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2009 Must Have Amenity: Plug Panels

December 30, 2009 at 11:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Last year's must have hotel amenity was High-Tech Recreational Toys in-room for guests to use like Kindles, Sony Readers, Wiis, Rockbands and iPods. But with all these new gadgets at our fingertips, we're gonna need a place to plug them all in. And digging around under the desk or unplugging a floor lamp is sooo last year.

So it makes sense that plug panels became the new flat-screen TV in 2009.

Also called connectivity panels, these gadget hubs are often found on the top of the in-room desks but sometimes they are a part of the TV setup. The panels allow us to plug in our gadgets to charge them up but also to connect our laptops and iPods to the TVs. In fact, rooms with plug panels are actually more high-tech than our own offices and we love that.

Even better, plug panels don't discriminate. We found them in high-end luxury hotels like the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas (above) to the new batch of budget and extended stay hotels like Element Hotels and even in old hotels that have undergone recent renovations like The Algonquin in New York City. Hopefully, in the future, we'll have less and less of this and more plug panels for all!

Now if we had to choose between plug panels and the other hot in-room amenity that really came up this year--Single Cup Coffee Makers--it would be a tough call. Sometimes, we need to work in our hotel rooms so we need the proper plugs for our laptops and cellphones. But can we work without coffee? Then again, what if there is no place to plug in the coffee maker? It's the old chicken and the egg argument here.

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Sitting...

Next to one with six outlets right now.  Long live the plug panel on the hotel work desk.

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