When I was a little girl, I used to read Jackie Collins novels. I still remember the day I innocently picked up my first copy for fifty cents from a book stall at our annual high school charity day. So really, when you think about it, it’s the school’s fault that I caught the naughty Collins bug.
That first book was Lady Boss, and Lucky Santangelo became my hero. She was dark-haired, beautiful and smart, and she had guts and wit. But more importantly, she built hotels. Tall, glitzy five-star hotels.
So from the tender age of eleven or twelve, it became my dream and goal in life to build a hotel. As I told my friends back then, I wanted to walk into my hotel every morning, wave curtly at the people behind reception and have everyone bow and call me “Ms Chan” as I headed to my private elevator which would take me up to my penthouse office. Lucky wouldn’t have had it any other way.
All this to say that we checked into Four Seasons Sydney last Friday evening, checked out on Sunday at midday, and in between enjoyed one and a half days of pure relaxation, pampering and fun.
Seriously, what a tasteful hotel: luxurious, classic decor and not at all gaudy or pretentious. And the brilliant attention to detail – from the shower tap that allowed me to control the temperature (I mean, what is that?), to the dark mahogany box filled with not cigars but crisp, white stationery, to the awesome shoe drawers that I’d never seen anywhere else, to the classy green bag our Saturday morning paper was delivered in, to the soft, hushed tones with which all their spa ‘treatment specialists’ spoke. In fact, so hynoptised and relaxed was I during my facial, that I kept falling asleep, only to be woken up each time by my own abrupt snoring. It is a testament to the staff’s professionalism that my ‘specialist’ kept a completely straight face, even as she asked me afterwards, “So how did that feel?”
And just look at this amazing table setting – even though all we ordered were a small bowl of soup, a pudding and a large bowl of white rice (come on, we had to cut costs somewhere).
I like to think that if I had built my fake, fantasy hotel, the Lucky Santangelo in me would’ve thought of all these little touches.
My low point of the weekend came when I shoved my perfectly manicured hands under the warm, fluffy towel during the facial, only to discover afterwards that my nails hadn’t actually dried properly and so my nails ended up with a patterned finish. You should’ve seen the tears I shed over my own stupidity.
And to @FSSydney who saw my comment about the late room service breakfast on Twitter, we weren’t at all bothered by it. The 30th floor view of the Sydney Opera House more than made up for it.
(Yes, we fell for the room upgrade at reception. It’s like when they ask you if you want fries and a coke with your Big Mac. How on earth are you meant to say ‘no’?).