Exploring Luxury in the Hotels of Peru and Ecuador [Part 7: Bathrooms]

Hotel bathrooms have to pack a lot of odd technology and odd experiences into a really small space. There’s a huge potential for chaos and clutter here, not to mention the problem of foul odors, hard surfaces near exposed skin, air and water temperature regulation, lighting that’s either too glaring or too dim, noises that travel where they’re not supposed to, impeding the spread of diseases, etc. It’s always an impressive feat when a bathroom can address all of these parameters and still end up feeling gracious or uncluttered or comfortable or tied in some way to the overall atmosphere of a place.

Sometimes this gracefulness is accomplished through sheer ingenuity or a meticulous sense of composition. The exact placement of a tissue box or the careful filtering of natural light becomes extremely important here.

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Exploring Luxury in the Hotels of Peru and Ecuador [Part 6: Swimming and Pampering]

Spa culture is kind of weird. Once, in the weeks leading up to our wedding, Bekah thought it would be hilarious to convince me to join her for something called a facial. In a dark earth toned room they wrapped my head up in a boiling hot cloth, provided me a library of scents to select from and informed me that I was about to be taken on a sensory journey. Then they repeatedly jabbed a little steel instrument deep into the tip of my nose. That was my first spa experience.

Every kid grows up loving hotel swimming pools. Immersion in water is a primal experience. It’s inherently appealing. A swim in a pool is a simple way to engage with a place on a tactile level.

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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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