As a proud owner of Olivia, I enjoy “VIP” status when I travel to places Olivia charters. Once a year I indulge a lovely habit of going with a friend for a restful time—off season in a half empty hotel on some magnificent tropical beach without Olivia. I am always ambivalent to go without the 800 plus ladies of Olivia. The Olivia family that keeps me feeling safe and connected.
If not for something inside of me saying “go go go” I would just stay in my comfort zone sitting on my deck looking out at Mt. Tam. I believe its important for habituated minds to change the scenery. This trip was for me and my very close friend, my “sister” Sima, just the two of us.
The Vallarta Palace, now The Hard Rock, rests on a long beautiful stretch of beach in Neuvo Vallarta. Bathed in Hawaii-like trade winds all day long, the sun is mediated by the warm embracing breeze, and I could hardly wait. Peace, Space..space…
As “VIPS” my friend Sima and I entered the hotel to lots of clapping, cold towels, and meet and greet the five staff gathered in line…clap clap clap, everyone is introduced, everyone can’t stop smiling, and we head for the elevator with the sales manager who looks like a rock star in his golden ponytail. His sidekick Gina is so excited to show us what’s next. We reach the top floor. It has a very fancy double door with silver discs popping out: “The Rock Star Room!!!” they announce in unison as we enter and then they run off.
The view is AMAZING, and the scene is over the top, the interior of the massive double front doors is a black and white photograph a sexy woman on one side and an androgenous long hair on the other door (you choose the gender) making out. We will live with them for the week. I wanted space but this SPACE is massive! I take a video as I walk around. MADONNA’S bustier is hanging (protected in glass) on the wall as you walk in the entrance. She wore it for a Pepsi commercial before they pulled it for being too risque.
The paintings are wild, the colors are magenta, purples and oranges and there is a full bar lit in blue lights that mimic a mini nightclub. I walk out onto a gorgeous deck furnished with only one fancy LOVESEAT, a king size round bed on a pedestal and a fake fur rug. The shower is HUGE with a steam room, there are three toilets, two bathtubs and another room with two beds!!! The blue lit bar and lizard lounge expands into an even larger space that looks more like a fancy dept. store lounge than a relaxing living space. It has wild colored cubes to sit on—even the lamps were life size chrome sculptures of some modernistic babe.
“its …ostentatious” Sima says.
“Its impossible” I say.
We sat on the hot pink couch and wondered if we could manage a week in this space that felt more like a dept store than a place to inhabit. And how to explain to the front desk that we couldn’t…actually, we were not really ingrates, but…we would never be able to even HEAR each other from one end to the other even if we yelled! Now if we were having an Olivia party there, yeah, but us two…doing what exactly????
So we went down to ask for a room change when we realized no way could this space HOLD US for a week unless we imported more people to join the party!
“we need a change of room….”
“What? NO! You really don’t want that room? Whyyyyy? Come on!” says another cute young guy at the front desk. (Rock star hotel manager and Gina are gone for the day.) “uh, can you see we are not 20-something dude? I mean I love the STONES and I just saw them in concert, but…this room…ah..no, please please give us THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE, that’s fancy enough and perfect.” But there were nothing available for VIP status…There was something less than, a little less than, but close to the “presidential…”and maybe… would the 5th floor be ok? We could trade with the young het couple who had just arrived. Would THEY like to trade up and be ROCK STARS ??? yup yes OMG!
Trading down for peace of mind included some loss. Gone was our over the top view, our champagne, fruit, Madonna’s bustier, and Shakira’s bodice under glass, the special chocolates in various shapes of electric guitars…the colors and the lights. Our normal suite was quite respectable with a deck that was furnished with a table and chairs, and two lounge chairs (bye bye lone loveseat!). A place to read and write and meditate. The ocean still here, the breeze lovely. And our rooms separated by a decent size communal space.
Yes, peace is drab in comparison, and I wish at least ONE wall was painted magenta and the couch purple instead of brown. But as the Best in Rock will tell you “you don’t always get what you want…but if you try sometime, you’ll find you get what you need!” oh yeah.