So we’re all agreed that free, fast wi-fi and power points in handy locations are a essential in a luxury hotel room – and we all like soft, fluffy bathrobes (even if we don’t always use them). But what are the little extras you hope for when you check in? You might not agree with me…
A good turn-down
A couple of years ago, I couldn’t have cared less about a hotel’s turn-down service and frankly didn’t understand why people couldn’t climb into bed without someone having first folded the corner of the duvet down first. Who were these idiots?
However I have since seen the light. It’s not about the duvet, it’s about everything else, from restocking towels and toiletries to drawing the curtains (thus stopping you from climbing behind furniture to find the elusive curtain pull-cord) and generally making you feel as if you are being very well after – the sign of a great hotel stay.
Some hotels make the lighting all dim and moody for when you finally stagger up from the bar, (ME London turns the romantic vibe up to 11 by scattering tea-lights everywhere). Some leave a freshly-brewed mood of herbal tea to help you sleep (Kensington Hotel), others leave chocolates, line up slippers by the bed or put the radio on to Classic FM. Some people I know hate having a turn-down as they feel they need to leave the room immaculate before the staff work their magic, but I love it.
I’ve no idea how many coat hangers get stolen from hotel rooms, so maybe I’m doing the industry a massive disservice, but do we really need to have theft-proof coat hangers where the loop is fixed to the coat-rail and the rest detaches so you can hang your clothes on it? Maybe I’m just clumsy but I find them so fiddly that my clothes fall off when I’m trying to reattach the bits together. They’re annoying, they look cheap and they drive me mad.
Soft-closing drawers and loo seats
I’ve yet to find anyone who is as passionate about soft-closing things as I am, but I really feel well-looked after when I shove a drawer shut and it glides smoothly to a close, like a cruise ship docking at harbour. Ditto loo seats. I get a huge sense of satisfaction at just tipping it over and watching it close in its own good time.
Hotel information pack
I might be the only one, but I love reading the hotel information pack. I don’t mean boring but presumably necessary information about how to get an outside line and where the ironing-board is, but actual information about the hotel, how old it is, its history and previous owners. I also love a map of the gardens – I’m terrified of missing something during my stay, so if there’s a kitchen garden, a sundial or a bridge over a stream for playing Pooh Sticks, then I want to know about it.
Bottled water in nice glass bottles
Posh-looking water not only looks smart (as well as being very handy for filling the kettle if there is one, see previous coffee-related post here) but it makes you feel very looked after. It says ‘we’re thinking of you, and we’re not going to force to you pay £5 for a titchy bottle in the mini-bar, and we trust you not to nick the bottle when you leave.’ It makes me feel like a grown-up. (And if there are little complimentary treats such as cakes or cookies too, then that’s even better).
Espresso coffee machine (or kettle for tea-lovers)
A wonderful aspect of British hotels is that they pretty much all come with the ability to treat yourself to a tea or coffee, whether it’s the poshest of Nespresso machines or a standard hotel room kettle. Hotels in Las Vegas are some of the most luxurious in the world but British guests will be amazed to discover that while there’s an ice machine and Champagne, there won’t be a kettle or coffee machine. It’s true that some British country house hotels – I’m thinking the likes of Cliveden and Hartwell House – prefer to bring you coffee instead of making your own, but to have both options is the best of both worlds.
And for me what’s not essential – a bath in my hotel bedroom.
Check out my thoughts on those in Baths in hotel bedrooms and see-through loo doors – treat or travesty?
Do you agree? Let me know your personal hotel essentials in the comments!