In writing this blog post it’s my hope that some of the smart executives from the major hotel chains will one day stumble across it and wake up to the ills of modern day hotel room design.
In my travels for business I’ve stayed In a lot of hotel rooms. Some good, a lot of them bad, none of them perfect. In my mind the following things make a good hotel room:
An iPod dock – these are pretty rare in hotel rooms but they are such a simple thing and can take the place of the standard alarm clock. I work a lot in my hotel rooms and listening to my tunes helps to make the best of being on the road and away from normal conditions.
Wifi that doesn’t suck – bandwidth and signal strength are everything. I can’t tell you how many rooms I’ve been in that takes me twenty minutes to connect to the Internet. Test the Internet signal in EVERY room frequently. And for God’s sakes don’t charge us for it. Is it really much skin off your back to provide some Internet access for guests? This usually happens at hotels in major metropolitan areas but it still sucks none the less.
A sleep timer – This is the most basic thing I can think of for a hotel room. TV’s with sleep timers, what a concept. I’d say about 40% of the rooms that I stay in have no sleep timer on the TV. The next one I find without a timer I’m going to throw the remote in the toilet. Consider yourself warned hotels.
Adequate outlets – Modern day travelers have a thousand different devices that all need power. I have a phone, a laptop, an iPad, and sometimes my iPod. Don’t be stingy with the outlets, especially near the bed. I don’t trust your wake up call systems, I use the alarm on my phone and it needs to be plugged in near the bed.
Soap – This is a new one on me. I thought they taught this in Hotel School 101. However the last hotel room I stayed in gave me a bottle of shampoo and body lotion but no bar of soap. It’s hard enough to travel with toiletries in this day and age anyway. I sure as hell am not going to bring soap with me on the road.
A quiet refrigerator – I don’t use the darn things anyway, but if they are going to be there make sure it doesn’t sound like a jet engine taking off while I’m trying to sleep.
Night light in the bathroom – this one is new on me too but I thought it was so cool I had to include it. The hotel I’m staying at now has a nightlight that is operated my a motion sensor. Just enough light to find the toilet but not enough to burn your eyes out at 4am. Great idea.
A separate sink in the kitchenette – I know it’s the same water and comes from the same source, but it has never felt right to get my water for my morning coffee in the same room where I just peed. Bonus points for the hotels that provide Kureg coffee makers. One of the reasons that I love the Raffaello Hotel in Chicago.
I wish hotels would give a little more consideration to what modern business travelers have to go through and how we work when we’re on the road in our virtual offices. By the way Holiday Inn, your little gift packages for Priority Club members that you give out when I check in are very much enjoyed and appreciated. Maybe some of the other hotels should take a hint.