juliamhammond

An open letter to hotel room designers everywhere

Dear Hotel Room Designer,

I’ve spent a lot of nights in a lot of different hotel rooms, and sometimes that leaves me pondering whether you’ve actually tried to stay in the rooms you’ve designed. I have to say, they look great, but there are a few other considerations I’d ask you to, well, reconsider.

Let’s start with plug sockets. I’m travelling, these days, with a phone that needs charging, camera batteries that won’t last the duration of my trip and a Kindle that needs enough juice to let me finish my holiday read poolside. So, I need plug sockets. I don’t mean plug sockets that are behind the bed, under a desk or tucked into a corner so tight that I have to be an expert yogi to reach them. I don’t want to have to decide whether to unplug the TV or the minibar or the bedside light just to free up a socket. And I definitely don’t want to use that socket you tuck down by the side of the bed where odds are that in the morning when I unplug my phone, mine will join the ever-growing number of chargers that I have donated to hotels across the globe.

Hunt the plug socket...

Hunt the plug socket…

Now, about those hair driers: first, thank you for providing one. It’s not cool to sleep with wet hair and even less attractive to wash it in the morning and slowly drip water into my breakfast eggs. But next time you choose a hair drier for me, can you please find me one that has a bit of power behind it. I defy you to dry anything longer than a pixie crop with one of those gutless wall mounted things where you have to hold the button down for so long your finger goes numb. I’ve only got shoulder length hair. It takes me half an hour with one of those things. Over a fortnight’s stay, that’s almost a full day’s sightseeing time stood in front of the mirror wondering whether I really should just pack my own next time and be done with it.

How about this?

How about this?

While we’re on the subject of luggage, remember that sometimes I’m not staying long enough to unpack. Spare a thought for me when I’m just staying overnight before catching a flight. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve stubbed my toe as I’ve stumbled to the bathroom in the dark because the only place you’ve left me for the suitcase is at the foot of the bed. And don’t even get me started about those folding contraptions you hide in the wardrobe – last time I used one of those, my poorly balanced case tipped up and I ended up with a whole load of dirty washing all over the floor. Oh how I long for the sight of a decent, wide, solid shelf when I throw open the door.

Photo by Lori L. Stalteri  CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Lori L. Stalteri CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Is it really so much to ask for? I know I’m getting ever-more demanding with my whines about free Wi-Fi, free parking and bottles of water that are labelled so I know I’m getting those for nothing as well. You’ve sorted out my petulant demands to get my pillows just right. You even leave me a note on the headboard to tell me the sheets have been cleaned for my arrival (that’s a weight off my mind!)

So, if you can just deal with the rest, then I’ll be back as often as you’ll have me.

Yours sincerely,
Your fussiest customer

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