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7 Things All Hotel Rooms Should Have

travel blogger Forever AmberWhen I was writing my review of Panoramica Heights last week – and while we were staying in it, actually – I got to thinking about some of the little, seemingly inconsequential things that can either make or break a hotel, depending on your point of view.

Now, I’m not talking here about either the absolute basics or the total luxuries. I mean, I think we can all probably agree that comfortable beds and clean rooms should be a given when it comes to hotel stays, while things like top class spas, say, or maids who turn down the bed for you each night and carefully arrange your makeup by size, while nice, don’t exactly fall into the “can’t live without it,” category for most of us. No, I’m thinking more along the lines of…

Power sockets next to the bed

Seriously, though, is there ANYTHING more annoying on holiday than climbing into bed, then realising there’s no power outlet next to it for your phone, so now you’re going to have to charge it on the other side of the room, and how will you scroll through Instagram for three hours before falling asleep NOW? HOW WILL YOU, THO?

(Other than realising there’s a karaoke bar directly under your hotel room, I mean. That was WAY more annoying…)

A full-length mirror

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had to climb onto the bed in order to try to see what my outfit looks like in the tiny mirror above the dressing table. GOD. Or the number of times there hasn’t even been a tiny mirror above the dressing table, so I’ve had to position a hand mirror on a chair, and then stand at the other side of the room, and squint at it for a while, before finally giving in and asking Terry to take a quick picture of me on my phone, so I could decide whether my outfit was passable or not.

Oh, and speaking of my phone, I once stayed in a hotel in which the only mirror in the entire room was a teeny-tiny one inside the dark, window-less bathroom, which meant I had to apply my makeup more-or-less in the dark – which, seriously, NEVER ends well for me. (Still smarting over that time in Clearwater when I emerged from the bathroom, where I’d been cheerfully applying bronzing powder in very bad lighting, only for Terry and my mum to instantly fall off their respective chairs because they were laughing so hard at me. Nope, still not over it…)

Neatly combining these two points, meanwhile, I also require…

Power sockets next to the vanity or desk

Because many are the times I’ve had to crouch awkwardly on the floor next to the only available power-outlet in the room, trying to curl/dry my hair, while staring into the reverse camera on my iPhone… which ALSO never really ends well for me, now I come to think of it. (Also, I try REALLY hard to avoid looking at myself in the reverse camera on my phone, unless I have that Instagram filter that smoothes out your skin and makes you look like you have amazing eyelashes switched on…)

So, lots of power points, is the takeaway from this one, I think. AAAALL the power points. Everywhere. Thank you.

Lots of clothes hangers, including ones for skirts and trousers

I mean, I like to over-pack, so I’m aware I’m probably being totally unreasonable here, but I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a hotel room that’s had an adequate amount of hangers for my clothes, and that makes me sad – and also creased, because it means I end up having to drape things around the room instead of hanging them up, and I’m just not about that life. Oh, and while I’m on the subject, am I seriously the only person who likes to wear skirts sometimes? Because the lack of appropriate hangers for them would suggest that yes, I definitely am?
Speaking of being creased, meanwhile…

7 things all hotel rooms should have05.
An iron. Or access to one, at least.

 Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re going to say: everyone else in the world is the owner of spechul, magic clothes, which the creases “just fall out” of, and thus has no need for an iron, like, EVER. Furthermore, YOU all have BETTER things to do with your time than iron clothes, so you just pull them out of your suitcase and throw them on, and no one can even tell they’ve not been ironed. It’s a miracle, truly!

Guys, I just… I don’t know what to tell you here. I mean, I roll my clothes rather than folding them. I try to pick fabrics that won’t crease too badly. I hang them in the bathroom while I’m having a shower. And still – STILL – all of my clothes look like I’ve spent two weeks sleeping in them, unless I iron them. I have no choice in the matter, I swear. (Because, yes, PEOPLE CAN TELL. Or they can with me, anyway…) This is why my favourite hotels are the ones which have an ironing board and iron in every room, and, failing that, I’ll settle for being able to hire one from reception. I’d continue to try to justify all of this, but, the fact is, I know that it honestly doesn’t matter what else I say in this post now, it’s just going  to be about the whole “ironing/not ironing” thing, so I think I’ll just leave it there, shall I?

A decent hairdryer.

Because no one loves those odd, attached-to-the-wall ones that take 17 hours to dry your hair, do they?

Decent Wi-Fi

Most hotels have wi-fi these days, but not all Wi-Fi is created equally, and I tend to find that (understandably, I guess), the larger the hotel, the less chance there is of getting online from your room. I’ve stayed in a few really nice hotels where the wi-fi in the room has been so dodgy that I’ve had to go down to the lobby any time I wanted to access the internet. And, I mean, I’m a blogger: I ALWAYS want to access the internet. Doesn’t everyone, though? Or are you all about to tell me that, as well as never ironing your clothes, you also never go online when you’re travelling? Oh God, you are, aren’t you? OK, well, that being the case, I really am going to stop here – although, not before I’ve asked you what kind of things you consider to be hotel room essentials?

