It’s happened again. Every time I return to London, it’s the same old, same old. Namely, a minuscule room in a trendy hotel costing an arm and a leg, and where I end up feeling less at home than in my own home!
A major bugbear is inadequate soundproofing not just between rooms, but between rooms and corridors, and televisions that can be turned up full volume. Yes, you’ve guessed, noise is my main problem in hotel bedrooms.
I go there to sleep, not to listen to an impromptu party outside in the corridor or someone else’s TV – assuming they can get it to work. (Incidentally, on a recent US tour, the Rolling Stones asked not for curvaceous groupies and class A drugs to be left in their hotel rooms but simple instructions how to operate the TV!)
Another gripe is the lighting. Very few rooms have central ceiling lights, and trying to position yourself near an acceptable side light to read the paper often requires Houdini-like athletic contortions. Sometimes the lighting is so dim you assume the hotel is doing its bit to stop the National Grid shutting down.
Yet another pet hate is pillow mountains, shower curtains (uncomfortable and unhygienic), gauzy, inadequate curtains, and windows with so much security that any escape in an emergency would be impossible unless you happen to have a hammer to hand.
And hairdryers in hotel bathrooms – what’s that about? How am I supposed to dry myself with something that hasn’t got enough power to dry a mouse? Or use my own hairdryer when the only socket is on the other side of the room from the mirror. Who designs these rooms?
One temporary solution? I’ve now devised a ‘hotel kit:’ some bulldog clips to close the inadequate curtains, a Swiss penknife for emergencies, earplugs for noise (of both infrastructure and intimate kinds) and eyemasks (see ‘inadequate curtains,’ above).
These are just a few practical issues I’d be really grateful if any hoteliers amongst you out there could consider in 2017. OK, rant over! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Nora Johnson’s psychological/suspense crime thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99; £0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.