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What Is This At The Mark New York?

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  Site Where: 25 East 77th St. , New York, NY, 10021
October 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM | by | Comments (3)

We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.

This mystery appliance had us stumped when we first walked up to the Front Desk at The Mark New York. As we chatted with the friendly concierges, we kept glancing over our shoulder at this bizarre pull-out fixture that's built into the middle of the wall next to the Front Desk, all the while trying not to interrupt the conversation. But, as usual, our curiosity got the better of us.

Before we reveal the faux desk drawer's actual function, here's what it's not: a desk drawer. A diaper changing station. An ironing board. A sex toy.

Give up? Click below to see what it is!

As the hotel's well-informed Chief Concierge Isabelle Hogan explained to us, this panel, which pulls out of the wall at waist-level, is actually a writing surface for people in wheelchairs. How thoughtful! Hogan pointed out how inconvenient it can be for those people in wheelchairs to have to reach up to the Front Desk to sign all the paperwork needed for check-in. Instead, they can simply wheel on over to a desk space at their own eye level.

For those of you interested in disabled access hotels, check out our series from 2008 to learn about wheelchair accessible hotels, hotel website booking, and US hotels.

And stay tuned for an exciting Concierge Interview with Miss Hogan in the coming weeks!

Got your own "What Is This?" story to share? Send it to us!

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Comments (3)

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"Click below"

I'm often confused by your editorial closing "Click below to __." I see it in your newsletters and often in your blog entries, but there's often nothing "below" to click on.

This is a good example. Spotted this teaser in the email newsletter, with the "Click below to see what it is!" ...with nothing below it. I scrolled back up to the story header and clicked on that to get to the page.

What's the point here? It seems you use this often (see also the current Dubai thing), assuming that there's a link there when the public reads it. But it's not... which is weird.

Maybe something for the next editorial meeting discussion?  Or a tweak in the blogging tools' back end to include a link at the END of the story where your "Click here" suggests it will be?


Accessibility

I often travel with my mother, who uses a wheelchair.  Our biggest problem is finding a hotel that has an accessible room with two beds.  

I'm sure that a lot of people who require accessible rooms travel with someone that they don't mind sharing a room with, but wouldn't share a bed.  But most hotels use a standard footprint and make the bathroom bigger, leaving a smaller bedroom with only room for one bed.

(Really, that's not true - the Carlyle offers an accessible room with two twin beds.)

When in New York, we stay at a hotel with very large two-bed accessible rooms, and very nice accessible bathrooms in the lobby.  I'm not saying which one because we have two specific rooms that we love and we don't want them sold out when we're trying to visit!


@Chriswooster

It's really a function that works when the stories move off the front door to the second page--hotelchatter.com/main/2--because there's a "MORE" button that readers can click.

But it's a little redundant on the story page itself. We'll see what we can do on the back-end to fix this. Until then, we'll make sure any "Click Belows" get an extra link as well. Thanks and sorry if it's been annoying you!

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