Stuff I Love & Hate About Today’s Hotels

by SharonKurheg

As time goes on, Joe and I seem to be traveling more and more. Whereas just a handful of years ago we’d go out of town “X” number of times per year, we’re now winding up with “X and a half” trips. Granted, most aren’t very long trips – just 3 or 4 days – and some don’t even involve flights; they’re road trips. But if they include staying at a hotel, as far as I’m concerned, it counts.

Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and all the rest are constantly building new hotels. Those that are already established wind up with refurbs every once in a while that makes them more modern.

I have to say that, after staying at a lot of these more “modern” hotels over the years, there are some trends I really like, and some that I think are really, really BAD.

What I don’t like

Electronic thermostats with pre-set parameters

Years ago, hotel rooms had window units where you had total control of the temperature of the room. When electronic thermostats were introduced, you could still make the room whatever temperature you wanted. But then thermostat makers and hotels started getting smart.

  • First they made the systems such that you had to put your room card (although almost ANY plastic card worked) in a slot for the room’s electricity (including heating/cooling) to work.
  • Then they put motion sensors in the room so if no one was in the room, or everyone was sleeping, the room would go to a more energy-efficient (read: cheaper for the hotel, but more uncomfortable for people) temperature (waking up in a hotel room that’s 76 degrees. Yeah, that’s my favorite. Not.)
  • And if THAT wasn’t good enough, some electronic thermostats can be set to whatever you want, but never go beyond the parameters that the hotel pre-sets. There are ways around this for some brands and models, but it’s still a pain (and sometimes goes horribly wrong).

Dresser drawers are disappearing

I understand why hotels are removing them. But as someone who still uses the drawers for trips longer than just a couple of days, I don’t like it.

Do not disturb signs that don’t stay on the door

More hotels are using door handles rather than doorknobs. I’m sure they work better with electronic key systems, and they’re definitely easier to maneuver when your hands are full.

That being said, unless they’re made to fit tight enough, the DND signs that are made to slide onto those door handles have a tendency to fall off when you open the door. It’s annoying.

Creepy room designs

Like this. And this. Need I say more???

What I really enjoy

Fortunately, the list of stuff I do like in modern hotels is just as long as that of the stuff I’m not so thrilled about 😉

Adequate outlets and USB ports

Having a room with outlets available everywhere – where you don’t have to move a nightstand and unplug a lamp – is WONDERFUL.

Sensor night lights

I’ve traveled with a night light for years; when I’m in an unfamiliar space, it just makes late-night trips to the bathroom that much safer. On 2 or 3 occasions, we’ve been in hotels that have built-in nightlights – some coming from under the bed, and one that had one in the bathroom! – that were apparently connected to motion sensors. When our feet hit the floor, the night lights went on.

“Magic” bathroom mirrors

In some higher-end hotels, the room’s mirror has a heating element in it so one part of the mirror doesn’t fog up. It’s really COOL! (well, warm)

And at our recent stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport (here’s a review of it), there was a clock built into the bathroom mirror! (and a sensor light, too!)

Fridge in the room

I’m honestly not sure if this is an amenity that’s available more often than it used to be, or if we purposely pick out hotels that have a fridge in the room LOL. But it’s a convenient way to keep drinks cold without having to deal with an ice bucket.

Feature Photo: rawpixel

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