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A Chat with Jon Hodgman, Actor, Author, Humorist and Hotel Aficionado

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June 6, 2012 at 5:46 PM | by | ()

Who is Jon Hodgman? Well, aside from being an actor, author, humorist and the personification of a PC in the Mac vs PC commercials, Jon is also a bit of a hotel aficionado. This we found out recently, during a lengthy chat with the man at the reopening party for NYC's historic Algonquin Hotel.

Hodgman, pictured here with SNL alum and fellow Penguin-published author Rachel Dratch (whom we interviewed yesterday), carefully considers his words before speaking. As a result, Hodgman's thoughts come slowly but deliberately; he is erudite and perfectly quotable. Nonetheless, there is one question for which he has a short, direct answer: does he have any qualities he specifically looks for in a hotel?

"I do. Is it the Chateau Marmont?"

It may seem like a joke, but to Jon it's truly not. He confesses that falling asleep to the sounds of people talking in the Chateau's courtyard reminds him of his youth, specifically the dinner parties given by his parents, though of course these days it's not the idle chatter of neighbors putting him to sleep, but "you know, Jason Segel."

The Chateau isn't a cheap stay by any degree, and Jon admits that it's the one place where he could easily go overboard and "not have anything left to pass down to my children." Perhaps that's why, while discussing Portland hotels and our loyalty to The Ace, he stated: "That's because you're a cool person. I know I'll never be cool. I'd rather be wealthy."

The better to stay forever at the Chateau, my dearie.

· But really, what does he want from a hotel?
Another straight answer: 24-hour room service. "For a performer, you get back at midnight and want to eat." Luckily this service is offered by the majority of hotels...but then Jon thought on, listing many other requirements to make a hotel somewhere he'd return and recommend. These include cleanliness, a high level of staff attentiveness and free WiFi. In his exact words: "WiFi should be robust and complimentary."

If he's dropping "meaningful money," Hodgman also appreciates being greeted by name and having interactions with staff who are sincere and well trained in hospitality. This rules out hotels that make him line up and "feel like an airport," and those that automatically welcome guests back, even if they've never stayed before (he named hotel an offender for the latter, a certain regally titled Santa Monica property ah hem ah hem).

To chase him away, hotels should offer "an overly ambitious cocktail program" and charge surprise fees, like the $2 that once showed up on his bill for having a FedEx box delivered to his room. A seemingly minor slight, he says he'll remember it on his deathbed, just as he will the exemplary service of one hotel that gifted him pillows he had previously complimented (and yes, he's still sleeping on them).

· Favorite hotels? We mean, aside from the Chateau Marmont.
Jon was pensive for a long moment. Then he named the Park Hyatt Chicago and was on a roll. Add Shutters on the Beach in Casa del Mar, The Inn at the Market in Seattle, The Heathman and Vintage Plaza in Portland, and The Savoy and Covent Garden Hotel in London. If we wanted to find him at his favorite restaurant in the world, it'd be the one inside the St. John Hotel, itself a delicious secret in the crowded London lodging scene.

· And the one thing he can't resist to pull from the minibar?
"Just Planter's dry-roasted peanuts."

Stock 'em up, Savoy! Hodgman's got a July reservation.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

Love Jon Hodgman in those Mac vs PC commercials

This was a nice little article on Jon Hodgman. I will check will check out the Park Hyatt Chicago and see if it has everything he was talking about. Thanks

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