- my home away from home at the Imperial Palace All I want is a king bed. My expectations for this place are low - all I want is something remotely bed-shaped that I can sprawl out on. I'm not that big a guy but a double just doesn't do it for me, and I'm gonna be here for a while. But no dice; I get a double. The front desk staff apparently doesn't have the firmest grasp of the hotel's layout. I get directed to an elevator that literally could not be further from my room, passing two other elevator banks on the quarter-mile schlep. This is aggravated by the fact that, since I'm here for a week and a half, I have packed like a complete and utter woman - that and I have graciously allowed my woman to pack some things with me so she can get by with a carry-on when she joins me in a week. All that aside, though, once I've gotten in the door I feel a sense of peace. I can live with this. This is the cheapest hotel room I've stayed in since I was twelve, including all the fly-by-night motels I've crashed in on road trips; considering that it's not a bad value. Plenty of space to stow clothes, decent light, a garish-pastel painting of a parrot on the wall under a yellowed plastic smoke detector that may predate solid-state electronics, for all I know. I eye the clothes rack and consider phoning down for a few more hangers until I realize that there's going to be no way to attach them without welding gear, and while I may be loaded for electronic warfare I'm not equipped for heavy industry. Polo shirts are hence consigned to the sub-Ikea dresser, which looks like it's taken a few drunken tumbles down the stairs in its time but is still eminently serviceable. The posted rate on this room is $400 a night, which I find hysterical for all the obvious reasons. Hotels all have their own certain character; this place is like everyone's worst passive-aggressive aunt, the one who fulfills filial obligations grudgingly because she doesn't want to be left out of the will. I think it's calculated: if I paid $400 to sleep on a bed that feels like a Tempurpedic without the flexibility, I'd be wanting to break the bank here too. From my balcony there's a nice view of the new Venetian tower, a taunting sight. When I discover that the balcony door opens, I am simultaneously thrilling to the possibility of fresh air and boggling at the fact that the IP hasn't started a "Kill yourself in style on the Strip!" ad campaign, because if ever there was a hotel room you'd want to jump out of, baby, this is it.


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