Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Perfect Room

Thanks to Jane, my friend and client for this idea.

Not all of us can afford a 5* hotel. Very few business travelers have expense accounts permitting this luxury. But we all have our own personal list of basic minimums we think any hotel should provide. In fact, my friend Jane has compiled her very own short-list of items that go into what she calls “the perfect room.”

Here are the items she thinks every hotel, whether tourist class or first class, should offer:

  • Window that opens
  • A QUIET thermostat-controlled heater/air-conditioner
  • Good shower
  • Good firm bed with non-polyester duvet
  • Decent cotton sheets and pillow covers
  • Pillows not too large and not too firm
  • Good lighting
  • Easily accessible electrical plugs
  • Bedside master light switches
  • Free Internet (preferably WiFi)
  • TV the turns off automatically
  • 2 comfy chairs
  • Space for a suitcase
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Bath towels bigger than a dish cloth, and not the water-repelling kind!
  • Toilet roll dispenser easily accessible and without that annoying flap cover.
  • Non-smelly soap, shampoo and conditioner (in separate bottles!)

When you think of it, these are very modest standards. It’s not like you should have to pay luxury hotel prices to get a decent towel or a toilet paper dispenser within easy reach of the toilet!
As you can see, these are not things that only a luxury hotel will provide.

If we focused on higher priced hotels, Jane would add in small “luxuries” like heated bathroom floors and heated towel racks.

My own personal contribution to this list would be TOWEL RACKS. Don’t you just hate the hotels that place that sanctimonious note in the bathroom suggesting you hang up any towel you don’t need washed (for the sake of the environment), but they haven’t bothered to build basic towel racks to hang them on!

We’d love to know what your idea of the “perfect room” is.


  1. Jane asked me to add the following:

    * Door that stays open while you schlep in your baggage.
    * No mirror facing you while you sit on the toilet.
    * Enough room in the bathroom to be able to close the door while using the facilities!

  2. I would like two suitcase racks in the room for when there are two travelers. With the issue of bed bugs it prevents suitcases from sitting on the bed. I agree with the toilet cover. Who wants a germ attracter like that? The towels should also be thick and cotton.

  3. 1. A facecloth. Many hotels in Europe don’t have them.

    2. No pop or ice machine next to the room.

    3. A place big enough, with some light, to set up my laptop.

  4. this is about what I don't want in the room.
    lose the Minibar - I'll be happy with a re-usable (glass) bottled water instead.

  5. Hooks for towels aren't good enough. Towels will rarely dry when hung on a hook.

  6. A couple comments...

    1. The idea of a window that opens may not be necessary - at a airport this would be noisy, on the 50th floor this might be scary, I don't need it...

    2. I have come to liek the credit card style "room keys" - I often loose them or forget to give them back - and when you have to ship a key back it's no fun...

    ...just my two cents.


  7. Far be it from me to stay silent on this one (!) given I am a frequent travel companion of Jane's - and she hears me rant all the time! The list is looking pretty complete, so I only have a few additional. Here goes:

    - a hairdryer that works (ie NOT a wall mounted with a hose that couldn't blow out a match)
    - accessible BEDSIDE electrical outlets (ie above or on the bedside table)
    - blackout curtains
    - lotion ( why do some hotels skimp out on the body lotion?)
    - ashtray (ha! Gotcha...I'm joking of course) but it would also be nice if hotels could truly assure you that your "non-smoking room" was indeed that
    - disposable drinking glasses (yes, we'd all prefer glass, but we know they don't get properly cleaned)
    - corkscrew (how many room service trips do they need to make before they realize it's cheaper to to throw a $2 corkscrew into every room?)

    I'm I'll think of more ....but for now that's it! Cool idea.

    - Mary

    I'm sure I've forgotten something,

  8. My perfect room is like a studio apartment and has all of the amenities you’d have in your studio apartment (except the bicycle). It has a balcony (and view would be nice, but not essential). It has a keypad on the front door and room door. Your codes are emailed, so you never have to wait around doing that annoying check-in. In fact, you never really have to see any hotel staff. A newspaper is delivered every morning early. The phone is free for calls within Canada. There is a grocery store, liquor store, and coffee shop on the same block

  9. 1. Doors that don't swing closed on you before you can put your key away.
    2. Decent mini-bar that works, as well as a good coffee maker and more than 1 bag of coffee.
    3. Real coffee mugs.
    4. Power plugs that are on the lights on both sides of the bed (i.e. Courtyard Marriotts)
    5. Hanging tree for idiot planners that put power plugs behind the bed, in the middle of the wall, where nobody can reach them.
    6. Comfortable couch to sit on while watching TV.
    7. Suitcase/luggage rack so you don't have to put your suitcase on the coffee table, or your bed.
    8. Good ergonomic computer chair, computer desk, with all plugs ABOVE the table, either on the wall or desk lamp.
    9. Combination phone/fax/printer/scanner.
    10. Full shower, lose the bathtub.
    11. BODY sized towels
    12. Facecloth
    13. Enough soap and shampoo to get through at least one shower.
    14. Non-fog mirrors in bathroom.
    15. At least 2 pant hangers in clothes closet.
    16. Ironing board and iron in clothes closet.
    17. Modern flat screen television on full swivel table.
    18. Master light switches at bedside.

  10. I agree with many of the great amenities already noted.

    From a different perspective, for the non-business travellers, ie. families, the perfect room would include the ability and willingness to accomodate a family of 4 or 5. (...especially overseas). It's just not practical to ask parents with younger children to stay in separate rooms with a child in each room..or leave kids in a room of their own.
    Although an apartment would be ideal, it's not always an option depending on the location or time frame.


  11. A suitcase rack or two or three ! If you're only staying one night you don't want to unpack things into drawers!

  12. FREE WIFI!

    Sick of being ripped off. Big, expensive hotels are the worst culprits, but some cheaper
    chains (eg. some Holiday Inns) are also guilty of this. The only way to eradicate this practice is to vote with your feet.