PERSONALIZING THE HOTEL ROOM: The places we sleep when we're on the road and away from home have been much satirized over the years. Think of the quintessential, above-the-bed motel painting or the classic hotel room mini bar, which provides comedians plenty of fodder. The upshot, though, is that one hotel room can kind of look like the next. That certainly is not the case like it might have been years ago, and properties have done much to homey-up and cozy-fy their rooms. But Hotel Solamar in San Diego is going one better: They're adding a photo of a loved one to your room, as a welcome.
NOPE... They don't already own a photo of your loved one, or your cat, or your beloved bike, because, well, that would be weird. (Side note: Don't you always look for pictures of people you know in the framer fillers at the store? Or is that just us?) Rather, this is how it works: You make a reservation with the hotel. They send you a confirmation email, and in the email is an invitation to email them a photo. They print your chosen picture, put it in a sleeve -- a photo sleeve signed by the hotel's staffers, no less -- and then they leave it on the nightstand. No charge, just a sweet touch of home.
WHEN TO DO THIS: Well, we'd definitely do it if we were going to be away for a few days from a beloved new pup. Or maybe as a surprise for a significant other (shhh, don't tell them you planned it). Mostly you should consider it if a) you're staying at the Kimpton property, which is in downtown San Diego and b) you want to rail against the perceived sameness of hotel rooms, that uniformity that doesn't really exist as much now but which comedians have joshed about forever. It's a nice thing that makes a hotel homey, and anything that can move a hotel room in that direction is fine indeed.
DO PEOPLE USE THIS SERVICE? The hotel confirms that they get about five to seven requests each day. So indeed.