What is it about hotels that makes it virtually impossible to travel as a single person?
I don't want to sound like a bitter old spinster as normally it is my preference to travel alone. It means you can choose when you go, where you go and, quite frankly, you switch off more if you completely detach from life.
But hotels really don't make it easy.
A friend of mine is getting married next summer in Cyprus and I would completely love to go. She has booked a wedding package through Thomas Cook to the Olympic Lagoon Resort in Nissi Bay.
However, I can't get a single room at the hotel. I've tried directly with Thomas Cook and also on several other aggregators like eBookers. But there are no single rooms available. Plenty of double rooms but no singles.
I just don't get it. There must be lots of single people travelling these days, and not all of them want to stay in hostels or have enough money to pay double.
And likewise, when I travel with a friend or a colleague, I don't always want to share a room with them. I live on my own for a reason, and I would quite like to have the same privacies when on holiday or a business trip. However, sometimes even asking for twin beds rather than a double seems like a difficult task.
For example, I recently stayed with work at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane in London. I had to share a room with a colleague and the receptionist assured me that there were twin beds in the room. And yes, there were twin beds, but they were side by side with a shared double duvet! Eventually I managed to get two single bed spreads, but not without complaint, and still the beds were pushed right together. Mmmmm, not at all awkward.
I really feel like hotels are missing a trick here. And it would be in their interests to be more flexible with room layouts to accommodate lone travellers. Because I'm on my own, I'm even more of a trapped audience. I'm less likely to eat away from the hotel (yes I still feel the stigma of going to restaurants alone) I'm more likely to order expensive room service and have late night glasses of wine. Essentially they would get more value from me if they took the time to welcome me.
So it looks like for my friend's wedding that I'll have to stay at another hotel nearby. I have found some lower rated hotels in the area that will permit me to stay as a single person in a single room (at a premium may I add) which I guess is OK. But I may not be able to use the facilities at the hotel where the rest of the wedding guests are staying, I'll have to walk to and from another hotel in order to have things like evening meals with them. So not exactly ideal or especially safety conscious.
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. In the meantime, I'll have to suffer being a social leper as a woman travelling alone.
Both the photos on this page were taken during a road trip through Northern California (top) and to Crater Lake in Oregon (directly above) and they are me!