So, here’s a question. I’ve been reviewing hotels now for over twenty years. During that time, I have stayed in a wide variety of hotels from budget brands to homestays to heritage properties to tented camps to what are considered to be some of the most luxurous hotels in the world. What I now look for in a room (I am not considering experiences in this) in addition to comfort is how practical a room is to stay in.
Regardless of budget, so many hotels still get this so wrong and only a few get it right. One or two, who I may name later, get it spot on.
I meet people with great dreams and ideas who have invested a lot of time money and effort into their projects and yet, my question is, how many of you have actually stayed in each and every room in your property?
Have you actually turned up, with luggage (very important) and checked into your own hotel rooms?
Have you spent the night and tried to charge your laptop, camera and phone, bearing in mind there are more often than not two people staying in a room?
Have you tried to read by the light of the bedside lamp?
Have you tried to sit down at the chairs and table provided and checked them for practicality and comfort?
Have you had a shower and then tried to find the towel? Or tried to open the shower door without it bunching up the bath mat?
I hate tiny plastic shampoo and conditioner bottle in any case, being so bad for the environment, but, moving on, is it possible to read the lables without glasses? Not only that, but have you actually used the shampoo and conditioner and body moisturiser, trust me in 99% of hotels the conditioner and body lotion are awful.
Have you turned on the taps in the sinks and seen if you get splashed? Shallow sinks are a nightmare!
I’m not going to start on plugs, but I’ve had ones on chains that are too short to reach the plug hole.
Have you slept in the bedding you have chosen and determined if the sheets are soft and the pillows comfortable?
Have you actually tried to fill the kettle, plug it in and go through the process of making a cup of tea or coffee?
Can the hair dryer be plugged in in front of a mirror?
Lights – how simple are the switches to figure out – I’ve stayed in hotels where this is impossible.
I stay in many properties in which, it seems to me that the proprietors have thought about the room, put it together, looked at it, ensured that it is aesthetically pleasing, but at the end of the day, does it work?
Oh, and that floor to ceiling glass wall between a bathroom and a bedroom, why? Who actually wants to see their partner on the pot?
Trust me, the older I get and the more hotels I inspect, the more important practicality becomes.