It’s the personal that’s memorable.

Many moons ago I stayed in some very expensive hotels on business. Most of them almost entirely forgettable despite the very high standards accommodation they offered.

In contrast, on my second stay in Bangkok I went for a three star place with characterful Formica decking out a cosy little dining hall. There was a keyboard crooner I sang Rhinestone Cowboy with, who kindly showed me his favourite Blues bars in the city. Through him, I made friends in the kitchen and we all enjoyed eating noodles on upturned crates at silly o’clock in the morning. I remember it clearly.

Koblenz is a beautiful city and I took many gorgeous photos, but my fondest memory is of the chef in the hotel who, on learning my daughter was the pickiest eater, came to the table and asked what she could prepare. For two nights we enjoyed an exceptional service and although I haven’t a single photo of this very kind person, I remember this experience more vividly than the Deutsches Eck that’s internationally famous.

Of course, different trips have different needs and the impersonal might be ideal while tightly focused. Given the choice though, I’ll take the personal connections that I’ll remember twenty years from now.

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