“What I hate about hotel rooms”

That’s the title of a very funny article in the Telegraph.  Here’s an excerpt.

The do’s and don’ts of my perfect hotel room would be as follows. Perhaps you’d let us know yours, and then the hotel trade would surely take notice.

DON’T add further cushions. It already takes me 20 minutes to move them all off the bed on to the armchairs before I retire. Any more, and they’re going out the window.

DO install room lighting systems comprehensible to, say, the average university graduate. This means a switch by the door to work a central light, plus switches on either side of the bed that will work both this central light and the bedside lights. And that’s enough. Trying to turn off all the lights, only to find that this operation turns on two standard lamps fashioned like swordfish over by the desk… well, thus do grown men weep. Life gets even worse when turning off the swordfish lamps brings all the other ones back on again.

DON’T overestimate the appeal of domotics. Many hotel clients, including myself, are of a generation trained to turn on heating by hand. We’re also skilled at opening curtains manually. We don’t need to do it by smartphone from the other side of the Atlantic. And if we did need to, we couldn’t, because we don’t understand how the b‑‑‑‑‑ thing works. And every time we try, we get details of traffic jams in Strasbourg. Just stop it, please. And, while you’re about it, simplify the television remote control. I want to watch the late night soccer or, you know, a nature documentary on the termites of Namibia; what I don’t want is to have to tangle with three different satellite dishes, 47 (forty-seven) buttons, bursts of Uzbek folk dancing and hard-core porn before bumping yet again into CNN and its sheet-metal-voiced female presenters who never sleep.

DO put electrical sockets in places where normally constituted humans might reach them without injury. Behind the desk and up the wall beyond the reach of a baby giraffe are not those places.

There’s more at the link.  Any seasoned traveler (and many less seasoned ones) will have to laugh at it.

I had to nod and smile at some of the author’s points, particularly room lighting switches and how hard it is to figure them out.  US hotels are better than most at this, but if you travel in Europe or the Far East it can be an eye-opener.  I guess Old NFO travels more than most of us – perhaps he could chime in with a few pet hates of his own?



  1. After an extensive trip around North America, my wife pledged to write a book on hotel/motel plumbing to help future travelers get a hot shower.

    I told her not to bother – at two pages per variant, the book would be too heavy to lift.

  2. My favorite (?) was the bathroom window in an art-hotel in Dresden, Germany. Found a mysterious switch on the outside of the wall. Flipped switch. Window into the bathroom suddenly became transparent, with a lovely view of the (currently unoccupied) shower.


  3. Also, I WISH they would turn the temp up on their little fridges so they could actually cool something. This just causes me work because I have to pull the little fridge and turn it up. That will allow me to enjoy a cold one when I come home from a hard day consulting ;->

    First thing I do when I get into a hotel room is remove the filter from the A/C, clean it. If possible, if NOT, I ask for another room. If again, the filter is beyond fixing, I just take it out – but that can cause a world of hurt when you look behind it and it is WORSE than the completely clogged filter.

    Oh yeah, the plugs. The LACK OF PLUGS is what drives me nuts. They say they are all about servicing the high tech industry, but then give you one 'spare' plug in some location that you can't get your charger to reach. Like behind the immovable bedboard.


  4. Being militantly cheap, I stay in the cheapest places. What bugs me is finding a wall outlet anywhere near the bed to plug in my CPAP. That is why I have a 10' extension cord packed with the CPAP.

  5. More than once in expensive, ultra-modern hotels, I've had to call house keeping and request extra lamps. The lighting was dramatic, artful, very romantic and very dim. Couldn't read a thing or do any work in the room without standing under a mini-spot embedded in the ceiling inches from a wall.

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