Is this hot tub creepy?

One of the BAcon bits that was made clear to me over this past weekend is most readers find the slideshow image on Loyalty Traveler of the hot tub with rose petals ‘creepy’. I heard that word a lot over three days.

Vancouver-Oregon 11-11-08 119

This photo is from the Holiday Inn Express in Yreka, California November 2008. The newly opened hotel had an open house for the community.

I arrived on a road trip from Portland, Oregon heading south back to Monterey in November 2008. The hotel stay was a Priority Club 5,000 points PointBreaks award night. Besides a cheap room using points, the hotel was serving complimentary Sierra Nevada beer for the two hours of Open House.

There were several hotel rooms open for visitors to see. The hot tub with rose petals was in one of the open house rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, Yreka.

There was no hot tub in the room where I stayed the night.

The slideshow will soon be gone from Loyalty Traveler

My website was reviewed by Andy Hayes in a seminar session for BAcon, the Boarding Area conference in Colorado Springs May 10-12, 2013.

Andy recommended the entire slideshow be removed since the reader has no control to stop and gaze at any photo and there are no captions to the photos.

Andy also said the rose petals around the hot tub were creepy.

My mental association with the hot tub photo is remembering a cheap hotel night drinking free beer with the great people of Yreka, California. I wonder if the community members from Yreka thought the hot tub room was creepy at the time?

What association do you make with the hot tub and rose petals that makes it so creepy?


The hot tub image has been removed from the front page, although still visible if reading an older post from 2012 or earlier. The entire slideshow will be removed from Loyalty Traveler soon. The changes have to be made by BoardingArea technical staff. I do not have control over that plug-in which is why it has not been changed to date.

Another hot tub photo

Today I photographed another hot tub on my BAcon to KPIG road trip from Colorado Springs back to Monterey.

No rose petals.

Is this hot tub creepy?


Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas, Avon, Colorado hot tub on 7th floor with view of Beaver Creek ski area.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. Yes, but not as creepy as some of the photos I’ve seen of bloggers at BAcon, lol.

  2. I don’t know about ‘creepy,’ but I’ve tried to ignore it for years. I’m more interested in the message presented in the current posts. In fairness, that over-lived shot does not add much to your blog, and no, Holiday Inn is not on my list of offenders, *even in Yreka.*

  3. The funny thing about the picture, it just doesn’t seem to fit the content I get from Loyalty Traveler. I’d expect it from Extra Pack of Peanuts, or maybe Mommy Points. Something quirky,or something sentimental, I expect that from their blogs. Your blog is very analytical in nature, like I said it just didn’t really fit, but I’m not sure it was creepy.

    Your blog introduced me to Boarding Area, and for that I’m quite appreciative.

  4. It looks creepy because the image is slightly grainy and not well lit. The wall and flooring have a non-continuous, patchwork aspect that gives it the impression of a hot tub installed in someone’s basement. Take all of that and add in a cliche’d attempt to create romantic atmosphere with rose petals and you get something that gives off sketchiness and a pathetic, desperate vibe. Creepy. And depressing.

  5. Makes me think of the plastic tub that Amanda Berry gave birth in in the basement of Ariel Castro’s house.

  6. Aways thought it was an unusual pic to open with – a dark image of a not particularly nice hot tub without context.

  7. I agree with Cook. I did not find it especially creepy, but I am more interested in the information so would have tried to ignore the pics for the most part unless they are part of a trip report. That said, I would not have been rushing out to choose it for my laptop wallpaper 🙂

  8. bring back the hot tub! It’s what defines you and this blog. It gives people a memorable impression. Don’t let anyone else change who you are. Keep up the good work in hotel analysis.

  9. Creepy? No. But maybe a bit cheesy. Love your info and have been reading you blog for years. On second thought, I think I’ll miss seeing the old tub.

  10. @Ric @Daniel, I agree with Daniel. The photo does not fit the context of your blog. I dislike the photo as it just doesn’t isn’t a beautiful one to look at. Good choice in removing it, for it’ll give you more credibility in my opinion. Yeah, no more heart bathtub love hotel photo. 🙂

  11. The picture makes me not want to stay in hotels. It reminds me of a cheap gross hotel room.

  12. Not as creepy as all the dirt, hair, etc. that gets trapped inside the jets until the next person uses the hotel room hot tub.

  13. The hot tub was a turn off that deterred me from reading your compelling content — until I read your series about driving across Utah and realized what a cool guy you are.

  14. It’s undoubtedly creepy. I think it’s like peeking into someone else’s romantic moment. The new photo isn’t creepy because it’s more of a public area.

  15. The SMV hot tub is one of my favorite spots… I have consumed many a beer (usually a Crazy Mountain varietal) in that very spot after a long day on the slopes of Beaver Creek!

  16. Todd nailed it. It was a poorly composed photo.

    The one at Beaver Creek however is about 1000x better however.

  17. Thanks for choosing to remove the hot tub pic. Often, when I would see the pic, I would associate it with the article I was about to read on your blog. I would soon find out that the article has nothing to do with the photo.

  18. Many of your loyal readers asked you to remove that picture about a year ago. Have to admit that some of us (me, at least!) are a little hurt that you ignored us and waited until Andy Hayes (who?) mentioned it to you before you acted.


  19. I did ask to have the photo removed some time ago. I guess I was not forceful enough in my request. Also, there were staff changes at Boarding Area this year.

  20. I don’t find it creepy. Not the most romantic hot tub either.

    Though, judging by folks comments, I obviously didn’t spend as much time analyzing it as some folks.

    I’m surprised you don’t have control over the slides in the slideshow and the header images. Sounds like a trust issue with the boarding area folks. Or their technology sucks.

    You’ve had some very nice photos, some of them even relating to hotels! Having those rotated in would be nice. Captions (maybe linking to the article they came from) would be even nicer.

    And yes, the good analysis is why folks read your blog. If a hot tub picture offends someone enough that they have trouble reading your articles because of it, they have bigger issues and you’re probably better off without them.

  21. Hrmmm… I guess I am really in the minority here. I didn’t think it was creepy, figured it was something you did for your wife on an anniversary in some tropical locale. But, like I said, reading the other posts, I am certainly in the minority 😛

  22. I don’t know whether it was creepy or not but it just seemed so lame. No offense intended; I think with the context you explained in this post, it makes a bit more sense, but it just always seems like such an odd photo for a blog about these topics.

    I think it’s fantastic that you decided to remove it.

  23. Definitely Not creepy but also not one of your bets photos. there are so many other great ones that fit with the content a bit better.

  24. I did find it creepy – it looks like an ad for a cheap honeymoon hotel in the Poconos. I would rather see odd forms of transportation you have encountered in your travels. Or the view from the top of a mountain – now that is the type of photo that makes me want to travel. Thank you for switching out the hot tub.

  25. I do love the amount of conversation that has been generated over a photo of a hot tub. It’s almost to the point that this tub needs a parody twitter account. Anyone? 🙂

  26. @Andy Hayes – it was suggested to me at BAcon to write a post of the ten best tubs of my travels. Unfortunately I do not have photos of several of these tubs. I stopped traveling with a camera for almost two years after 9-11 due to the delay in security lines.

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