There's the standard wish list one hopes to get when they book a hotel room - spacious, high floor, with a view - that sort of thing. These do come with the price you pay, as most things about location, comfort and style do. But there are these basic things that we all know are necessary, but just appear to be missing. It's made me wonder, whether it's a stay at the Hyatt or a B&B at the English countryside, what's the hesitation with making these standards?
You see those cards that urge patrons to help hotels conserve water by reusing towels and hanging them if you intend to do so. Otherwise, they tell you to leave them on the floor or shower. Everyone, let me introduce you to the hamper! It's a simple solution to an unsightly problem, not to mention, it eliminates wet towels as trip hazards. Seriously, a wire hamper is what, $20 at Amazon?
I get that cleanability is a top priority in hotel bathrooms. This is why towels, linens, glasses, that sort of thing, are changed out everyday (unless okayed otherwise) or at the very least, every time guests check out. But is that the reason why we are provided a floor towel? It has a different embroidery so you'll know it's for the floor, and it's set by the tub. I mean, it's still a towel, it hardly has any weight. Towels may soak up water from the body quite well, but if it gets wet and it stays on the floor, it's not going to make it stick better. It's not even any better when it's dry on a cold marble floor, and when you're getting out of the shower - it's a major slip hazard. Why can't we get a bath mat that will not move around and can actually soak up the water dripping from your body a lot better? At west elm, there are machine washable ones for $30. And, those don't even really need to be changed out everyday, but definitely with every guest change.
Towel Warming Racks
Still in the bathroom. More often than not, I reuse my towels as I try to be a good steward of our planet (like what they say on the cards). The only time I really don't reuse towels is when don't dry after I use it at night and again in the morning. So, it makes me ask, why are there no towel warmer racks. These seem to be staples in Europe but why not in the U.S? It would also solve the issues I've brought up above.
Last summer, I stayed at a B&B in Vermont called the Jackson House Inn (& I found that it's true what they say about those quaint and lovely Vermont B&Bs). Our host took us to the den where she pointed to a fridge they stock everyday with seltzer water, ginger ale, soda and mineral water, etc., and she said, "feel free to take what you need anytime". That made me think, if my tiny B&B can afford to have me take what I need anytime, why do my hotels still charge me $4 for a small bottle of water? It's a cheap shot, I think, for something that could be offered for convenience, especially if I'm paying at least $250/night.
I cannot think of a time I stayed at a place with no free wifi in the last 10 years (other than that Vernazza camere where they offered free wifi but couldn't quite connect - but who cares, it's Vernazza baby!). Anyway, it's because it's my primary deterrent when booking a room. At this day and age when the Internet has been deemed a right not a privilege, for the life of me I don't get why some places still charge, what, $25 or more for a 24 hour access. I charge nothing when I have guests at home, and I don't even charge them per night 😋, so another cheap shot, methinks.
Bonus: Laundry Room
I say it as a bonus because I feel I can still live without it when I travel, yet it's getting harder and harder to do so. When we went around Europe for my sabbatical, we enjoyed going to laundromats. There was so much of the local life to witness and we were in awe just as much as when we went to see Picasso's Guernica. After my husband's stroke, this is one of the things we gave up for practical reasons. But also because of the stroke, we absolutely needed to pack much lighter than we used to, which means, I have got to do some laundry. In addition to the ridiculous prices charged for hotel laundry services, for someone who separates her laundry 11 different ways, it's not as easy to trust that they'll be doing the same thing. So, a laundry room would really be nice - and hopefully more than 2 pairs of washers and dryers. What would be extra nice are the little in-room washer/dryer combos. If these fit in tiny Parisian apartments, it should fit in hotel rooms.
*If you are curious of the 11 different loads, they are: jeans, dark-smooth, dark-rough, light-smooth, light-rough, whites-smooth, whites-rough, delicates, dark-handwash, light-handwash, white-handwash. How else are you going to take advantage of your machine, especially the handwash function, if you don't separate them this way? 🤗
Bianca is one of the founders of get there | get lost. She is an avid writer and photographer based in Northern California. Her love for history, literature, architecture and food culminate to her passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. She advocates for accessible travel, and continues to explore with her husband and travel partner, Jesús, despite physical limitations. Follow their adventures on Instagram as @gettheregetlost and @coffeeandtherapy.