If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I spend a stupid amount of time living in hotels. So I was interested to read an article in today’s Independent newspaper about the Sleep 2013 Exhibition in London and some of the emerging ideas around what hospitality will look like in the future.
Simon Calder, The Independent’s travel writer makes some good points about areas for improvement:-
1) More pluggage, too many hoteliers have failed to notice that the 21st Century traveller carries a mobile phone, laptop and kindle, all of which require charging overnight. I have with me a smartphone, a Kindle and an iPad. Unusually the Village Hotel where I’m staying at present has double plugs either side of the bed which is useful. Although on the downside they’ve provided no plug near the kettle. Which brings me onto my ‘plug’ bugbear … plugs in places where they are not helpful. I’ve lost count of the amount of times a plug is so far away from a mirror that I’ve been forced to do my hair blind or sit cross legged on the floor stretching to a mirror, grrrrr!
2) Go Green, do something more positive beyond the sign asking people to reuse the towel. Point in case. I’m staying in this hotel for two nights. If the hotel had checked the booking before hand they would have seen I’m travelling alone. When I arrived I had two sets of towels in my room. I used both bath sheets and today had a completely new set. I can re use a towel, I would at home! While we are on the subject of towels, please also provide a hand towel that can actually go round the average human head, thank you.
3) Shine a Light, provide proper room lighting at the touch of a single switch. Ha! Would you believe I have every light in my room switched on? Would you be able to work the air con / heating controls? No neither can I, I can’t see them!
4) Let us Walk, many guests prefer to walk up and down rather than wait for the lift. Yet hotel staircases are usually hard to find and unappealing. Well one up to The Village hotel. The stairs are accessible and well lit.
5) Eliminate check out, every guest wants to leave as swiftly and smoothly as possible and staff already have our credit card details. Yep! Last week I queued for twenty minutes to check out (one person on Reception on a Friday morning). As soon as I handed my key over I was met with a “thanks very much” as the bill is all covered by my company. What a waste of time.
Now onto the items Simon didn’t raise:-
1) Female friendly, a woman travelling on her own (however confident) wants to feel safe and comfortable. Putting us in family rooms with a dividing door does not make for a relaxing stay. Neither does being seated in the middle of a dining room or with your back to a door.
2) A decent hair dryer, well done The Village Hotel for the proper powerful, full sized hair dryer. Not those stupid things often found attached to the bathroom wall that are about as good as an asthmatic 80 year old blowing on your hair.
3) Disability aware, I wear two hearing aids and can’t use a normal phone. I have only been to one hotel in the last 5 years that had a phone I could use on loud speaker (thank you the Hyatt, Houston). No room service or emergency calls for me!
4) … and finally please stop tucking the blankets or duvet into the mattress, I can’t move and it freaks me out. Oh and one more, stop with the stupid throw at the end of the bed, it spends more time on the floor.
Ahhhhh, I feel much better now!
What are your hotel bugbears, what winds you up when you stay away from home?