What’s the next best thing to sleeping in your own bed? Well if you ask us, it has to be a super-luxe, so-comfy-you-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-it hotel bed. But whilst we’re all in agreement about what makes a good hotel bed so insanely comfortable (high thread-count linen, decent mattress, feather topper - check) what about the hotel room itself?
The lovely folks at travel website and blog www.godsavethepoints.com gathered all their expertise in appraising the best hotels from around the world and discovered that it wasn’t actually the view, the size of the room or the number of fluffy towels that make a memorable stay. Turns out we humans are far more practical than we might think…
Decent free Wi-Fi: Whether you’ve checked in for an overnight work stay and you’ve a ton of documents to download or you’re travelling with the family - and multiple devices - a sluggish Wi-Fi connection that almost audibly groans when someone tries to watch a movie whilst someone else is downloading music isn’t going to have you leaving the best TripAdvisor review. Hardly anyone uses those huge lumbering flat screen TVs screwed to every hotel wall anymore – Netflix is King and you’d better be able to stream from it!
Power points: Check into your room and finding there’s not enough of these or that they’re dotted in all the wrong places is enough to drive the even the most reasonable amongst us ever so slightly mad. We’ve probably all eye-rolled more than once at a plug socket just too far out of reach to charge your phone by the bed (we know, that breaks all good sleep habit rules but who really enjoys a wake up phone call or knows how to work one of those digital clocks lingering on hotel bedside tables?) Include USB sockets and make them universal power points - thereby doing away with the need for adaptors - and we’ll be really impressed.
Night lights: Lighting in hotel rooms is rarely straightforward (or it could just be us?!) and blackout curtains mean turning out the lights at bedtime will plunge the room into cave-like darkness. Great for a good night’s sleep; not so good for finding your way to the bathroom at 2am in an unfamiliar environment. Subtle, teeny-tiny, floor-height night lights that glow all night long without disturbing your sleep are a huge hit with frequent travellers or those with small children.
Free water! And lots of it: Not everywhere you travel has clean drinking water flowing from the taps, so bottled water becomes pretty much unavoidable. Nothing worse than waking up thirsty in the middle of the night, realising you drank the last of your supply and you’ve got to pick up the phone and actually talk to someone to order up some more. Hotel rooms that provide oodles of free bottles – and continue to top them up - get a big thumbs up.
Useful vanity kits: We’ve all forgotten our toothbrush at one time or another and most hotel vanity kits can cater for that. But it’s the ones that go the extra mile and provide mouthwash, a sewing kit, eye mask, ear plugs AND a razor, that can really save the day.
Simple, quiet air-conditioning: Is there anything more annoying when you’re trying to get to sleep that the incessant rattle of an AC unit in need of some TLC? Hotels that don’t properly service and maintain their AC systems when they’re often running 24/7 are going to run into problems when guests start complaining and asking to move rooms. AC units should also be easy to find and just as easy to use for a happier guest experience.
A luggage rack: Unless you’re on your annual holiday break, most hotel stays are only one or two nights’ long, so few of us bother unpacking and prefer to live out of an opened suitcase for the duration of a short stay. Bending down to the floor every time you want something out of your case isn’t ideal and feels a bit, well, grubby. A simple luggage rack discreetly stored by the wardrobe means you can access your belongings from your unzipped case much more easily - and you don’t feel like you’re living off the floor.
Got anything you’d add to this list of hero hotel room facilities? Drop us a line in the comments below and share your ideas and experiences.