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Hotel Memories / Snapshot / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Rants / NH Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Bathroom Amenities / → All Tags
Our name is HotelChatter and we are addicted to hotel toiletries.
Designer, cult, no-name motel brands – we can’t get enough. We stash them away every night in our suitcase, so housekeeping gives us more. We check out with bagfuls of the stuff. We haven’t bought soap or shampoo in years.
Hotel toiletries are the first things that always crop up in those articles that always crop up – the ones asking what is ok and not ok to take from hotel rooms. (Spoiler: it’s always the toiletries and stationery that’s ok, everything else is off limits.)
Recently we’ve noticed a decline in hotel toiletries. Smaller bottles. Fewer restocks. A sparser selection of products. Those wall dispensers that, much as we want to be eco, we can’t quite get around to accepting.
We live, of course, us inhabitants of HotelChatter Towers, surrounded by hotel toiletries (a shoebox of soap, one of shampoo and conditioner, one of body lotion). And we tend to grab them without much thought – it’s hard to remember just where that bottle of CO Bigelow came from, after all.
But, spring cleaning this week, we stumbled upon another shoebox full of body lotion – one collected in happier times, around 2006-2008. Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it’s pre-financial crisis, but we noticed that most of these bottles had been personalized to the hotels – and we had a Proustian moment, there in the bathroom, remembering the various trips.
Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Design / Hotel Rants / Abu Dhabi Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Le Royal Meridien Hotels / Jonathan Khoo / → All Tags
This looks like a nice bathroom, right? Granted, the toily is a little close to the shower, and we’d prefer a proper bidet to a hose that someone else might have done who knows what with, but overall it looks good. Props for the separate tub, sexy streak of brown marble and omg-yes-gimme-dat dinnerplate showerhead.
Except the hotel left out one thing. A panel of glass.
This was the tweet that alerted us to the problem recently, from friend of HC and intrepid traveler, Jonathan Khoo.
hey bathroom designers (hotel & otherwise), ALWAYS a bad idea to just have a shower out in the open with no wall, tub, curtain, lip, etc.— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) August 14, 2014
Yes, as much as we may bitch about peekaboo bathrooms, there is a worse bathroom sin, and that is the bathroom that leaks everywhere.
Question: is it ever ok to ask a woman what her childbearing status is? (Answer: not unless it is particularly vital to the conversation, or if she brings it up.)
Another question: how many 21st-century women do you know who define themselves by their childbearing status? (Answer: unless they’re joking about ‘mom brain’, or write "proud mom!!" on their Twitter bio, not many, presumably because it’s the 21st century and in general society believes that women have brains and souls and vocations that don't necessarily include breeding, and the virgin/whore/mother categories were put on fade when we got the vote.)
Last question: in light of the above, just how much sense does it make for a hotel to market a new package for
barren sterile heartless unfulfilled childless women?
Personally we’d say not much sense at all, but the Westin New York Grand Central seems to think barren is the new black, because they’ve just launched a package called Womanhood Redefined, aimed at women of childbearing age who – the horror! – don’t have children. It is, they claim, an ‘industry first’. Guys, sometimes there’s a reason for that.
The Womanhood Redefined package aims to “create a new definition of happiness” for women (whose happiness meter is, of course, generally contingent on the number of offspring that have swum through their birth canal). The hotel has teamed up with Melanie Notkin, author of the gloriously titled book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind Of Happiness. Together, they have decided that this is what childless women want from a hotel stay:
· A bed for the night (presumably unwarmed, just like your single mattress at home);
· A copy of Otherhood (to help you find happiness despite your stale loins);
· A $25 food and beverage credit towards cocktails at the bar (because SATC, woohoo!) or in-room dining (in case you are ashamed to show your single self in public);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s executive chef, who will tell you about superfoods and growing home gardens (crucial question: is he single? MAYBE YOU CAN MARRY HIM);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s Running Concierge (careful now, overexercise can lead to fertility issues);
· 10% discount on yoga classes at a nearby studio (bcs you childless girls looove your yoga);
· A complimentary Westin White Tea candle (clutch it to your never-lactated bosom, it smells almost as good as a baby);
· Loaned exercise gear (because nothing feels as good as working out in second-hand sneakers).
The business center at the Atlas. At least this internet is free
One of the most important questions to take into account when picking a hotel? Whether or not there is free WiFi. You know how we feel about this at HotelChatter. It is imperative to our stay. We would not stay in a hotel with paid for WiFi.
But what’s almost worse than charging for WiFi? Advertising it as free, but actually imposing limits. We already told you about one reader’s encounter with a Fairfield Inn that had a limit of one device per guest, but we can go one better with our stay at the Atlas Hotel in Brussels last week.
The Atlas is a really nice, fashion-themed three star hotel in a great area of the city. It has OCD-friendly disposable coffee cups. It’s lovely. And it trumpets its “FREE Wireless High Speed Internet Access in ALL ROOMS, the Lounge, the Breakfast room and the Conference room” (sic) on its homepage.
The Atlas doles out the WiFi via individual codes at the front desk. We were given one, which we immediately tapped into our phone. We asked for another for our computer. And were told that there was a one code per room policy.
One device per room in one of the business centers of Europe? One device per room when you’re selling doubles, twins and duplexes? One device per room in 2014? Non non non, c'est pas possible!
While our front desk advisor listed 10 basic things a hotel must offer guests yesterday, a current hotel guest is demanding something else be added to that list--Bathroom fans. We'll let her do the talking here to further explain what she means. Warning: if you don't like potty humor, click away now.
It absolutely boggles my mind why there is not a bathroom fan in every hotel room!
