I should start by saying I am a huge fan of hotels. If ‘foodie’ is the term given to food enthusiasts then that would make me a ‘hotelie’.
I have stayed in a lot of hotels in my time, both as part of my job as a travel writer and as a result of my general wanderlust. It is worth mentioning these have been far from only five star hotels also. While I have indeed been lucky enough to grace the beds of some of the best hotels in the world, such as the Mandarin Oriental in not one, but three cities, and the Westbury in London, there have been plenty of small and boutique hotels, some mid-range 2–3 star places and even a few hostels – although I draw the line at shared dorms!
There are so many things I love about hotels. The (hopefully) pristine white linen and fluffy doonas – that must be what sleeping on a cloud feels like – bonus points for a pillow menu of course. The sparkling bathrooms and luxurious bathrobes, so much the better if the floors and towel racks are heated too. The ability to enjoy food and wine while watching a movie or a tv show in bed without having to feel the slightest pang of guilt. And that’s all before you’ve set foot outside your room.
Then there’s the buffet at breakfast if you’re lucky, the pool to lounge by, the convenience of a gym in the same building and of course the bar because it’s five o’clock somewhere in the world.
All these luxuries aside, there are a few qualms I have consistently with hotels across the board. Strangely, they all seem to occur in the bathroom.
For starters, do hotel designers deliberately try to make showers as difficult to use as possible? I like to think I am a fully-functioning, capable and sometimes bright human being, yet when it comes to turning on a shower in a hotel I seem to struggle more than any adult should. And, if I do manage to turn said shower on, getting the temperature right is a whole other matter.
Secondly, once you have the shower on and are not burning or freezing, you then have the issue of trying not to flood the entire bathroom; another design flaw that I am sure architects came up with as some sort of revenge on guests. I can literally count on one hand the amount of times I’ve managed to wash myself without also cleaning the entire bathroom.
And finally, while we’re in the bathroom… the magnifying mirrors. Is that some sick joke? Why would anyone need to look at their pores so closely they can see the micro-organisms that are actually living in their blackheads? Those mirrors are the only things standing between me and a good night’s sleep in that cloud-like bed…
What do you want to say to hotels around the world? Tell us in your comments below.