Fluffy white towels, a large soft bed, crisp 200 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and regular turn down service – you might think I’ve been staying in some swanky up-town hotel but no, it’s the studio apartments that have been home to me since I flew the Adesuyan family coop in London and landed in Dubai eight weeks ago.
I initially thought I’d despise living in a hotel with their staid identikit rooms, but as my check-out date looms I realise that I’ve got quite accustomed to coming home after a hard day’s work and finding my little apartment clean, washing up done and my bed alluringly turned over and calling me to unwind and relax.
You could say I’m not looking forward to moving out, what with all the talk of rent hikes, loans and dodgy landlords being bandied around so much since I got here (so much so that I’ve turned a deaf ear to it all and taken comfort and refuge in my hotel cocoon).
That was of course until the day I came home to a white envelope neatly sticking out of my door, otherwise known as the reminder letter. Its polite curtness instantly shattered my bubble of hotel loveliness – little round soaps, a fridge full of soft drinks, and those cute mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner – poof, all gone in one fell swoop. I have just a few days to find myself alternative accommodation.
Living in a hotel does, however, make you develop some bad habits. I’ve become incredibly wasteful. Before I moved to Dubai I was a stickler for turning lights off, constantly nagging family members who dared to leave a room for more than 30 seconds without thinking to flick the switch off. Now, shamefully I admit – I’ve become one of those people. I’ll be in the hotel apartment with the whole room lit up like a Christmas tree while watching TV, and running the air-con. That said, living in a hotel has made me crave a little bit of normality – it’s great to hear the call of ‘housekeeping!’ as the cleaner whooshes in, busying herself with emptying rubbish, changing towels and all. But for me, that’s not really my version of ‘normal’. A fresh bath towel every day is nice but, in the real world it’s much more like every two weeks, and even though I really do appreciate not having to do my washing up, I am more than capable of washing a teacup after breakfast.
What I won’t miss, though, is the world’s most annoying lift music – ever. There’s only so much Kenny G saxophone music that one can listen to in an enclosed space, and when I’m heading down from the 12th floor, I can’t get out of the lift fast enough to escape its irritating melodies, lest they infiltrate my mind for the entire day.
I am pleased to have had a such a good soft landing in my first few weeks in Dubai – but saying goodbye to the pool, sauna, gym, Jacuzzi and that super comfy bed – is going to be tough, I think they might have to take me out kicking, screaming and clinging onto my Egyptian cotton sheets.
Benita Adesuyan is Time Out’s Sport and Outdoor, Film and Community Editor and has now been surgically separated from her hotel room.