I stayed at the Hotel Sax (formerly the House of Blues Hotel)
Here's my view:
I know! Bad view! And the room was wee. Why did I ask to stay in the "European-sized" Queen room? Because of the brown stuff on the walls below.
They described the room as "wood paneled." Well, it was wood-veneer paneled, and the edges were not finished well. There was some molding and a nice embossed wallpaper, though.
The hotel had some other interesting features. Each elevator was decorated with a painting of pregnant woman holding a skull. Then, right off the elevator of death you'd find find a video gaming room. If video was not your game of choice there was a vanilla-scented bowling alley attached to the hotel.
I was not there for the bowling, or the video games, or the skulls, or the view, or the sirens every half an hour. I was there for the pseudo wood paneling.
They do have real wood paneling in the lobby:
I was at the lobby desk Sunday night, because every night I had to recharge my key card. They said it was because my iPhone was demagnetizing my card, but I thought it was their take on the European tradition of turning in your key at night.
Since I was there anyway I asked, "Oh, what's the PBS station in Chicago? I suppose Downton Abbey is on at 8:00 here too?"
Ladies in line laughed. They stayed for the answer though, didn't they? I'm sure I wasn't the only one watching the season finale.
Of course, I had to have cookies and tea beforehand. I finished about twenty minutes before the show was to start, called room service to pick up my tray, put the tray outside the door ...
...which swung shut behind me. Of course. I was trapped outside in my thinnest striped pajamas.
I tried the door. No. Locked.
"Fine," I thought, "I'm fifty. I'm not easily embarrassed." And I marched with my head held high, back to the lobby, which, may I remind you, looks like this:
Happily, I only got as far as the red couch before I saw the doorman and waved.
"Hello," he said.
"Guess why I'm here!" I said cheerily.
I gestured at my pajamas.
He looked blank. Perhaps people in pseudo-European hotels routinely slob about in their pajamas.
"I'm locked out," I was forced to explain.
He let me in (without asking for my ID, as a friend pointed out) and took the tray. Then, I watched the season finale of Downton Abbey and THAT was the low point of my night.