What can You learn from Hotel Amenities?

Small ShampoosNow, you didn’t read that right.  Not Hotel Anemones, Hotel Amenities.  What’s that, you ask? Come on, you know what it is.  A hotel is a stack of little closets, remodeled to also include a toilet and sometimes a shower.

All right, maybe that’s a little harsh.  I’m sure we’ve all had great hotel experiences, with an inverse relationship to our wallet’s experiences (the more you spend, the better the experience).  Being an investigative reporter myself (read: I blog), I figured I would examine just what it is that hotels offer (in every room but yours) to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

The Bathroom

This seems like the obvious place to start, because it is where anything gone wrong is usually visibly apparent (as opposed to the beds, with who knows what in the mattresses, and the bedbugs, etc.).

First, before I even mention the cute little bottles, I want to cover the hairdryer.  I don’t think I have ever been in a hotel room that didn’t have a hairdryer, and, with that said, I don’t think I have once used a hotel hairdryer to dry my hair.  I’m sure I must be an abnormality, because to justify having hairdryers a large part of the population must use them.

Actually, I don’t know anybody who uses hotel hairdryers.  I think the reason they are included is because it gives the hotel managers something to feel good about.  You know, that the beds might be awful and the heater might be from the 1870’s, but  hey, they’ve got a hairdryer in every room.

Also, while I’m thinking about it, I feel as if hairdryers always give an ominous feeling to the bathroom.  The first thing you always notice is the warning label, the one that usually has an illustration of somebody being electrocuted.  I’m really glad that this hasn’t caught on, because I’d hate to have to mow the lawn while staring at the label on the handle with a picture of some poor fellow losing his foot.

The Bathroom-this time, the little bottles

When I started writing this post, that was the first thing that came to mind: the woven basket right next to the sink with all the little bottles of liquid.  I don’t really have much to say against these little bottles, because they have never harmed me (whereas I have infrequent nightmares about electrocuting myself with a hairdryer).

Personally, I use the little bottles to take revenge on the hotel.  If I feel that they are charging too much, I hide the bottles every night.  Then, when the maid comes in, she is obligated to give me more little bottles.  I’m pretty sure that the cost of replacing the small shampoos is enough that the hotel makes no money off of my stay (unless they buy in bulk, in which case, where can you buy bulk 1-oz shampoo bottles?  TSA-Mart?).

The Beds

This isn’t really an amenity, because I think that in most states it is the norm to have beds in the room (except in New York, where now all they have are large bits of cotton soaked in Raid).  However, it is the comfort factor of the beds that you need to examine.

To start, count the number of blankets.  I have never seen the specific layout of blankets that hotels have at anybody’s house: large comforter, fuzzy thing that is either considered a second comforter or 7-8 sheets stuck together, and l-2 light sheets.

The idea here is that if the beds are covered in enough sheets, you never see just how lumpy the mattress is.  Actually, sometimes the mattresses aren’t so bad; I saw an advertisement in the window of a high-end mattress store explaining that the CEO of a well-known hotel group personally chose that store’s mattresses for his hotels.  Also in the window display were some lamps, a mannequin, and (I kid you not) a bowling ball.

Thus, one can conclude that hotel mattresses are either stuffed with bowling balls, lamps, deformed mannequin-bits, or plastic advertisements.

The Signs

Most hotels will provide you with at least one double-sided sign, with one side saying “Please Don’t Disturb” and the other side saying “Don’t Even Think About Disturbing.”  Depending on the quality of the hotel, you may also have signs that say, “Please Clean this Room,” “New Towels Please,” and “Please Don’t Look Under The Bed.”

The Locks

Again, this can vary from hotel to hotel, but most hotels are nice enough to provide you with at least two locks.  Then you can calculate the danger of the surrounding neighborhood by seeing how many extra locks there are.  These can range from the classic chain-bolt to the “Motel -14” duct tape.  In the case of an emergency, though, you can always threaten an intruder with electrocution by bathtub-hairdryer.

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