a bathroom with a large window

Stop worrying about upgrades, and start focusing on amenities…

Traveling around the world, staying in hotels, you begin to develop pet peeves, and also hotel room delights. Even the “nicest” hotels can offer terribly antiquated rooms, while the most basic hotels can offer amenity driven powerhouses. Understandably, people spend an awful lot of time worrying about hotel upgrades, but what any guest should really focus on, is what a hotel is going to offer to make your stay perfect, in each room. Here’s what to look for, to have the very best sleeps…

a wall with electrical outlets and a lampWell Located Universal Power Ports

With so many things to see and so many hours out and about, staying juiced up while traveling is extremely important. No one wants to be stranded in a foreign country with no battery. The first thing to look for in a great hotel is well placed power ports. We’re talking hotels where there’s at least one plug within arms reach of your bedside, and ideally a USB port as well. In the very best hotels, they’ll have paid the expense to offer universal plugs, where you don’t need adaptors. The more, the merrier.

Oceans Of Complimentary Water

We’re all for conserving the earths resources, and water doesn’t need to be bottled – but it does need to be present. Water is a quantifiable necessity of life, and making guests choose between their wallet and their health is simply unacceptable. Any good hotel worth the patronage will offer plenty of complimentary water, with no fuss whatsoever if you find yourself wanting more. Plain, and simple. TripAdvisor reviews can be a great way to scope out the water scene.

a couple of men wearing gas masks and sitting on a couchFast, Streamable Wifi Connections

Wifi is not a privilege in 2018, it’s a necessity. Especially for travelers abroad, who don’t take advantage of plans like Google’s Project Fi, using data abroad is prohibitively expensive, and therefore room time equals communication time. Wifi should always be free, with connections for at least four devices. In addition, wifi should always be fast enough to stream Netflix, or any other shows. Guests hardly use the massive TV’s which take up space, and any good hotel realizes the need for reliable, fast streaming.

Night Lights Guiding The Way

This is a bit specialist, but it’s an immensely helpful feature when offered. Hotels are not home, and unlike home, where someone can venture to the bathroom with their eyes shut, hotel rooms provide a maze of objects, perfect to stub a toe. The most guest centric, reverse engineered hotel rooms offer motion activated or switch activated low level floor lighting which doesn’t stun the eyes, but offers a clear and easy path in the middle of the night. No one likes shouting “damnit” in the middle of the night – and rolling over in pain.

a close-up of a couple of suitcasesLuggage Space Or At Least A Rack

It’s no secret that hotel floors are an almost guaranteed way to pick up bed bugs and other disgusting things we collectively pretend to ignore. Whether there’s space for a luggage shelf or not, all rooms should always feature a fold out luggage surface, where your items can live safely and without proximity to whatever lies beneath.

Proactive Amenity Kits

Need a quick shave? Sure ya do! Rather than make guests lug themselves down to the lobby, any smart hotel offers complimentary essentials, located directly in the bathroom. From mouthwash, to small toothpaste tubes, razors and sewing kits, these are the kind of things that can really elevate guest experience. You just never know when you’re going to pop a shirt button, especially at a breakfast buffet.

Functional And Quiet Air Conditioning

Hotels game air conditioning systems to offer as little “cool” as possible, to conserve on energy bills. Temperature should always be easy to control, and without noise. If you can “hear it”, it’s probably not good enough. If you ever find yourself at your wits end, seemingly unable to get a room cool enough, there is a hack for that.

What’s the most important hotel room feature to you?

Featured image courtesy of the Viceroy New York.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Good points, but I find many of these to be secondary to the purpose of sleep. For sleep, the ideal room is icy cold, pitch black at noon with the curtains drawn, quiet as the grave, and has a very comfortable bed. The rest is great but secondary, IMO.

  2. Of course, a comfortable bed is most important, but that is a subjective issue. I would love to be able to search for hotel rooms with: queen beds (not doubles!), free parking, and include breakfast. I am not aware of any apps that let you search for rooms based on these criteria (especially bed size)- if you know of one please share. We typically travel as a family (3-5 people) so bed size is critical. Bigger beds are easier to find in the US, very difficult in Europe.

  3. It’s a small thing but it’s so nice to have a biscuit or snack to tide you over till your dinner booking or when jetlag makes you hungry at weird times.
    I would say coffee but I hate the environmentally disasterous Nespresso machines, so i’m going to be even more specific and say fresh coffee and a french press, please!!

  4. My friend and I want to go on vacation, but we haven’t been sure how to choose a hotel room. I like how you mentioned that a great hotel will provide an amenity kit, just in case you forgot your toothbrush. You’ve mentioned all the qualities of a great room, but do you have any tips for getting a suite at a great price?

  5. I like how you mentioned that one should look for a hotel that has good night lighting, as it will help keep them from tripping in the night. I think it’s also important to read reviews across several sites and compare them, as it will give a clearer picture of the hotel’s service. One of my friends loves to travel, so these tips for choosing a hotel could really help her.

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