So far in 2017, Steve and I have stayed overnight in ten different hotel rooms (one on a cruise ship, but that counts.) All were clean and the beds comfy. All had air conditioning–pretty much routine in today’s hotels (unless you’re glamping in Utah when it’s over 100°. See Gina’s upcoming post.) Each had its advantages and disadvantages, but they prompted me to think of what I expect of hotel/motel/bed and breakfast overnight accommodations. So here’s my list, in no particular order.
- A bathroom door that will stay open if you want it to. One of our most expensive rooms had a heavy door that slammed shut any time someone when through it. We spent half our time there being sure we hadn’t offended each other, for the slamming door always sounded as though the person was angry. Frustrating! Occasionally I could get something heavy enough to prop it open, but it was hard. There was also no fan in the bathroom, so the open door was needed for ventilation. And for the older generation to get to it easily during the night.
- Counter space in the bathroom. We all have toiletries and we need enough space to leave them on the counter to be easily accessible. The most expensive hotel had two beautiful big square sinks but no counter space. To give them credit, they did have a shelf below the sinks. But then I had to bend over, and I want finger-tip convenience without effort.
- Soft bathroom tissue. ‘Nuff said.
- Good lighting. You can see that bathroom conveniences are very important to me. But I really do want to be able to see what I look like before I go out in public.
- Mirror outside the bathroom. Yes, sometimes I like to have a mirror without going into the bathroom. Obviously many of my requirements have to do with my vanity.
- Plenty of electrical outlets. As we have more and more electronic devices, we need multiple outlets. I’ve found that hotels have finally caught on to that need. Only the cheapest one we went to had limited access to outlets. I especially loved the ones with an outlet bank on each bedside table, since I use my phone for an alarm clock when I travel.
- Clear surfaces in the room. The greatest culprits for having no surfaces to put things on are B and Bs. Some have so many cute or beautiful things around that I can’t find a place for my own stuff.
- Most hotel rooms have at least two large drawers. Our most expensive did not! The three of us had to literally live out of our suitcases for six days.
- Open floor space. In a Viking cruise ship a couple of years ago, I had to sit on the foot of the bed to open the drawers since there was not room to stand in front of the drawer to open it. Not comfy! (You don’t see that in those gorgeous commercials for Viking. Notice the next time—no pictures of the rooms.)
- Luggage racks. Yes, multiples! Not a single room had two luggage racks, and two had none. Don’t they know that Boomers are the largest growing population and we don’t like to bend or squat to get to our clothes? And surely a room with a king or two queens implies more than one suitcase. Come on, folks! Get those luggage racks out there.
- A desk. Not everyone needs a desk, but we do. Steve often takes work with him and sometimes even his laptop, so a desk is super-convenient.
- Two chairs or a sofa. I often end up sitting on the bed (not all bad, propped up on pillows) because the room has only one chair or only one accessible one. (Being on the far side of a bed with the desk chair blocking access doesn’t count for me.)
- Good reading lights on each side of the bed. We like to read in bed, and it’s frustrating if the light is only on one side. One expensive hotel had the best reading lights ever! Glad they got the memo.
- All lights work. This seems obvious, but often unless guests report a dead light bulb, the cleaning people aren’t aware of it.
- Notepad and pen. I didn’t realize how much I used the little notepad that used to be in every hotel room until I didn’t get one. Our next-to-cheapest room had a notepad and working pen, and I was so excited that I used them to make notes for this post.
- I enjoy stepping back to the King James Version when I’m traveling. The beautiful language is nostalgic and engaging.
- Coffee maker in the room. The quality of these varies, but it’s essential to my husband and used to be for me. I still use it for my hot water.
- The bill under the door. I love knowing I don’t have to do anything to check out. I can also analyze the charges without holding up a line of people. Dropping the keys off at the desk or leaving them in the room is so simple compared to waiting in a long line, as we had to do at our most expensive hotel. (That was the one where Steve said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but that person is open now.” To a man. Well, he was short and did have beautiful shoulder-length curly hair. And from the back it was hard to tell at a glance.)
- Breakfast included. Have you noticed that the more expensive the hotel, the less likely it is that breakfast will be included? What kind of sense does that make? A $113 room can include hot, fluffy scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, toast, bagels, English muffins, yogurt, oatmeal, and fruit as well as coffee, tea, and juices. A $342 room might include nothing except a daily bottle of water and a Keurig for coffee. Yikes! Not sure what that means. They probably do it because they can. And it increases their profits. The worst included-breakfast I heard of, though, was a jar of peanut butter with a knife in it and a loaf of bread beside it. Not sure that qualifies!
- Television in an easy place to watch and with a sensible remote. Steve threw this one in, for often it seems the people who included a television in the room didn’t really expect anyone to try to watch it. Or they assume everyone wants to be in bed to watch television. I’d include a channel schedule as well. And that gave me a nice round number. Who wants a list of 19 items?
As you can see, I’ve developed some pretty stringent requirements for a hotel I love! As I think back to the many hotels we’ve stayed in over the years, I realize that very few have met all my expectations. But many have come very close, and for that I’m grateful. Just knowing that we don’t have to clean the bathroom or launder the sheets and towels is a treat. (I must say here that Steve does my laundry anyway and I rarely have to clean a bathroom. But I used to, and I appreciate knowing he won’t have to do my laundry!)
So what would you add to my list? If you know anyone building a new hotel, feel free to pass this list along. I’d love to arrive at a hotel that met every one of these desires.
Oh, yes. I do know one. I call it “home.”