I ran into an old friend who recently got a new job last year. This new gig requires a fair amount of travel at least half the year and most of the travel occurs in the Midwest and sometimes into parts of the Ontario and Quebec provinces. Staying in mostly 2 and 3 star hotels (out of 5) has given him exposure to the typical hotel room — the good and bad. He claims some of the challenges he’s seen and experienced with hotel rooms (including the bathroom) are repeat annoyances. One may conclude his frustrations or annoyances are things he sees in different cities, different states and different hotel chains. For example, if he’s only had one issue recently about malfunctioning curtains or pillow comfort, that would not be considered a challenge or a point of hotel inconvenience. I’ve includes some of the main frustrations and questions he has with various types of hotels.
Perhaps readers of this blog could include some of their own frustrations?
WHERE ARE THE ELECTRICAL OUTLETS? Electrical outlets are hard to find. Yes, they are available although sometimes they are behind the bed or behind the dresser/TV display. In some hotel rooms, he has to hunt for them. I mentioned that some forward thinking hotels have added an outlet or two directly on the desk lamp. He nodded to show his appreciation of that fact but with raised expectations, frustration levels may be raised on other hotels without those nice features.
LOCATION OF TOILET PAPER HOLDER? Let’s move on with the toilet paper holder. Often, this is on the other side of the bathroom. When you use the toilet for the first time and need toilet paper, should guests have to examine the bathroom’s figuration? Isn’t that the job of interior designers and general contractors? You may unfortunately learn the “hard way” before knowing its location if you need to use the same services again.
SIZES OF BATHROOOM…Some bathrooms are so small you have to close the bathroom door to use the toilet or sink. Is there not a better design layout to use most of the room’s functionality while the door remains open? Especially if you’re a sole traveler.
BATHROOM HOOKS…Lack of hooks on bathroom doors or poorly installed hooks. I love hooks in bathrooms, however, if it’s a poorly installed hook or dysfunctional, I’d rather not see any.
LIGHTING ISSUES…My friend also mentioned how poor the lighting is in some hotel rooms. From November through February (if not longer), the days in the Midwest can be gray and gloomy. You ask anyone who has ever lived in the Midwest for any period of time, they’ll acknowledge this phenomenon. Therefore, if outdoor lighting does not help during a large portion of the year, hotel room lighting for those who need to get dressed and look presentable is key. His complaint is that it’s poor to mediocre (if lucky). His benchmark is choosing socks, sometimes the lighting is so poor you can differentiate between a black and dark blue sock. Thinking aloud, maybe the lighting is OK but the type of lighting needs to be addressed to improve the process of properly getting ready in the morning.
SHOWER MAT CHALLENGES…Why can’t the shower mat and bathroom door co-exist without bumping into to one another between several activities in a hotel room bathroom? In addition, why is the shower mat often scrunched up like an accordion when opening the bathroom door after usage?
TOILET SEAT STABILITY…Why do toilet seats move so easily from side to side? Especially in a new hotel room? Should that not be on the checklist to review weekly and maintain accordingly?
STRONG EXHAUST FANS…Should not all bathrooms have an exhaust fan to eliminate excess humidity? Some rooms do and others don’t. When they don’t, you have to factor in that time it will take to defog the mirror before finishing your morning dressing routine. On those same lines, it would be nice to have several speeds on the fan, there are some situations where the exhaust fan is installed but may take a good 10 minutes to rid the area of excess humidity before proceeding. Ensure guests have the right facilities to help make their stay more palatable.
DON’T DUMP ON THE BREAKFAST EMPLOYEE…After getting ready in the morning; one may have time for breakfast before starting their workday. You may be asked by the friendly dining area staff if you had a good night’s rest. Even if you didn’t, for whatever reason, you don’t want to complain to that nice woman who may only be making minimum wage at her job. Better to smile and politely say it was a nice visit (regardless of how difficult it was locating the electrical outlets or choosing the correct color of socks).
TEA OR COFFEE DURING THE DAY? I know this is more of a luxury but when more upscale hotels provide fresh coffee dispensers of several varieties is a special treat. Same idea could apply to tea. Having coffee and tea available is nice perk that someone guests really appreciates.
LACK OF CHANNEL DIRECTORY ON HOTEL ROOM TVS…You have just worked a long day and brought back dinner to be eaten in your hotel room and you want to relax and watch the news or your favorite TV show and you’re wondering where you can find cable news at 8:30 pm. It’s your only night in the hotel so your approach may only have you spend a limited time on this task. If you’re having a good day, the TV turns on without issue although there may not be a directory near the phone or through the TV. If you have still have time and patience, invariably a list of programs may be found. However, why do certain hotels not offer a channel directory and if they do, make it simple and straightforward to find.
VENTILATION AND AIR-CONDITIONING CHALLENGES…Sometimes, he has challenges with the ventilation or air-conditioning controls. He may think he has it captured or may not be quite sure only to be woken up later on with it being too hot or cold. Genius is simplicity. It would be nice to have a standardized system for all hotels for all guests. N’est-ce pas?
One more thing, how often are the TV remotes cleaned?