there too.
  6. Learn the menu of the restaurant. If you know it then you will know what you will or won’t want to eat, just in case you get stuck in due to a storm or being  too tired to leave for the evening.

Those are my keys to hotel living.

While we are talking about my stay at the hotel I have to talk about a couple of things that were specific to my trip. Remember earlier when I said at any given day anything could be going on at this hotel. That was really true.

One day I saw a sign near the bar and there was a fitness drink convention.  All of the people looked like body builders and were very much in shape and selling a special fitness drink.  These people were also in the gym heavy, but that wasn’t anything special.

The most interesting day in the bar would come a  week later.  I walked into the bar and saw some flowers on 2 stands near the door. As I looked at the flowers I was thinking I wonder what type of program is going on here today.  I then noticed a small sign and everyone was dressed in black.  I realized I had walked into a memorial service.  However, everyone was ordering shots and said that the Memorial service was for a guy that was known for “having a good time”. You would have thought that it was a party in there.  I had a regular drink and went to my room.

I could write about this experience and chronicle each day, however my favorite part of my stay was a Hawk that came to visit my window everyday.  I named him “Jack (pictured below).  He came to visit my window each day and even when I changed rooms, he came looking for me. It could just be a coincidence, but Jack made my stay more comfortable.  They say that Hawks are a spirit animal of protection.  So he was my protector.

My Dad even got a chance to come out to the hotel for a week.  He knew the keys and made friends with the staff quickly.  Once they found out he was my Dad they treated him like he had been there for 30+ days already.  He was getting perks I didn’t even know about.  Never underestimate ‘The Old Man” (affectionate term for my Dad).

Each day brought something new and allowed me to learn something about myself or others.  After everyday being “the same”, 46 days later the alarm music changed and I was getting ready to come home.  It was tough to know that I was coming home to my Dad being in the hospital Emergency….but that is another story…(VA Chronicles part 1)

I will say, that the staff at the Hyatt in North Dallas/Richardson, is one of the best.  They are very accommodating and  helpful.  They even took good care of my Dad when he came out to visit me. If you are ever in that area and just need a nice place to stay check them out.

Below you will find a couple of pics from the hotel.

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