Column: The do’s and don’ts of hotel living


Clara McCourt

A first-year student’s bedroom in the Midtown Hotel.

Clara McCourt, news correspondent

Like many Northeastern freshmen, I was placed into housing at the Midtown Hotel this year. Upon learning of my brand new housing situation, I immediately pictured a magnificent lobby, bell-boys in little red hats pushing room service trays, ice machines and luxurious swimming pools. Unfortunately, Northeastern’s hotel dorm is not the grand “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” experience I expected.  

Yet here we are, permanently living in rooms designed for a one-night stay. How do we make the most of this? Here is a comprehensive list of the do’s and don’ts of hotel life.

DO: Make yourself at home!

As strange as it may be, this hotel is your home, and in some cases, your classroom. This means comfort should be a priority. To get rid of that hotel feel, try moving your furniture out of its original configuration. Rearranging your beds and desks may not only enlarge your room, but also add a fresh feeling to dorm furniture.

DON’T: Expect room service.

You shouldn’t expect any of the traditional amenities of a hotel room. However, if you are looking for broken vending machines, hallways to nowhere and one big bin for both trash and recycling, then you have come to the right place. 

DO: Remind yourself of simpler times. 

The Midtown Hotel experience reminds us of the golden age of technology. A time without functioning air conditioners or appliances. Think back on the stories of your ancestors and revel in this immersive history lesson.

DON’T: Attempt to use the internet. 

If you or anyone you know plans on using Zoom or any other website to aid in your education, the Midtown Hotel is not for you. Expect 1990-style dial-up speed at odds with 2020-style streaming. To fix your internet, maybe look into booking a stay at the Westin. 

DO: Clean up.

Make sure to vacuum your carpet. I personally have found that the top of the bathroom door, the left sink handle, the bedframe underneath the mattress and the desk drawers all need a deep clean, even if these spots seem irrelevant. Trust me on this one. 

DON’T: Burn yourself on your laundry.

A strange phenomenon here is that all washers or dryers finish their loads without allowing the laundry to cool first. As you transfer your laundry from the washer to the dryer, try using oven mitts. Instead of risking a burn injury, you could try a tag-team method and invite a socially-distanced friend to play hot-potato with your wet clothes.

DO: Take in the Boston skyline!

Those of you on the top-level floors have the opportunity to gaze out your window at the beautiful Boston skyline. In your spare time, you can stare at the marvelous view while you wait 20 minutes for an elevator. 

DON’T: Get distracted by your outdoor surroundings. 

Those of you on the ground-level floors have a different experience. You’re basically placed among Boston pedestrians, trying not to make eye contact as they gawk at you through your window. Soak up the sounds and sights of the city streets, but try not to dwell on the fumes you’re breathing in. 

DO: Remember — it could be worse. 

At the end of the day, this hotel is your home. Complain if you must, but be happy you’re in semi-local housing. Campus is only an MBTA-stop away. We’re located in an epicenter of the city, and we are given the privilege of an authentic urban experience at just 18 years old. 

And finally…

DON’T: Party in the basement.

This should be self-explanatory. 

All jokes aside, I hope you make the most of your hotel stay. If you can adapt to this, you can adapt to anything. In moments of weakness, just remember: we’ll have some great stories to horrify our families with at Thanksgiving.