I sat on the bed in my
Amsterdam hotel room and leafed through the hotel
Page one began with a room
inventory that also included the price of each
I read the text below this
Please note that all rooms will be inspected
after checkout. If items are missing, we will
assume that you wish to purchase these products
and the above costs will be added to your bill.
How thoughtful, I reflected,
that they offer the option to buy particularly
appreciated elements of the rooms contents.
I looked around with
renewed interest. The television was very nice,
and the quoted price of 500 seemed fair.
The value of 20 placed on a hand towel,
however, and 25 for the waste paper basket
appeared rather pricy given that both items could
be purchased for considerably less at a nearby
On further inspection, I
realised that some items did not appear on the
inventory. I concluded that these products must
be included within the room rate and would not
incur any additional charge if removed. These
were things such as coffee sachets, tea bags,
sugar, soap, shampoo, the carpet and the curtains.
I stood up, walked to the
window and examined the drapes. They were of good
quality, but the colour and length would have
made them unsuited to my home.
As I stood holding the
curtain material, I glanced from the window. The
sign that announced the name of the hotel was
mounted horizontally across buildings
façade along a line that ran just below
my window. Each letter was written on an
individual, illuminated cube. The edges of each
cube were around half a metre in length.
The letter H (for
Hotel) was directly underneath the opening
section of my window, and I noted that the screws
which secured it to its bracket looked as if they
had slots that would fit a screwdriver on my
Swiss army penknife.
I returned to the bed and
picked up the hotel information folder once more.
There was no mention of the hotel sign on the
inventory price list.
Glancing once more around
me, I recalled that I needed a small piece of
carpet around two metres square to
cover the floor in my downstairs bathroom. The
hotel room carpet was of exactly the right
quality, style and colour.
I carefully checked the
inventory once again and was delighted to confirm
that the carpet was not listed it must
have thus been complementary. Removing the whole
carpet, however, when I needed just one small
section, seemed something of an abuse of the
hotels kindness. In particular, the
management would be put to the trouble of
ordering and installing a replacement before the
next guest arrived.
I sat once more upon the
bed and pondered this dilemma.
I then had an inspiration:
the area of carpet that I required was about the
same size as the rooms double bed. Removing
just the section beneath the bed, therefore,
would allow me to take my complementary gift
without causing any obvious impact upon the rooms
Back at home I was
delighted to confirm that the carpet was indeed
ideal for my downstairs bathroom just as I
In addition, the H
cube made a very fine coffee table.
On the next occasion that I
visit Amsterdam, I plan to stay at the same -otel.
It is in a very convenient location, the
facilities are just what I need, and the type of
radiator in the rooms would be perfect for my