Origami toilet paper, the mystery of turn-down service, and did I mention I’m staying at a five star hotel?

So on Sunday night I arrived in Orlando with my cat hair-covered backpack and checked in here:


Just me and a room full of pillows.  So.  Many.  Freaking.  Pillows.

Don’t worry—I haven’t abandoned my commitment to authentic budget travel.  I just happen to be in Orlando for a conference and this is the hotel where it’s all going down.  In the interest of discretion, I don’t want to mention the name of the hotel (cough, Ritz-Carlton), but let’s just say it’s a hotel for rich people who enjoy the comfort of  a lot of throw pillows.


And origami toilet paper.  Nothing says luxury like origami toilet paper.

And a scale?!  The last thing I want at a conference with unlimited buffets is a scale.


Now I bet what you really want to know about is the free toiletries.


This place is loaded with swag.  I am taking all of it.  I have big plans for those pre-wrapped q-tips.


As I was writing this a woman knocked on my door and she said “Turn-down service” and I said “What’s that?” and she gave me bottles of water and then went away.  People, help me out.  What is turn-down service?  Was I suppose to tip that lady?


When your bathrobe doubles as a straightjacket….


Wait, don’t rich people make other people polish their shoes for them?


View from my balcony.  Artificial lakes.  Artificial river.  Several places to buy an $8 coke.


How I got to Orlando: flight from Chicago.

Where I slept: The Ritz-Carlton.  Price: my job is paying.  Recommended: the conference is great, otherwise recommended if you have a throw pillow fetish and enjoy artificial lakes next to a highway.


  1. Turn-down service involves turning down your sheets, tidying up a bit, putting chocolates on your pillow, and putting slippers by your bed. Definitely go for it next time, and yes you should tip her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no–I missed an opportunity for chocolate. Mea culpa. Thanks for the information Ann!


  2. But where is the towel formed into the shape of a swan? That hotel needs to look to its laurels…I had the swan in the only and no star hotel in a one horse dorp in northern Nicaragua a couple of years ago.
    No origami loo roll though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I like a classic fan-pleated towel, though a swan-shaped towel is also quite posh.


  3. Friends visiting the Caribbean side of Costa Rica had towels in the shape of turtles…but still no origami loo roll….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My GOD. I would appreciate the pillows as I need 120000 the will end up in a mass around me and on the floor. Also, you’re right. I’m all about free toiletries. FTW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But no sewing kit? Ritz–DUDE—where’s my mini sewing kit? You give me the Book of Mormon but not a min sewing kit????????

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps you should request one from the front desk. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ask for a sewing kit at the concierge desk when you leave in the morning for your conference, and it’ll be there when you return!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Turns out there was a sewing kit in the desk drawer all along. Cleary I’m off my swag-grabbing game this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tipping for turndown service? I would not have, because it was not a service I requested. Most of the time it happens when the guest is out anyway. Actually I’d politely say I didn’t need it if the person knocked on
    my door–I don’t like strangers in my room. Now, if I
    ordered an outrageously priced sandwich from room service, of course I’d tip and then worry all night that I didn’t tip enough. And I’d definitely leave a tip for the maid at the end of each day–a few dollars in an envelope clearly marked. But then, all this hassle and uncomfortableness is why I never pine to stay in a fancy place. I’m from Minnesota, where we don’t want to make a big thing of ourselves or trouble anybody. We tend to make our own beds even if we’re guests in a fancy hotel. It’s just how we were brought up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you about being uncomfortable. I keep looking all the staff here in the eye and greeting them with lingering gazes, somehow trying to subliminally communicate “I’m not one of *them”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Might as well enjoy it all, when someone else is paying! It’s good to do the opposite of slumming every now and then, just to realize that you’re not missing much in carefully planned budget travel. (I’m curious what you have planned for those Q-tips, but I don’t want to be nosy).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m packing the q-trips on my next trip, of course. You know, that kind of trip I have to pay for myself, where the room doesn’t come with swag 🙂


  9. I just find the whole tipping thing in the States very confusing, we had to ask the chap on the desk the first night ( we have stayed with family before) as to whom and how much we tip. He was very good and said only tip if you think you want to, do not tip just for the sake of it…. he got a tip when we left 🙂 Also I hate the bed turning down thing…… for one thing we spend some of the evening laying on top of the bed, reading or watching TV, really can’t be bother to get off for someone to pull the covers back 🙂


    1. I am also confused by tipping—I wish I lived in a country where people in the service industry were paid a decent wage and they didn’t need tips to support themselves.

      I’m going to try pulling the covers back myself tonight, then as a reward I’ll tip myself with a piece of chocolate cake I stole from the conference earlier. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha Ha, hope it doesn’t make a mess on your pillow 🙂 On a more serious note, yes I agree that they do get a dismal wage even in the UK, we do tip in restaurants and our hairdresser get a tip, but it seems in America they get tipped even if they open a door for you……I might be wrong but thats what it seemed like, maybe its not like that all over the country.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I confess to liking the pillows and someone else paying (and had a not as posh experience in Orlando – in FEB!) but would never shell out the dough to stay at a place like this in a place like this. But I guess you could look at it as a kind of Disney World.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Were you in Orlando for a conference too? This conference is wonderful, but I’d be happier if it were in Feb. for sure.


  11. Lol. Thanks for stopping by:)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yesssss, work conference hotel ritz FTW! All the pillows and all the toiletries.

    I’m normally all about my affordable, authentic experiences but you’ve gotta live up the glam when it’s all expenses paid. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working on trying to get my job to send me to a conference overseas…… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, that’s the dream! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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