Hotelier Middle East Monthly Update - 6th September 2005

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  September 11, 2005

The well-appointed room|~|Marriott-commentL.jpg|~||~|Remember the days when hotel brochures promised ‘A room with a view’? Every hotel had one, it seemed, even if the view in question required binoculars or the ability to see round corners. Of course, after numerous disappointments, the guest got wise to this piece of creative copy. Nowadays, the marketing people are focusing more on making people look inside the room. The new catch phrase ‘well-appointed rooms’ seems to appear in every pre-opening brochure and press release. It’s an ambiguous phrase, which doesn’t actually promise anything, but that does conjure up images of rooms so well equipped you will find it hard to find the bed amongst all the gadgets and gizmos on offer. A recent stay in London got me thinking about what constitutes a well-appointed room. It also made me aware of some pet hates. The room in question was undoubtedly well appointed. It offered tea and coffee making facilities, an iron and ironing board, an umbrella (invaluable for anyone in London!), and a proper hairdryer instead of one of those wall mounted units that attempts to tickle the hair dry. Add to this interactive television and in-room high-speed internet connectivity and, all in all, lots of big ticks all round. However, being London the room was small, and made to feel even smaller with a gigantic king size bed. A smaller bed and more floor space would have been a better option for this business hotel. Then we get to the bathroom, and the now fashionable designer taps and shower systems hotels seem to be favouring. They look great, but are plenty confusing for the guest. I nearly scolded myself, and then spent what seemed like an age to work out how to turn the shower off. Turning off the lights also turned into a chore. Numerous switches beside the bed appeared to be merely decorative, as the only switch that seemed to work was the master switch, located across the room by the door. By the end of the stay I had worked out the various lighting combinations, but anyone outside the room would have thought I was enjoying my own private disco. I am a frequent traveller, and I am sure that I am not the first person to feel like I need a degree in physics just to work my hotel room. Hotels profess to provide a ‘home from home’, but some elements just leave a guest confused, and are certainly not something I would have at home. Leave the space-age design for the lobby, and concentrate on providing a comfortable room that ensures a guest gets a good night’s sleep. ||**||

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