Luxury Hotels

WASHINGTON – 5

As all seasoned globalists know, travel does not always work out as planned, and the unexpected is generally not for the better. For the second night running Girlahead boarded a 787 at Washington DC’s Dulles airport to cross the Atlantic. This time at least the plane got off the ground, and there was a reassuring (male) captain with a confident voice. He had to use it about three hours after take-off. Another techie meant this state-of-the-art Boeing could not make the journey. We were turning through 180° and going to Boston.

This time we were told what to do. After deplaning, pick up bags and head for Hilton Logan Airport. No-one thought to ay it was a 20-minute hike, all indoors but through carparks and via escalators. Being carry-on only, Girlahead was luckily third in line for check-in. Three staff took deposits, handed out vouchers, $15 for breakfast and $20 for lunch. Room 774 was functional. The shower was easy to operate and produced instant hot water. Big Crabtree & Evelyn fixed pump-pots and over-sized spouts. Good. The view was interesting – partly over Delta’s gates. Room corridors were penitential. Berkshires, the all-day dining, was like a coffee bar at a funeral home. Dark blue carpeting was covered in crumbs, probably mostly from convex-topped dry granola-topped yogurt parfaits that were impossible not to spill-over. Plain wood tables had Chilewich mats. Servers were, 100%, delightfully mature.  The parfait, plus a thermal jug of well-brewed decaf and half a senior avocado, peeled but not sliced, exceeded the breakfast voucher by $6.

Girlahead decided to escape. Raffles Boston provided not only a room with a view but uninterrupted April sunshine. One week after leaving, Raffles Boston feels like home. There was time to explore the private-bar selection of New England brands, The Blind Duck American Gin, Well House Vodka, Tuck Shop chocolate bars stylishly wrapped in Antebellum wallpaper. One of Suite #1205’s artworks is a silhouette formed of a heritage financial accounts sheets. The teaset has an egg-timer (see above).

We join local business tycoons lunching out in blazing sun on the 17th floor terrace. George Mendes’ take on tuna tartare pits it with sesame seed, coriander and grated tomato (our sourdough goes well with that, said the server and she was right).  Next, to build up a veggie bank, it was an Ascot hat shape formed of kabacha squash, pumpkin seed pesto, thinnest slices of pear and crispy buckwheat.  There was just time for a lightning workout on a Peloton in the living-wall gym, below, and then, guess what, IT WAS BACK TO THE OPERA THAT COULD WELL BE CALLED ‘HOW TO TAKE THREE DAYS TRYING TO FLY THE ATLANTIC’.

But the moral of this extended ramble is that a short quality respite from stress achieves wonders…