I don’t mind low-budget hotels when invited to speak at low-budget activist conferences. However, the hotels need to be well managed enough to not make me physically ill, and they can’t lock me in with barbed wire when I try to leave. While I have the utmost understanding for the meager budget of an activist conference, I must also consider my downstream commitments and continuous delivery capacity.
(All of the examples here are authentic, including the barbed wire. You couldn’t make this stuff up.)
Short version: Get a non-smoking single room in a three-star hotel or better with wi-fi in the room and I’m happy. Single room, non-smoking, three stars, wi-fi in room. Four bullet points. That’s the minimum bar. Bonus for proximity to public transport and/or conference venue.
Longer version: There must be a reception, with people in it 24/7, who can speak English. Net connections are a must (I don’t care if it’s wi-fi or wired, as long as it’s in the room and not just in a public area). Single room. Private toilet and shower in the room — not in the corridor. Well managed with the overall appearance of a hotel: I’ve been to, ehm, “hotels” with a pungent penetrating smell of strong detergents or industrial dilutants in the air — those make me sick in no time. A warm, well made bed in a non-drafty room. I need to be able to come and go whenever in the day, and particularly can’t be locked in, particularly again not with barbed wire.
Examples of things I don’t need: TV, minibar, coffee, two beds to myself, wine selection, etc. But I do need a large, soft and warm bed, a power outlet, net connectivity, clean air, and good private hygiene facilities.
If notified in advance, I don’t mind sleeping at an activist’s for a day or two, but some things apply there as well: non smoking, wifi, no pets, and a warm non-drafty room. No couch sleeping, but an air mattress is fine.