What makes a hotel room good?
Hotel essentials: 7 things all hotels should have
  • Myra


    I’m with you on all of these. I ovrrpack too but usually half of my clothes go home unworn. I’m getting better at overpackibg though.

    January 15, 2019
  • Totallyyy agree about the mirror and the power outlets! Especially when you’re in the room with others, and you all have to get ready together!

    January 15, 2019
  • Moni


    Last year we were in a hotel room that had a full length mirror – in the bathroom. Positioned in a way that you had to watch yourself while taking a shower.
    I don’t want that. Nobody wants that. And you couldn’t even cover it up because it went from floor to ceiling without any edges. WHY???

    January 15, 2019
  • Oh God, the lack of a full length mirror is a nightmare – even in the majority of Airbnbs I’ve stayed in, they don’t tend to have one. Awful. And those hairdryers where you have to keep a thumb on the ‘on’ button – you practically end up with carpal tunnel syndrome after a blow-dry.

    January 15, 2019
  • Maria


    1) More than one pillow. And if there’s just one, at least make it thick enough to be comfortable for a human that’s older than 15-20. I’ve been in hotels where the only pillow was so thin I had to put some clothes underneath it just to reach a “height” comfortable enough for my neck.
    2) A shower that doesn’t flood the entire bathroom when you wash yourself. This should be a given and instead it’s almost a luxury in the hotels I’ve been in (all 3-4 stars hotels btw).
    3) A spare bedroom key: I’ve lost counts of the times they gave us only 1 key and me and my parents/relatives/friends/whoever I was vacationing with had to contend it like it was the One Ring for the whole vacation.
    4) Information leaflets: with advice regarding what to do, where to eat, the main attractions near the hotel, the excursions available… Again, I’ve lost count of the times I discovered there was something beautiful and unmissable to do/see, but I had to return home literally the next day… I’m still gobsmacked by that time, when I was much younger, when I went in a mountain hotel and discovered there was not only an internal pool, but a whole WATER SLIDE that went to the floor below in a maze of spins and turns… And it was not published on the site, nor anyone of the staff we talked too mentioned it… How do you not mention a WATER SLIDE in a mountain hotel??? It should be the main attraction for kids, lol.

    January 15, 2019
    • Most of these comments I agree with but I think me and you are opposites! I HATE when a hotel has super thick pillows, it hurts my neck! I like having just one super thin pillow and chuck any extras on the floor!
      Also I 100% of the time do my own research for places I go to, and actually start getting annoyed when the hotel starts pointing out things we should do – we once rocked up at a Belgian hotel gone midnight and they wanted to go over every single little thing to do whilst we were there – we went to bed sooo late! And I already had my agenda sorted with all those things in so I just didn’t have any interest at that moment in time 🙁

      March 10, 2019
  • Alice


    I’d say a kettle in the room is an essential for me. I have to make my own coffee!

    January 15, 2019
  • Smiled my way through this post. But how right you are and I think everyone will be in agreement with you.

    January 15, 2019
  • Justine


    In my experience most hotel rooms are equipped for a single male occupant, who is staying 1 single night, who arrives at bedtime and leaves at the crack of dawn !!! Women’s needs do just not enter the equation, and this applies to hotels at every level.

    January 16, 2019
  • The lack of sensibly placed power sockets has long been one of my biggest frustrations about hotels. Weirdly, the few I’ve stayed in that did it well were actually low cost hostel type affairs – often the worst ones for it are the luxury hotels! The other things that drives me nuts is the lighting. Why do 90% of hotel rooms (in the UK at least, I don’t seem to have this problem on holiday) seem to be almost completely lacking in natural light? It’s all nice and cosy in the evening but when you’re trying to do your face in the morning or, god forbid, get an OOTD shot you’re screwed!

    January 16, 2019
  • Marianne


    I was reading this while “at work” or “working”, and then, of course, my first thought was: Why would we want to have “PowerPoints (TM)” while being on vacation? Boggles my mind, why would we?
    And then the truth arises: I am not multitasking properly.
    On a happier note, I usually try to stay at any new-ish Marriott (the Residence Inn versions have all that you are talking in this article, including USB points with every outlet, skirt -and nice dress hangers)

    January 16, 2019
  • Jean Thilmany


    My biggest ask that is never met: reading lights over the bed and lightbulbs in general that are more than 40 watt. Do people never read in bed?

    January 23, 2019
  • I actually wrote a post like this recently! Whilst I’m not fussed about hangers, irons or super powerful hairdryers (I am literally so grateful for the cheapest, crappiest one because it saves me a lot of stress!) I am TOTALLY with you on the full length mirror one – you can buy mirrors for less than £20 and it really makes all the difference for when getting ready in the morning/getting ready for a night out. I also hate when the ONLY mirror is in the bathroom. I usually have super quick showers but my husband has to turn showers up to the hottest setting and is in there FOREEVVER so by the time I’ve done my hair and need to do my makeup, the bathroom mirror is steamed up and I can’t see anything!

    March 10, 2019