Are we suffering from 5 Star fatigue ?

I’ve stayed in every style of accommodation from Airbnbing, to hostels to 5 star hotels and I love a bit of luxury, but on my last trip to Dubai my attitude changed. When I had the opportunity to stay the night at one of Dubai’s swankiest hotels I jumped at the chance. As I left the next morning reclining into the plush leather seats of the hotel’s Range Rover heading back to rejoin the real world, the whole experience left me feeling a tad underwhelmed.

So I ask, is there such a thing a 5 star fatigue ? when the ostentatious roundabout of luxury hotels in a destination such as Dubai just becomes too much and in a time of austerity are we yearning for the simple life?

I’m talking about hotels where the sniffy reception staff think they’re doing you the favour by even letting you check in, where the security guards are clad in designer threads and I’m even betting the chambermaids are moonlighting as supermodels on the weekends.

Don’t get me wrong , Its not like there was actually anything technically wrong , the suite was the size of my whole apartment back home , with every surface polished to a high gloss, crisp linens and the obligatory flat screen TV blocking the marina view, but for me, it was just too perfect, too sterile, and frankly soulless.

I’m happier in an environment where I’m not worried about putting my feet on the bed or making a mess in the pristine bathrooms and the staff actually address you by your name and they are allowed to have personality rather than the usual poker face welcome.

For me 5 star doesn’t just have to apply to the price, when checking into a small boutique B&B in Amsterdam the owner noticed it was my birthday and when I returned after a hard days sightseeing , I found a bunch of flowers picked from their garden in a makeshift jam jar vase and a plate of yummy homemade tarts now THAT to me is the type of 5 Star
I’ll never tire of ……. hoteliers of Dubai I hope your taking notes!!



  1. Yes, sometimes 5 star means going the extra mile even just in personality and attitude. In Bali, the owner of my hotel left a fruit basket in my room on my birthday with a lovely note. You remember those nice touches more than a posh bathroom! I like to mix it up and have lots of hostels and budget B&Bs then a nice hotel, that way I don’t get sick of it


  2. I completely agree! I’ve never stayed at that swanky or luxurious of a hotel and I don’t mind being spoiled now and then but it’s definitely the personal touch that makes a place 5 star for me or not. I used to work at a hotel and it was not very big, the rooms weren’t luxurious but the view was amazing and visitors gave us 5 stars because of that and the customer service we provided. We all have a different view of 5 star 🙂


  3. This is a really good point. I typically operate under the idea of paying less on my accomodations and more on the experiences… etc. So we don’t usually have this problem. But there are a few times we have choosen to stay nicer places and haven’t been that thrilled for they hype. Certainly our favorite places to stay are bed and breakfasts and the like. I think that this was good to be reminded of and it will definitely be in my head when we are planning future trips. 🙂 Love that they left you birthday flowers… 🙂 -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


  4. The personal touches win every time. We have stayed in a couple of impersonal hotels and hated every minute, couldn’t wait to leave. Even when we have, on occasion, chosen the all-inclusive option the hotel has been of a boutique nature where the maximum room allocation was in the 50-100 range so that people would remember the small details – your name,your favourite drink – I think these are the important things when travelling not the sterile nature of a luxury hotel where people aren’t willing to make conversation. This is probably why we ourselves now opt for boutique hotels with between 5-10 rooms or a campsite because believe it or not you meet some of the friendliest people when staying under canvas! 🙂


  5. welcome to the world of blogging! I’ve read all three posts and looking forward to reading more!

    I love your evaluation of 5 Star Hotels ~ and yay! for Amsterdam …


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