The American writer and newspaper journalist Fanny Fern's description of the hotel as a "miniature world" of service praises the sheer splendor and variety of the urban hotel on the material level while also emphasizing a unique feature noted by many nineteenth-century travelers. If many US urban hotels could boast of the best sights, sounds, and meals to be found in the city, most of their British counterparts were lagging behind in every respect and for decades. To many average English travelers, unattractive or even depressing establishments were an experience they were familiar with. Travelers enthused about New York's hotels, yet mid-century London hotels, often criticized for low standards and high prices, did not mirror the excitement of the metropolis. The history, or rather histories, of the hotel have been written, most notably A. K. Sandoval-Strausz's Hotel: An American History.