I was somewhat amused when I read a fellow blogger’s post on a hotel upgrade that ending being more of a downgrade, because it was quite relate-able.  We all have things that factor into our decision as to whether a stay at a hotel is comfortable.

These are 5 basic things that I look for:

1. A working toilet.  Or, at least one that doesn’t look like it’s going to fail at any moment.

You think this is a given, but it’s not.  Way back when, I wrote about an experience here:

“You can’t comfortably stay at a place if it doesn’t have its basic plumbing in order. I remembered one time, my family and I stayed at an older hotel in New York. It was an aging hotel but the hotel rated reasonably well. We checked into the room, and I thought there was a malfunctioning toilet. I contacted front desk who sent a maintenance staff up. He said knowingly, “It’s an old building. It’s not broken, it’s just the flushing pressure is really low”. He added that it’s the same way for all the toilets in the hotel, perhaps sensing that I might want to change rooms.

He then proceeded to demonstrate, “You need to hold this button down, and you have to keep holding it down for like 5-6 seconds”. We all watched as the the toilet made some really loud noises (I was half thinking, “is the toilet going to fall apart in front of us?”), and then the water really slowly swirled down the bowl. “There, it worked”, he added, triumphantly.”

He wasn’t really reassuring.  And, there we have it with the toilet talk.

Bonus points: Those hotels with Toto toilets get a special plug for upgrading their facilities.  The Toto toilets have a cult.  The NY Times even covered it.

2.  A Regular (non “open-concept”) Bathroom

The open-concept bathroom with a “frosted pane” may be all the design craze, but I think it’s lame.  I am talking about the ones where there is no separation between the bathroom and sleeping/hotel room space.  Maybe it’s great concept for a romantic night for couples (in that case, is a frosted pane really even necessary?)   It’s ridiculous and inconvenient for everyone else.  What if you’re traveling with other family members or with kids/teenagers?  What if you’re traveling with friends?  Now, that design is just plain awkward for those who inadvertently booked into those rooms.

Bonus points:  Hotels with a door separator for toilets and bathroom sink area usually get a higher mark in my book.  Even if you are traveling with others, no one is isn’t hogging the entire bathroom!

3.  Shower Pressure!

I need nothing fancy like the Heavenly Shower system, but I once stayed at a hotel where the shower/water pressure was ridiculously low.  How is anyone going to take a comfortable shower with such teeny tiny water pressure coming out of the shower head?  Trust me, you don’t want guests to be cursing at the shower-heads.

4.  Fresh Air and Working AC

Hotel rooms with musty smell can’t do.  Period.  It’s just gross.  It’s like you’re breathing in bad air with every breath you take — that just can’t bode well for a comfortable stay.  Also, a working A/C is important if the window can’t be opened for fresh air.

5.  General Cleanliness/Bug Free Zone

When I check into a room, I expect it to relatively clean (i.e. no hair in the sinks, bathrooms, dirty stains, etc).  Just general housekeeping cleanliness. It shows that hotel takes pride in keeping their facilities clean so that their guests can stay comfortably.

Also, I hate bugs. I really don’t want to see bugs when I check into a hotel.

Summary

I could deal with smaller beds or even less comfortable beds.  I could deal with a room with smaller space — I’d take a smaller, more cozy, updated room over a bigger but sparsely designed room any day).  As annoying as it can be, I could even deal with noises (thank you, earplugs!), but these basic things?

I think that every good hotel should have them covered.

 

What are some basic things that you look for in a hotel room?