The window sills in my hotel room are at crotch height. And there are four of them. Not that this was the first thing I noticed when I walked into my room.

When I checked on Wednesday, my first thought was of how cool the building is. The folks at Aloft had converted an old office building in downtown El Paso into a hotel, leaving the original elevator lobby intact as well as some of the original doors and mail chute on my floor. Even better, there were only eight rooms on the floor – a nice change from the mile long hallway James and I traversed in Vegas. After a long day at the Texas Society of Architects conference, I didn’t have to walk an extra ten minutes to reach my room.

I didn’t even notice the window sills when I first walked into my room. My first thought was how small the room was. The space was definitely compact, but at the same time, very efficient. And I still had a king size bed. Had James been with me, quarters might have been tight. But for just me, this was perfect. Plus the bathroom was huge.

The windows were hard to miss because there are four of them. The room was situated on one of the building corners, so the four windows meant I would get plenty of light. I also had an interesting view down one street to the Texas-Mexico border.

My realization about the window sills didn’t hit me until I started undressing later that afternoon. Talk about interesting views. Lucky for me – and for anyone in the office building across the street – I noticed before things went too far. I can’t imagine being at my desk, looking across the way, and seeing a guest in a state of undress that would make a schoolgirl blush. Not necessarily the best end to your work day.

And no knocks to Aloft. Instead of tearing down a structure or finding any empty lot to build their hotel on, they tackled what can be the challenging task of adaptive reuse. Asbestos abatement and updating mechanical and electrical systems are just a few of the obstacles when choosing to work with an existing structure. I’m sure in the midst of that no one thought – “Hmmmm….has anyone noticed how low the window sills are?” 

Besides, you work with what you got, which meant leaving the existing windows and not destroying the original building fabric. Although I couldn’t help but think as I was lowering all the blinds that first afternoon that perhaps the room designer might have switched to bottom up shades instead of the usual top down. Then at least I could walk around without any pants and not worry about offending anyone.

Until I needed to use the bathroom and realized that’s on a corner as well. With two windows. And low sills. Talk about the ultimate pee-shy moment. But again, lower the blinds and go about your business. Thankfully the building on the opposite side is empty, so I can worry less about being discreet and still get some natural light into the room. And enjoy my room with a view, at least while I’m still dressed.