A night to remember
FOLLOW THE READER
GILBERTON, SA AS we hurtle towards our 80s, we look more and more for five-star comfort. Until a few years ago, we preferred B&Bs or cheap hotels because we met more people. Of course, there were risks. We were not impressed with ticks under the toilet seat in Sumatra, someone trying to break into our room in Austria or, again in Indonesia, the advertised ensuite turning out to be a trough and ladle. But we did have one night of hilariously memorable luxury. Our hotel in Santiago was full the day we arrived, so the proprietor booked us in for the next night and directed us elsewhere in the meantime. The second hotel was in magnificent Spanish colonial style, with no signage but an elaborately carved front door. We entered the small lobby, all polished timber and gleaming brass, and asked the elderly senora at the counter for a room for one night.
‘‘All night?’’ she queried. I confirmed just one night, accepted the huge key and we proceeded up the polished staircase to our room, where a blood-red satin cover made the king bed look even larger.
Curtains of the same colour were draped either side of french doors. Long gilt-framed mirrors adorned every red wall. There was a mirror on the ceiling, which we thought odd. The red shades of the wall lights cast a rosy glow; the bathroom was black marble.
Later, we heard high heels click-clacking up the stairs; they descended about a half-hour later. After several repeats of this pattern, the peso dropped. And as much as I now enjoy the luxury of five-star hotels, none can offer the atmosphere of a Chilean bordello. Send your 400-word contribution to our Follow the Reader column: travel@ theaustralian. com.au. Published columnists receive a 200ml Sodashi Mint Soother Foot Treatment lotion ($63.60) to cool aching feet and legs; the lotion is perfect for a deeply moisturising overnight treatment. More: sodashi.com.