I never cease to be amazed at the many poorly designed hotel rooms I come across. You’d think architects and interior designers would have perfected the art of designing hotel rooms by now, but I’ve stayed at more than a dozen different hotels over the last few months (including two brand new hotels built for chains that shall remain nameless), and most of the rooms have had annoying flaws. Since very few people can enjoy the luxury of Buckingham Palace (you have to be a visiting head of state or a close personal friend of the Queen), I’ve come up with a list of suggestions for creating the ideal hotel room for the average traveler. It covers everything from room layout to amenities.
Doors that close quietly; the noise from banging room doors can echo up and down the hall.
Reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi with enough bandwidth for streaming and other Internet demands.
Lots of electrical outlets, including easily accessible outlets on each side of the bed. I can’t tell you how many nightstands I’ve had to move, and how many lamps and alarm clocks I’ve had to unplug in order to free up an outlet.
Nightstands on both sides of the bed. I’m surprised at how many rooms have only one nightstand. Are hotels assuming that only one side of the bed will be occupied?
Table lamps or wall sconces on both sides of the bed, and each with its own switch. Again, many hotels seem to assume that only one side of the bed will be used.
A sink outside the bathroom to make it easier for more multiple people to get ready at the same time.
While we’re working on the bathroom, there should be enough counter space to hold toiletries for two or more guests.
Toilet lids. Seems pretty basic, right? But I’ve found that it’s remarkably easy to knock a stack of towels into the toilet if the towel rack is located right above it.
Which leads me to my next point; don’t place towel racks and towel bars over the toilet, especially if they’re low enough that bath towels hung on the bar will touch the toilet tank.
More than two sets of towels in each guest room, especially if there are two double beds in the room. It’s difficult for four guests to share two bath towels.
While we’re talking about towels, make sure they’re large enough to wrap around the average-sized American, and don’t change the towels if we’ve taken the trouble to hang them neatly on the rack, especially if there’s a note in the room saying that you won’t.
A mini-frig with a freezer compartment.
Keep the throw pillows off the bed. I hate to see a throw pillow laying on clean sheets and pillowcases because I know it’s riddled with germs.
Speaking of ideal, what about some clearly marked, short-term parking spaces near the entrance to the hotel? I hate having to double-park while checking in, and loading or unloading the car. Finally, I would love to find just one luggage cart that’s easy to maneuver, especially when I’m trying to get it in and out of an elevator.
I’m sure my fellow travelers can come up with many more suggestions for creating the ideal hotel room. Let’s just hope the hotel chains are listening.