Because of the work we do, we regularly get to rest our heads in a wide range of different types of accommodation. Prior to the pandemic, this amounted to forty to fifty hotels a year. Mostly our experiences of hotel stays are good to great, but even in the best hotels there can be little niggles. Often, these are connected with the room in which ablutions are carried out. In ascending order of the level of teeth-gnashing involved, these are 10 annoying things about hotel bathrooms.
10: French Revolution toilet seats
Coming in at number ten, because it’s something that only affects approximately 50% of hotel guests, are French Revolution toilet seats. These are the ones that pretend they’re going to stay up and then, when you relax your guard, fall with the speed of Madame la Guillotine. Obviously, this problem extends way beyond hotel toilets. How difficult is it to design toilet seats that stay up for heaven’s sake? This malfunction, which can require a deft manoeuvre to avoid a painful amputation, is partly to blame for men having to put up with being accused of having a poor aim.
9: Salivating shower heads
You can pick up perfectly adequate shower heads for under a tenner, so why oh why do so many hotels have clogged up old shower heads which spit at you with less ferocity than an irritated camel?
8: Titanic shower cubicles
Another moan about design flaws. There’s no point having a sexy walk-in shower when it leaks water like a liner that’s been punctured by an iceberg. I’ve lost count of the number of bathroom floors I’ve had to bail out after a shower.
7: Exfoliator towels
They might be great for rubbing off dead skin with the effectiveness of a cheese grater, but stiff hotel towels you could spit peas through should be consigned to the furnace in the basement, especially when they also come with straggly bits … as these sort of towels so often do.
6: Thirsty sinks
It doesn’t matter whether budget, mid-range, rural, or luxury, far too many hotels have sinks that simply can’t hold their water. Washing your face and wet shaving is often like taking part in a race-against-time competition.
5: Style over substance
Sinks again, and those ones which look fabulous but hold the equivalent of a thimble of water. Even worse are the stylish affairs designed so that the second you turn on the tap, the water swirls around the tiny bowl gathering speed, before shooting over the sides to completely soak your groin area, making it look like you’ve had a little accident.
4: Disintegrating toilet paper
Toilet paper that is gossamer thin – need I say anything more? However, in fairness to some hotels it might be an availability of quality produce issue. We struggled to find decent toilet paper when we lived in both Spain and Portugal. Waitrose Essentials is a luxurious eiderdown by comparison to the best of the bunch we bought there.
3: Shower heads with erectile dysfunction
Is there anything more annoying in a hotel bathroom than a shower head that cannot stand to attention? No matter how many times you try to tighten the thingy supposedly holding it up, or force it upright, it slumps over and sprays the wall instead of you. Actually, there are two things more irritating, and these are…
2: Psycho shower curtains
These are an endangered species, thankfully, but there are still enough of them about. I’m talking about flimsy nylon shower curtains that behave as if human skin is magnetic, launching a vicious and skin-hugging attack the second you step in the shower. They are a pain in the backside or, more accurately, a squeal-causing chill on the backside as no matter how hot the outside temperature is, their touch is icy cold.
And the trophy for the most annoying thing in a hotel bathroom goes to…
1: Toilet brushes that have gone AWOL
Oddly, this applies more to 5-star hotels than any other. For some reason, many luxury hotels don’t have toilet brushes in their bathrooms. The general response to any question about a lack of toilet brush is ‘hotels have housekeeping services that clean the toilet for you.’ So, these hotels really think that most guests are going to be happy leaving loos in, let’s put this tastefully, a less than pristine condition when they go out? Really? Do hoteliers honestly believe this? It’s ironic that guests in luxury hotels are more likely to have to stick their hands down the loo to clean it than ones in less expensive ones. We stayed in one 5-star hotel where there was a sign beside the loo that said, ‘By request we can provide you with a toilet brush, please call extension 24.’ There was even a telephone beside the sign. Clearly they were anticipating some serious toilet disasters. It is absolutely ridiculous.
And finally, a bonus irritation suggested by Andy – bathrooms which don’t have any hooks for hanging damp towels.
Dear hoteliers, none of this is rocket science. If your hotel is guilty of any of the above, it’s time to pick up the hoteliers’ manual and re-read the section under TQM.