Before hotels start implementing their brilliant ideas to make theirs become the nicest places, though, it would be nice if they could get the basics right.
Here’s the list:
- Free Wi-Fi. A strong signal and fast connection would be welcome too, including on the exercise bikes and by the pool.
- No hidden add-on fees—and by that I mean no “resort fee,” parking fee, gym fee, mini-bar re-stocking fee, early check-out fee, etc.
- An alarm clock that doesn’t wake me up at 5 a.m. because that’s the hour that the previous guest set it for. Failing that, an alarm clock that I can quickly figure out how to turn off (rather than merely re-set to snooze) in the pitch dark at 5 a.m.
- An in-room lighting system that doesn’t take a degree in engineering to operate.
- I don’t need 17 pillows on my bed. It would be nice if one pillow—just one—were the correct thickness.
- A power strip at desk level so I don’t have to crawl beneath the desk, with enough outlets that I don’t have to recharge my smartphone at the bathroom sink.
- A window I can actually open, for a little fresh air once in a while.
- A mini-bar with healthy snacks at street price. (Note to hoteliers: A trend that we at Condé Nast Traveler are seeing at our favorite new hotels? Free mini-bars.)
- A view that’s as advertised. “Ocean view” should not mean having to stand on the radiator and crane my neck just to glimpse the water.
- A shower with strong water pressure, a shower head high enough that I needn’t crouch, and a curtain that prevents the bathroom floor from flooding.
- More hooks for hanging towels or clothing on. Because why would my husband be any neater in a hotel room than he is at home?
- In addition to the typical toiletries: earplugs—in case of noisy neighbors or street construction.
- A climate-control system that doesn’t sound like a freight train running past the room.
- A key card that does not get mysteriously deactivated (whether through proximity to my cell phone or some misunderstanding about my check-out time), forcing me to trek all the way back to the front desk.