Don’t you just love how things stay the same despite many years passing?
I stayed at a hotel recently and it got me thinking about how so many standard hotel offerings haven’t changed in eons.
Before I start ranting, I’d like to start by saying how much I actually love staying in hotels. It’s like being given a mini-house to live in for a couple of nights that someone has already cleaned beautifully, rather than the seemingly enormous house one normally lives in that is in my case the polar opposite of clean. Shit tip is actually a good description for my place.
Not only do you get to stay in a lovely compact clean space, you even get your own kettle, tea, coffee and UHT milk! I get really excited about this and I’m always quick to inspect what brands of tea and coffee I’ve been given. You also get free soap, clean towels and shampoo, as well as a big comfortable bed to sleep in!!! Happy days!!!
Staying in a hotel also makes me feel like a wealthy corporate high flyer, even if 98% of the time I’m actually just staying in a budget cabin at a caravan park. As long as there is tea and coffee and a kettle, my imagination makes me feel like I’m at the ritziest hotel in New York to speak at a conference about my wildly successful global business.
Anyway, I digress.
There are some things hotels offer that they really don’t need to offer any more, and I’m going to take the liberty to suggest some alternatives they could provide to replace some of the outdated offerings.
I’m not sure why hotels are still offering safes. If I had the kind of valuables that I needed to store in a safe, believe me, I wouldn’t be staying at the kind of hotels I’ve stayed at so far. Normally I have a total of about 75 cents in cash on me, mainly in five cent pieces. If my life was wildly exciting and I carried around wads of cash, I think I’d book myself into a ritzy high rollers hotel where I would actually expect that there’d be a safe in each room. If I happen to have a valuable document like a passport on me, I’m comfortable with it simply being locked in my room within the hotel building, as it would be if I stayed with friends or family. And let’s face it, if someone stole my identity they’d probably just end up with a life that’s as wayward and chaotic as mine is, which would hopefully teach them a lesson.
Our society is very multi-cultural and it has been for many years. A diversity of religious faiths exist, and many people have had no exposure to Christianity whatsoever. The relevance of a bible to the general population has reduced enormously accordingly. While I happen to have grown up Roman Catholic, even I find the bible a terribly dull and dry read. Its the kind of book that sends me to sleep when I’m still on the page I opened it on.
Certainly, if I really needed guidance and direction in my life, I wouldn’t wait until I was staying at a hotel to find it in the hotel bible.
These days expecting your hotel to provide an alarm clock is a bit like expecting them to provide your socks and underwear. Mobile phones have an alarm clock built in, but if you really don’t like mobile phones and have resisted having one, you should still be quite capable of bringing your own alarm clock with you if you need to be up at a certain time. Hotel phones are actually in a similar category, because even if your mobile phone is flat, you should still be able to waddle down to reception if you really need something.
Some alternatives to the above items that I’d love hotels to provide instead are . . .
Some hotels still provide the old fashioned one centimetre high white cup with saucer, instead of a mug. If am going to make a hot drink I would seriously like to get more than a couple of mouthfuls out of it. I’m also not even sure why saucers were ever actually invented. Were people terribly clumsy and spilled their tea continuously in the old days? Did they have trouble learning not to overfill their cup? A cup as a standalone item should have always been well and truly sufficient as far as I can see. Mugs have well and truly replaced cups these days in most people’s homes, and I’d love it if hotels provided me with a large comforting mug when I needed one.
Warm yellow globes rather than cool white globes in hotel room lighting
When I stay in a hotel I’ve often either driven a fair distance that day or I’m jet lagged from flights that always seem to be at the wrong time of the day. The last thing I feel like is a heart attack when I look in the hotel bathroom mirror and I’m confronted with the sight of a haggard and blemished 150 year old witch. Warm yellow globes are so much kinder on all human skin. Let’s face it, all of us want to feel better when we look in a mirror rather than the opposite. Warm lighting is especially important in a hotel when we are a long way from home and about to totter off to an important work meeting or a large wedding.
Curtains with block out lining
As mentioned above, when I’m staying at a hotel I’ve normally had to travel beforehand. I’ve usually had a busy day, which may have finished with attending a special social event that finished late in the evening. Either way, I’ll be tired and I’ll want to be able to get some sleep.
Some hotels don’t seem to be aware of this, and use flimsy curtains that fill the room with light as soon as the sun is up at 5 am. A hotel room needs to be a safe comfortable refuge from the rest of the world, and after 15 beers at a friend’s wedding, I definitely don’t want to get up at 5 am. Block out lining on curtains should definitely be standard at all hotels.
Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. I would love it if all hotels provided complimentary chocolate, and by this I don’t mean two small chocolate mints. If you are going to offer chocolate, you need to offer something more substantial. I don’t even mind that if after my hotel has sold off all their safes, alarm clocks and bibles, they still don’t have the money to offer me some complimentary chocolate. I just want them to make sure it’s there, for God’s sake, so I’m happy for them to whack it on the cost of my room.
Soap that actually has a fragrance
When I’m staying at a hotel I’ve normally been busy making an idiot of myself on a dance floor around lots of other sweaty people, or I’ve spent a lot of wasted time trying to find my way around a strange place. All of these activities generate sweat and make me feel grimy and in need of a good wash. When I finally get to jump in the shower, I definitely don’t want one of those hotel soaps that just smells like wax, or doesn’t smell like anything at all. I really want a fragranced soap that actually makes me feel like I’m going to get out of the shower cleaner than I got into it.
If you manage a hotel, I hope you found my story interesting. If you don’t, thank you for reading it anyway.
The awesome photos used in this article were taken from the amazing website pexels.com and the amazing graphic of the business woman was taken from the inspiring website pixabay.com.
© Annemaree Jensen 2019