This is not only essential for a basic human function, whether you are with others or not, no one wants to sit in there own stench like a fat cat, but also for any queen diva that needs to get ready in a jiffy -that fan is needed for refreshing the air from a shower, hair dryer and hot lights, without it is hellish hot and humid in there. All that effort just to come out like a wet poodle that smells of its own poo or drowning in cologne.
There is also the environmental issue here, without that white noise factor that allows for some sense of decent privacy, now ladies have to result to running the sink water in a pinch. Let's not also forget the need for strategy without the fan, "Who is going to spend some QT in the lobby bathroom now? Don't forget your card, will meet you over here, meet you over there". Bottom line somebody is standing around waiting while you expunge your demons.
To choose not vent a bathroom is to choose to kill the mystique factor in every relation, even with ones self.
Bring the fan back along with human decency !
Ps. I am writing this right now from a five star hotel while my husband is currently in the bathroom lobby - 5 minutes and counting.
Got a hotel rant of your own? Get it off your chest by venting to us!
Today all eyes are on the opening of the 67th edition of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera. And where better to stay than right across the road at the five-star Cannes Majestic Barrière Hotel whose rooms have an unobstructed view of the red carpeted stairs so many have dreamed of ascending?
That’s what we thought too, until we actually stayed at the hotel and witnessed how its low standards are making an utter mockery of the luxury hotel industry.
We don't want to get into another debate just yet about whether or not you should tip the housekeeper, but we've got a bone to pick with these "tip envelopes" and the accompanying notes that pop up in rooms from time to time. It's a page straight out of the cruise industry, and it absolutely reeks of a hotel that's got its priorities mixed up.
Regardless of how American businesses have been able to spin the idea of tipping into an expected offering to help supplement the salaries of the employees that they underpay, this contributor's opinion is that gratuity is something given to someone who has gone above and beyond their job description to make my experience better. In short, get these things out of my face, right now.
Last month, we published a list of early-season ski deals to help you save some cash when taking a trip this winter. As you might have noticed, although many of the deals we featured hooked you up with free lift tickets (which is a huge help), a lot of them were closer to "promotions" than "deals."
For example, the $530 per person, per night girls' getaway at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek may provide good value given all you get, but it is far from a "deal," an offer meant to allow those who normally couldn't financially partake to participate.
In other words, $530 a night is still a lot of money. And there were other promotions that were in the same boat, such as the offer from Hyatt Mountain Collection that if you book a three-night stay at all three properties in the collection, you will receive a complimentary EPIC ski pass for the 2014/2015 winter.
First, when we check in to a hotel and are handed our key card, we do not want our room number to be announced at full volume to us and simultaneously anyone else standing at reception or hanging around in the lobby. Best case scenario it is unnecessary, as we’d expect to find it on the little card holder, worst case scenario it is just unsafe.
Hotel Rants / Hotel Coffee / In-Room Coffee / Hilton Hotels / Hilton Garden Inn Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
On the heels of Hilton's announcement that it will put Keurig coffee makers in all its Hilton Garden Inn hotels, here's a rant from our contributor, Wake about his frustration with hotels when it comes to in-room coffee, no doubt stemming from the fact that, as a writer, he depends on it to make his living.
There's nothing better than waking up and having the ability to sip coffee while you go through your morning routine, and in turn, there is nothing worse than seeing that ability go to waste at the hands of an inadequate in-room coffee maker. Nothing. You know what we're talking about: That nasty, watery, metallic cup of joe that makes you wonder why you got out of bed in the first place.
The causes of the poor production vary, but most stem from the fact that a large percentage of hotels find it satisfactory to put $10 will-this-plastic-hold-up-under-the-heat-of-the-water coffee makers in the rooms, seemingly satisfied to merely be able to add it to the list of amenities without regard for whether it adds or detracts value in reality. Like, seriously, no one drinks from these things except people who work in offices, and there's no way anyone should be reminded of the office while on vacation, or worse, while traveling for work.
It's Monday, a perfect day to get our latest batch of hotel rants out of our system. While we talk regularly of things in hotels that annoy us like resort fees, WiFi charges, fugly carpeting, anti-views and dirty rooms, here are some random odds and ends in hotels that have us exasperated. We know, we know, this is #firstworldproblems all the way. But we suspect you have a few of your own to contribute. So get ranting in comments below!
1. When the shampoo and conditioner toiletries are placed on the sink, instead of in the shower. So we have to step out of the shower, soaking wet and slipping on the floor, grab the bottles and hop back in the shower (or tub.)
2. Phones with short cords. We're not even sure why a hotel room has a phone with cords anymore these days but even worse is when the cord is super short so that the entire thing falls to the ground if you pick up the phone while standing up. Ouch!
3. No full-length mirrors. If college kids can buy $10 mirrors to put on the back of their dorm room doors, hotels can find a way to work in a full-length mirror somewhere.
OK, we'll start this rant by acknowledging that, in general, there are elements of social media that get on our nerves, so you'll have to excuse us if at times we seem a little biased. However, the topic we're covering today concerns a very particular kind of social media: hotel Facebook pages.
Pretty much every hotel opening these days has one, but what exactly do they accomplish? And does anybody care what they have to say?
A few recent examples come to mind: QT Gold Coast wondered what we thought of JLo's manicure at the Golden Globes. Over in New York, Hotel BPM felt like sharing how "hot" they think Rihanna looks in the current issue of Rolling Stone. And though it hasn't even opened yet, The Quin Hotel is "recommending" the Michael Kors Spring 2013 womenswear line.
Maybe we're just not hip to the groove, but can someone please explain how these status updates have anything to do with the hotels themselves?