1.Behold the 32-inch Box Television: Don't even try to showcase anything but flat-screen televisions in the rooms. We are amazed that we're still seeing huge, two-ton, square-box boob tubes in hotels. We'll give a pass for the B&B's that don't necessarily promote modern furnishings. Everyone else? You get a citation for being behind the times. And we won't even tell you that you really should have a souped up television with crazy bells and whistles in order to accommodate HDMI.
2. The Bathroom is Close To Outhouse Conditions: These days, we're surprised if we see a barebones showerhead instead of the rainshower that has come to be the norm. Other hotels have even gone a step further and installed the fantastic Swiss showers, which has made the bathing experience something to behold, indeed. If you've got bathroom tiles that have seen the 80s, you're doing it wrong. Fix it!
3. The Lightswitches Are Ancient: While we don't necessarily want a million light switches around the whole room (that's crazy annoying), we definitely want a modern experience, especially the bedside panels that control the lighting of the whole room. Whether you want the dimmers on, super brightness, or total darkness, you shouldn't have to get out of the bed to make it happen. And the new gadgets that control the curtains as well? Double, double bonus.
4. The Bedspread Is Frayed and Funky: This is particularly an issue in warmer climates. We understand hoteliers want to exude the "tropical vibe", but it ends up just looking cheesy and dated. That scratchy polyester comforter has GOT TO GO. A good designer can inject color into your tropical bedroom theme, without getting gaudy. Hire them.
5. The Telephone/iPod Docking Station is From 2009: Listen here, things have changed in the communications world and hoteliers have to get on board. Telephones have to have the capability to reach front desk, room service, spa, etc with the push of one button. Plus, they should ideally be able to play any variety of smartphone devices in case you want to awake to your favorite music, not some annoying alarm. Oh, and if you have an all-in-one system that is phone, clock, docking station, and room control, you are running with the big boys.
6. There's Still a Radiator: Again, we give a pass to those "theme" hotels that don't claim to keep up with the times. But we encountered a NYC hotel that was still using an old-school 1970s radiator to heat the room--complete with sizzle and steam sound effects. No good for a well-known brand. As you can see from the photo at the beginning of the story, there are a host of infractions going on, but we're focusing on that taupe radiator in the corner. Get familiar with a central air/heating system, folks. Screwing a nob to turn off heat in 2013 is ridiculous.
7. The Fitness Center Needs Work: We're finally getting that travelers are serious about keeping up their fitness while on the road. So, that means hoteliers have to do better than the sad, dusty 20-year old treadmill and ancient weight rack in the hotel basement. No, customers want high-end, clean equipment. They even told us so. If you have classes and personal trainers on-site, even better!
[Images: Chanize for HotelChatter/Flickr via bradipo]