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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Thoughts about hotels

Whilst staying at an hotel last week I jotted down some random thoughts that flashed through my mind concerning what makes a good hotel, and the small things that make a difference.

None of this is a criticism of the hotel where we stayed, it was lovely, not part of a chain, the staff were overwhelmingly helpful, pleasant and gave excellent service, although perhaps the soundproofing between the bedrooms could have been a little better! Just how much does the sound of a plug being inserted into the socket make?

My long term gripe is about most hotels is the poor lighting so it is difficult to read in bed or sat in the one armchair that is provided. Oh, why just one chair in a double room? Is the other occupant not allowed to sit in comfort or is one meant to use the multitude of pillows to sit up on the bed?

Another gripe. Where to put sponge bags? No shelves or surfaces in bathrooms to take a sponge bag, hair brushes, bottles, no, not wine bottles, just shampoo, conditioner or shower gel - we are not wine and candles bath people - in most hotels there would be nowhere to put a candle or wine glass if one so desired such decadence. Who would want wine at 8a.m whilst showering in a rush to get downstairs before the breakfast deadline?

There is frequently a notice asking if we could use our towels more than once, fine, and we do so, but please ensure there is enough space for a good sized towel rail  - heated in chilly weather - so the towels will dry before we need them to dry us.

Continuing with the bathroom, please hotel proprietors don't buy the cheapest loo paper, we just use so much more of it doubled and trebled, and talking of paper, would it be too much to ask for a packet of tissues in the room? Far more important than the cellophaned packets of crumbly biscuits. Which leads me on to tea and coffee making equipment. If one can manage to fill the kettle with water from the bathroom taps is the cold water also drinking water? Without a notice to the contrary one must assume so or boil the water so all the oxygen has gone and teabag tea tastes even more ghastly. The good hotel last week gave us bottle of water with kilner type lid (and glasses) so we could have made hot drinks had we wished.

To end on a lighter note about my worst hotel experience. It was in Blackpool in 1996, I was there for a Conference of the Cataloguing and Indexing Group of the Library Association (as it was called in those far off days) and for the launch of the 21st edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification schedules. After breakfast I returned to my single room of the hotel to find two or three pigeons flying in the room, one of my  worst fears so I panicked, rushed out into the corridor where fortunately cleaners were approaching so  they dealt with the birds. After I wondered why pigeons and not seagulls as the hotel is on the sea front.


  1. I've never yet had towels left for a second day, even when I've done as requested and left the towels I want changed on the floor or in the bath and the others hung up. I appreciate good quality towels, by the way.

  2. Just like Z says in her comment, I usually do as requested and intend to use my towels more than once (who uses their towels for just one day at home, I wonder?), but they are almost always replaced nonetheless.
    I've stayed in good hotels and bad hotels, mostly on business trips, and what I miss most in German hotels is the general lack of coffee-and-tea making equipment.
    Also, I often find the extra blankets provided rather disgusting, but most of the time, I need them because I tend to feel very cold when I'm tired, and of course can't sleep when I'm shivering in bed.