Most (to be honest, almost all) of my experience with luxury travel, food and lodging has come while hanging with the Engineer. I've got to admit that I like first or business class on an airplane. I think what they charge for it is absolutly ludicrous, I wouldn't pay for it, but I like it. I wish all airline passengers were treated the same way as those flying in the front of the plane - even if they don't get the same leg-room.
Luxury food and lodging are a little too far beyond the pale of my middle class upbringing for me to be comfortable with, however.
Right now I am at the aforementioned luxury resort, sitting at a real wood desk with an inset leather blotter in a big cusioned chair in a room that costs a month's mortgage payment each night. I will admit that the king size bed with its enormous headboard and serpentine carved posts is very comfortable, if a bit over the top. The bathroom is not quite as intimidating as some I've seen -- at least I know what all the fixtures are for -- but does anyone really need that much chrome, stone and glass? I feel like an impostor here and more than vaguely guilty about using up more than my fair share of the world's resources.
The hotel does believe in making its guests pay for using the resources. The shelf in the room's wet bar is equipped with a weight sensor and any item which you might lift from the shelf is instantly (!) charged to your room. Needless to say, I haven't even opened the door to the wet bar to see what treasures it might contain. Being a natural born klutz, I would probably manage to knock everything off the shelf in one fell "oops!"
And then there's the food... Strictly a la carte, of course, each addition to the entree an additional charge. I suppose they have to do it that way to cover the cost of all the silverware: several forks to the left of the plate, multiple spoons and knives to the right, even silverware above the plate doesn't seem to be sufficient. A special waiter removes clean, unused utensils and replaces them with different ones between each course.
Or maybe it's the look of disappointment and mild disaproval that crosses the main waiter's face when I assure him that I do not want a cocktail, nor a glass of wine, nor even Pellagrino, but rather plain old tap water to drink.
I happen to like plain old tap water.
Having to ask what certain menu items are doesn't help my self confidence at all. I've learned the hard way the wisdom of asking though... Like the time I thought I was ordering a shrimp salad sandwich and got a large mound of mayonaise studded with a few tiny shrimp. It's been five years, but the Engineer still laughs at me about that.
And what's wrong with just eating food, say a nice steak?
Ain't no such thing in this joint. Everything has to be done up fancy in some kind of a sauce with carmelized kumquats and special sea salt imported from France with a touch of fennel and fenugreek and some weird sort of mushroom that I don't know if I'm allergic to or not.
I want to taste the food I'm eating, for heaven sake, not the culinary embroidery around it.
Sigh, I guess some of us just aren't cut out to be upper crust.