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The Dream Hotel Room – Features Every Guest Room Should Have

Over the years I’ve come to decipher what makes a good hotel room. Having traveled weekly for my profession I’ve grown to have certain preferences and can usually walk into a room and tell what type of experience I’m going to have by mentally checking off the guest room features, details and amenities. I know everyone is different, but here are the features that I look for in a hotel room.

1. Comfortable beds and pillows. The reason we go to a hotel is to sleep, so when a hotel skimps on their mattress and bedding, it’s extremely disappointing. Hotel guests have been thrilled with many hotel chains’ attempts to upgrade the sleeping experience. The Westin’s Heavenly Bed is favorite and just one example of a chain trying to attract guests by offering a pleasant sleeping experience.

2. Queen beds. Hotel rooms with two double beds are the worst. A family of four is squished and but it’s even more uncomfortable if you’re traveling with other adults (say a girlfriend getaway or conference). Throw in an old mattress and we have a sleeping disaster. On a recent road trip my husband and I had to fight to stay on our side of the bed because the mattress had transformed into a “taco bed” (indented in the middle). We both woke up sore and tired. If you’re traveling with kids, is a king bed and and cove with bunk beds is a great option!

3. Full length mirrors. It’s extremely important when guests are traveling for business or other professional reasons and need to ensure they look polished head to toe.

4. Sound-proof, or at least quality, walls. This feature is pretty self-explanatory, but over the years I’ve heard everything: crying babies, clock alarms that go off after the hotel guest departs for the day, late-night revelers and people talking on the phone through my hotel room walls.

5. Plenty of outlets. My family didn’t realize how convenient it is have a selection of outlets until we stayed at Candlewood Suites in Kenosha. There were enough outlets in that suite to charge both of our phones, our two cameras and plug in my laptop – and we didn’t even use the outlets in the bathroom or unplug any lamps.

6. A variety of hangers. This one may surprise you. But, ladies, if you’ve ever traveled with dresses, you may agree that most hotel hangers are not make for ladies’ strappy clothing. I can only recall a couple of hotels that have offered sufficient hangers, including skirt hangers.

7. Mini-fridge. Sure, it’s nice to keep my water cold, but a fridge wasn’t high on my list until I started traveling with children. It’s pretty common for my children not to finish their lunch or dinner, especially when they’re traveling and off their schedule. When you’re at the mercy of a hotel, there’s nowhere to keep the leftovers. Lately, for the hotel rooms that don’t come equipped with a mini-fridge, we’ve been requesting one for our room, but it is nice to have one already hooked up and chilled in the room.

8. Quiet location. This means there isn’t an ice machine nearby or an elevator chiming all night. Of course, noisy neighbors are something a hotel can’t control. As a hotel clerk told us on St. Patty’s day in Milwaukee, “If you have a problem with your room or loud hotel guests tonight please call right away. Don’t wait to tell us tomorrow. By then we won’t be able to do anything about it.”

9. Wi-fi. This topic still arises regularly. Why is it that the budget hotels – the brands that also offer a free hot breakfast – provide free wireless while the upscale hotels charge a hefty fee to connect? Perhaps one of you have hotel experience and can explain the reasoning or is it simply like the added fees of flying?

10. Quality toiletries. When I come across a hotel room with nice shampoo, conditioner, soaps, mouthwash, and makeup remover, I’m in heaven. The airport security 3-1-1 rule puts a cramp on packing, so when a hotel offers quality toiletries  it’s a nice bonus.

11. A decent view. My husband and I have an ongoing joke about what type of hotel room view we will get if we book on Hotwire or another discount site. It started during our move to Minnesota. We booked several hotels online via Hotwire.com. Two of the hotel rooms overlooked the hotel’s roof’s air conditioner system. There wasn’t anything to complain about, after all, we were there to sleep and the rooms were great, but it gave us a good laugh. Still, it would be nice to have a decent view even thought I know it’s not possible. That’s why this post’s title is “The Dream Hotel Room.”

What features do you look for in your hotel room?

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8 Responses to “The Dream Hotel Room – Features Every Guest Room Should Have”

  1. 1
    swisspotluck says:

    What I prefer from Hotel Rooms (after basic cleanliness).

    1. A free bottle of water or no water bottle at all. None of this $4-5 bottle of water sitting there nonsense. If you want to charge for it, then keep it down at the front desk and I will come and purchase it if I am that desperate.
    2. Duvet covers are great and cleaner than bedspreads.
    3. Free Wi-fi (nice but not essential for me)
    4. Mini fridges that you can use to put your own stuff in (like leftovers from dinner you might want to snack on later.) Mini-bar refrigerators that are unusable because if you move something the sensor goes off and charges you bug me about as in-room bottles of water you have to pay for.

    Free breakfast is also great.

  2. 2
    ColoradoGal says:

    Oooh! I love this post. I’m with “swisspotluck” on the duvets.

  3. 3

    Awesome blog post! It’s true, you just don’t know what your going to get for room quality until you put your key in… personally, we’ve been spoiled with a King bed, so it’s hard going anything lower (excuse me! right? :-)) But, we hear you… when you walk into a room with 2 twin beds… trouble!

    Thanks again for another great blog!

    Nancy & Shawn

  4. 4
    Jody says:

    YES! Free wifi is a must and I’m with you- I don’t understand how budget hotels offer it free while “luxury” hotels do not. Frustrating!

    And twin beds? Really? My girls can barely share a twin bed!

    Personally, I wish more hotels offered connecting rooms. It seems so few do and I would rather have a two room suite or two rooms when traveling with the kids. It’s just nicer. I’ve also found (and the Westin is the worst about this) that when some hotels do have connecting rooms they won’t guarantee them- even when you explain that your young kids can’t be in a room down the hall- or, heaven forbid, on another floor!

  5. 5

    Excellent tips. These are the most basic things one should look forward before booking a hotel otherwise all the travel turns in to mess.

  6. 6
    Kate says:

    It sounds crazy… but I would sacrifice room quality for a decent view. But, other than that, I agree with this list. and absolute must is fresh linens that still smell a little bit like the bleach they were washed in. I’m a stickler for cleanliness… also, clean floors. Stayed somewhere recently with stains everywhere on the carpet… disgusting!

  7. 7

    1. God bless Embassy Suites for the door that separates the bed room and the living room. It makes all the difference if the kids want to go wild in one part of the room and I want to get some sleep. A big room with a waist high partition — in my opinion — doesn’t count when it comes to a suite. The door + wall combo wins every time!

    2. A sofa is always nice, especially if it has a pull out bed. Rooms with no chairs or just a desk chair, are very uncomfortable if all you want to do is lounge but not lay down. The pull out bed is nice for kids that need their own space or — during family reunions and the like — the unexpected cousin/neice/nephew decides to spend the night on short notice.

  8. 8
    jenjenk says:

    is it weird that the first thing I check out when I do a site inspection is the bathroom?? I’m told by sale managers that most women check out the bathrooms first, where as the men tend to just make sure it’s ok. I thought it was a freakish fetish of mine! :)

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