My Single Favorite Thing About Living In Hotels

Filed Under: Hotels

I’m often asked what my favorite and least favorite things are about living in hotels full time.

My answers always vary a little, though I tend to think my least favorite things are the challenge of doing laundry and the general food situation (not having access to fresh food, a refrigerator, on demand coffee, etc.). My favorite things are the flexibility of being able to be anywhere anytime… and just about everything else.

But after the past few weeks I’ve figured out what’s truly, undeniably, unarguably, and absolutely the greatest thing about living in hotels.

The conventions. The freaking conventions.

Specifically, the ones you’re not at a hotel to attend. They provide endless entertainment.

I’ve only been living in hotels full time for a bit over eight months, and I could probably already write a book about the conventions and conferences I’ve seen at hotels alone.

Back in the day I used to assume most hotel conferences were for attorneys, doctors, executives, boner pill marketers, etc.

Nope. Not true. Most conferences are for really, really weird stuff. Crap you would never know existed unless you saw a thousand people in a lobby that insisted they flew in purely for that purpose.

The other week I was at a hotel which was hosting the 28th (!!!!) Annual Hot Wheels Convention.


I was worried. I figured it would mostly be eight year olds running around.

Nope, instead it was the most eclectic mix of seniors I’ve seen in a long time.

The most bizarre part? They had their collections on display in their individual rooms, and there were posters all over the hallways with their collections and which rooms they were in.


The Nakamura Collection seemed to be especially popular, and was just down the hall from me, which caused a lot of hallway noise into the wee hours of the morning.


Sadly this is one of the more normal conventions I’ve witnessed in the past few weeks. I’m presently staying at a hotel where I seem to be the only adult not walking around with a stuffed animal-size action figure…

And all of this makes me wonder… is this what we look like to other people at hotels when we have our Frequent Traveler Universities?

  1. I was at a hotel in Providence, RI and the weekend I was at the hotel they had a weekend BDSM/Furry convention. The amount of people in leather and being animals was quite an eye opening experience.

  2. When our daughter was in second grade, we stayed a night at the Marriott near SFO. They were having a convention of “Little People of America” (the organization founded by Billy Barty; he was there). We believe it is the first time she had been face-to-face with a little person. Quite a puzzling experience to her … and a unique experience for her parents. 😀

  3. I am used to live & still currently living in hotels full time (about 3-4 months each time), but my experience has been only in North Africa & Middle East. During certain seasons, OMG… Endless Weddings … imagine Arab style wedding party & music which starts about 9-10pm. Pretty hilarious & entertaining to see wedding attendees and listen to local music. But personally, the single favorite thing about living in hotels is “zero cooking” life, hehe…

  4. I tag along to my husband’s computer programming conventions for the people watching. I can sit in the convention area for hours watching nerds interact. Last year, the area was shared with a group called the Sunshine Coalition – we had a great time trying to decide what exactly that could be.

  5. Yes Ben, We do look like that to others! Conventions outside of business are definitively for geeks, enthusiasts, or whatever moniker you wish to apply. Walking around dressed as batman or hello kitty it’s just wrong in most peoples eyes especially when you’re in your 40s! So doing this and getting your geek on at these conventions is the only way you’ll not be frowned upon. So, stop typing and head down to the lobby now… Dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog!

  6. For SMD4 Hyatt wouldn’t let us use the HR O’Hare because it was mostly booked by a furry convention and they didn’t want to host an event for loyal customers in the middle of it.

  7. “is this what we look like to other people at hotels when we have our Frequent Traveler Universities?”

    YEP! 😀

  8. Anime convention at Grand Hyatt San Antonio last year. Hundreds of 15-year olds walking the river with blue hair and lights on their heads.

  9. haha yes i have been in a hotel during a furry convention. incredibly bizarre. also, i was in a wonderful luxury hotel in washington dc one rainy autumn saturday during a gigantic indian wedding. i’m not sure if you’ve heard the 12 minute long bollywood version of “party in the usa” but it’s enough to drive anyone insane.

  10. Little People of America convention at Westin LAX. I guess technically it’s a business.

    Also, one of Hyatt hotels close to where I used to live was used for various CSI (the show, not actual investigations) scenes, including the episode where someone was killed during a furries convention.

  11. A friend of mine went to the Kinky Kollege at O’Hare Hilton several years ago. The rule was No BDSM Clothing Above the Basement Floor. : (

  12. More in the realm of normal business conventions, but a few months ago I was staying at a hotel where they had the National Jiffy Lube franchisee conference. The conversations I overheard at breakfast and in the elevators were quite entertaining. And the conference participants did really match certain stereotypes! 🙂

  13. I once stayed at a hotel in Peoria, IL that was hosting a Rabbit Breeders Convention. Glad it wasn’t the week I was there!

  14. Yesss! Conventions do provide the best entertainment. You can really tell who doesn’t get out often in their normal lives…

  15. Hot Wheels was definitely Westin LAX because we were there Sept. 30th! We, too, remarked that it wasn’t the crowd one would have expected.
    We also had our grandkids with us at the Hyatt Indianapolis when they were having an alopecia (hair loss illness) conference. One grandson said to us, “Wow, what are the chances all these bald people would be staying in the same hotel?” Unclear on the conference concept.

  16. About ten years ago we were at Marriott LAX before a trip to Hawaii and I think the only guests who were not sight impaired with a service dog.

  17. “is this what we look like to other people at hotels when we have our Frequent Traveler Universities?”

    It’s what you (i mean of course the generic “you”) look like even to the other FTU attendees! When I walked into the opening reception at FTU, I swear I thought I was at a trekkie convention. I have never seen more middle-aged guys with Tshirts and pocket protectors (how do they attach them?). But I’ve also never seen more priority baggage tags or Hilton Diamond members in one place either. Let’s just say that it was quite the GeekFest, but also a worthwhile experience.

  18. Most fun for me is when we have been at a hotel hosting a Steampunk convention. Lots of costumes. Really good costumes. Very Jules Verne-y Victoriana. And more corsetry than you ever could believe possible.

  19. i was at the Tempe Four Points by Sheraton and they had a small playboy casting/convention thing. That was entertaining.

    Ben–You ever thought about taking a page from Vince and Owen and crashing conventions instead of weddings? Here’s a brilliant real life story of a girl who does this. The whole thing is awesome but if you want just the convention part start at 3:30.

  20. @ Lucky — that actually seems like a fairly interesting and harmless convention. Did you actually peek into any of the rooms?

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