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HotelChatter OpenThread :: What Hotel Amenities Do You Consider Totally Useless?

September 18, 2008 at 4:45 PM | by | Comments (11)

The Bowery Hotel, New York. What amenities would you keep in here?

You all know how much we love our hotel toiletries, and you've tolerated our consistent gushing about free WiFi and state-of-the-art TVs (among other things). But there are a few hotel amenities we have always thought were just a little outdated or entirely useless.

For instance, we stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria one time and found a mini-fax machine sitting on the in-room desk. This was in the year 2007. Good one.

So, aside from the occasional fax machine (seriously, what was that?), we've put together a bunch of other hotel amenities that we think could probably die. Your job? Tell us what you can and can't live without when staying in a hotel room until we can reach an agreement on what hotels should think about when they're budgeting.


· The iron and ironing board. Steaming in the shower works just fine for us -- but business travelers may feel free to disagree.
· HDTV's that lack the HD component. We hate skinny people who look fat on our TV's (or reality TV stars whose faces look deceivingly attractive because of the low-res images).
· $10 bottles of water. We'll use the tap, thanks (unless we're in Mexico).
· Yellow Pages! The ones in the bedside drawers are rarely up to date -- and really, when's the last time you consulted the Yellow Pages?
· Heat lamps. You know those red lamps in the bathrooms sometimes that are supposed to make it more comfortable for you to step out of the shower? We've never used them. The red light makes us think of TLC and also of the seediest part of Amsterdam.
· Bolster and Throw Pillows. They gross us out because we know that even in the nice hotels, they don't get washed.
· Corded Telephones. In a world where everyone except Nana and Gramps is a whiz at cellphones, why should in-room telephones have cords at all? It's all cordless now, people.

Disagree with any (or all) of these? Got more useless hotel amenities to add? Similarly, add what hotel amenity you cannot stay without (ours would be plastic laundry bags in the closet--don't ask.) That's why it's an OpenThread, friends. Sound off in the comments.

[HotelChatter OpenThreads are a place for readers to get in here and talk about hot stories and issues of the day in an open forum. If you are already a HotelChatter member log in to comment, if not become a member for free and comment away.]

HotelChatter Senior Editor Juliana Shallcross also contributed to this OpenThread.

Comments (11)

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Useless Hotel Amenities

Although I love seeing them, phones next to the porcelain throne can probably be done away with.  

Any place that still has an in-room coffee maker - get rid of 'em.  

The envelopes branded with the name and address of the hotel - when was the last time anyone mailed a letter from a hotel?


love it!

those are great ones. i used to think the coffee maker was un-important but some hotels are getting swanky with their joe-makers so it's a toss-up for me. and i agree on the envelopes but i do love me some postcards!

Useless Amenities

Armoires! Unless it's an extended-stay, I don't get the point of unpacking a suitcase (other than for stuff that needs to hang). And armoires are not exactly made for flat-screen TVs, either.

And they're usually ugly.


good list

Phones don't matter no one uses them except for room service right? Why bother with cordless.

Iron must have, steam doesn't always do the trick.

Coffee at some nicer hotels can be great! You can kill it at the middle tiers though...it's nasty swill, I'll swing by a coffee shop if I want the real deal.

Sorry excuses for desks. Don't pretend it's one either get a real one or don't bother. Same for the "desk" chair.


Room Amenities?

I agree with some of these; disagree on others.  
Fax machines are ridiculous.  In this day and age, who needs them!  Yank the stationary too.  Only posers use it.  Ditto shoehorns (who would travel without one that needs one?), shoe polish, shoe cloths and shower caps (break, please!) And yeah, those disgusting bathroom phones.  I could also do without the foolish little linen mats that the high end places put on each side of the bed so your bare feet don't touch the carpet.  I trip on them.  And the cheapo slippers deserve to be yanked as well.  And who needs a CD player (with purchasable CD?)  An Ipod connection is far more practical.

As far as room phones go, we need them.  My experience is that the cordless ones work only 50% of the time and take up a precious outlet.  If you wanna walk around the room, get on your cell!  

Get rid of coffee?  No way!  Most mid-range places now have decent brands.  Have you ever had to wait 30 minutes for a pot of lukewarm, over-priced swill?  This way, you get what you want, when you want it and it's included in the room rate.  And pricey water? Heave it!!  The low-midrange places provide free bottled water much of the time.  It's an insult to pay $10+ for Fiji, etc. after paying $400 for a room.  How pretentious can you get!


Re: HotelChatter OpenThread ::

Disagree on the coffee and iron/ironing board. Some people who stay in hotels aren't la-di-da-di on vacation all the time, and actually need to get up at a certain hour and look pretty all the while... If a hotel doesn't have either, I tick off in the no column.

I could do without the Bible...

One thing I could do without is an uber-cool design with nods to what some dumbass thinks is "form" without any regard for "function." eg: the infinity shower that is made to simulate as though the water might pour out on the floor... though the water isn't supposed to overflow, it almost always does-- and for what?


Re: HotelChatter OpenThread

Funny story.  The hotel (chain) I work for recently decided to do away with the yellow pages.  We agreed that we can do without them. But then soon after removing them from guestrooms, we got TONS of calls asking where the yellow pages is!  We charge for internet (I know, disgusting), so I think these people would otherwise look things up online but for the charge.  Still, it may be that you don't know what you got (in your hotel room) 'til it's gone.

Re: HotelChatter OpenThread :

Only Reason any Hotel has a Fax Machine is because they have (or aspire to) AAA Five Diamond and/or Mobil 5 Star Status, its one of their mandatory in Room requirements.

Yellow Pages and/or Bible are supplied at no cost to them, so its no big deal to include it.

I agree with others on the Coffee machine - especially as several hotels aspire to better Joe these days and the iron does beat the Steam.

Cordless phone? I can imagine the inventory nightmares with orphan Handsets, but more likely it too easily interferes with Wi-Fi.


Re: HotelChatter OpenThread

Glad you mentioned the 5 Star/5 Diamond Fax Machine necessity. Same goes with the phone in the bathroom (believe it or not)! Sadly, if you want that fifth star, you've got to have a phone by the john!

Do NOT get rid of shower caps!!! As dorky as they look, they are one of god's best inventions. If hotels stopped giving out shower caps, I might have to actually buy some to keep in my apt.


Okay, I give, I give

You're right - some hotels are putting in some good elbow and brain grease on improving the trusty in room coffeemaker, so to those coffeemakers I say, "Go joe!"  

Those are the coffeemakers I see when I travel with the hubster.

The ones that should leave are the ones I see when I am traveling for work and the company dime doesn't cover more than a cracked, stained coffee mug, powdered creamer and rancid coffee.

Apparently these hotels also do not have postcards.  Frowny face.


Rollaways and Sofabeds

I'd say sofa beds and rollaways only because I'm housekeeper and I hate making those things up. Besides who sleeps on those, they are so uncomfortable, you'd be be better off on the floor.  

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