Exploring Luxury in the Hotels of Peru and Ecuador [Part 3: Lobbies, Lounges and the Drama of Arrival]

Checking into a hotel doesn’t always mean just standing at a tall desk and having paperwork slid across the countertop at you before lumbering off alone to the elevator. There are more fitting ways to celebrate the miracle of successfully arriving somewhere. When you show up for the first time at a hotel you get to play a part in the drama of arrival. This is a drama that has been acted out over and over since the beginning of time, and it has the potential to convey not just a sense of welcome but maybe even a sense of wonderment.

The first moments of exposure to a new place are what this drama is about, and these moments are your chance to gauge how seriously that place values hospitality. In other words it’s your chance to gauge just how much that place actually wants to honor you.

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Exploring Luxury in the Hotels of Peru and Ecuador [Part 2: Secret Courtyards and Infinite Hallways]

Getting from one lovely place to another is not always a pleasant experience while you’re actually in transit. This can be true at the scale of a journey between continents or a drive to the grocery store or even a walk from one end of a hotel to another. A lot of life is lived in in-between places and a lot of these places are not typically thought of as lovely – in-between cities, in-between jobs, in-between the window seat and the aisle seat. There’s a tendency not to invest too much effort in in-between places. Unfortunately that leads to a lot of unpleasant physical locations in the world that we all must pass through at one time or another, and we are all worse off for it.

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Exploring Luxury in the Hotels of Peru and Ecuador [Part 1: Introduction]

Luxury is a word that used to unsettle me.

I used to think pursuing it was only about the showing off of power and wealth through excessive and wasteful life choices. I used to think that luxury only meant things like gold plated Hummers and recreational rhinoceros hunting and mansions with TVs on every wall and ceiling. It does still include all of that unfortunately. But in recent years I’ve had some unusual experiences and I’ve ended up in some unexpected places, and I’ve grown to understand that there is also a truly noble and worthwhile kind of luxury out there that follows a completely different agenda.

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Young Marriage / Old House [Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room Renovation]

Bekah and I got married in October 2010. Two days before the wedding we bought a ramshackle little 120 year old house in Dignowity Hill on the near east side of San Antonio, the city where we grew up. We then set to work figuring out how we wanted to live our new life: within our new marriage, within an old house, within an unfamiliar neighborhood, and within an all-too-familiar city.

We wanted to be deliberate in all of these things, and we wanted them all to inform and to shape each other. We also wanted our own quirks to come forward whenever possible.

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Welcome to MAVERICKWORK

MAVERICKWORK is an open-ended exploration about inhabiting the world artfully. This blog is for anyone who is interested in things like architecture, mystery, invention, sustainability, simplicity, prayer, fasting, luxury, cities, rituals, stories, relief and development work, gardens and strange objects.

I’m curious about pursuing artfulness in the ways we exist at various scales: in the objects we handle, in the rooms we live in, in the cities we move through, in the landscapes we cultivate and on the planet we steward. Inhabiting the world with artfulness might happen through a humble daily chore or through a sweeping national policy. It might happen through acts of sacrifice or through acts of luxury.

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Jeffersonian Artifact

This is a scaled map of Thomas Jefferson’s Lawn at the University of Virginia. It was made from cast-off machine parts collected from a scrap metal yard. The task was to diagram a place I passed through almost every day in college. In preparation I studied the surroundings of the Lawn and I studied the scrap machine parts I had chosen to work with, and I came up with what I thought would be a straightforward language of symbols using the scrap metal pieces to represent the actual buildings and landforms that I wanted to map.

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