We've all been there: checked into a decent hotel, settled into a very nice room – only to be let down by a sub-standard bathroom.
And these days that standard is continually being raised as hotels invest more effort, and money, into their bathrooms.
From brand name amenities and heated mirrors through to TV screens and mood lighting, it's as if hotel operators have only just realised that their bathrooms have the power to make or break a stay.
Here's my quick pick of five traits which make a truly great hotel bathroom.
1. Separate bath and shower
This one tops the list in my book. All too frequently, hotels install a rather fiddly mechanism to switch water flow between the bath tap and the shower head in a single space, which often just doesn’t work.
If you’ve arrived after travelling from the other side of the world, entering battle to just keep the ‘shub’ working isn’t a great welcome to the hotel or country – particularly if the bath is narrow, slippery and the shower curtain isn’t giving you much room to move.
And even if your morning habit is to take a shower, why not avail yourself of the chance to relax one evening with a long soak in a hot bath?
2. Quality amenities and somewhere to store them
I’ll often bring my own backup amenities to a hotel in fear of the ‘conditioning shampoo’, which usually leaves your hair feeling straw-like and begging for a proper conditioning.
Quality shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap should all be deemed essentials, while shaving kits, mouthwash and bath salts don’t go astray.
Adequate space around the basin, bath and shower to store these shouldn’t be overlooked – a lone soap shelf in the shower just doesn’t cut it these days.
3. Adequate, adjustable lighting
The lighting needs of hotel guests vary throughout the day – in the mornings, a bright light suitable for shaving is always appreciated, while a dimmer switch or other mood lighting is great for those long soaks in the tub.
Motion-activated lights in the bathroom – while a good idea in theory – can be counterintuitive.
If you’re having a relaxing bath, sudden darkness requiring you to get up and wave your arm around every 15 minutes isn’t exactly conducive to a tranquil experience.
4. Heated mirrors
After a warm shower, using your already-wet towel to clear a space on the foggy mirror isn’t ideal…
Fortunately, many upscale hotels now feature heated mirrors in the bathrooms – particularly great when the mirror is a distance beyond the sink.
It should go without saying, but privacy in a bathroom is by far the biggest requirement.
While glass panes between the bedroom and bathroom are fine for suites with just one bed, they’re not appropriate when sharing the room with colleagues, friends or family and requesting twin beds.
If glass panes or windows for the bathroom are a core element of the room’s design, electric ‘smart glass’ – where hotel guests can activate a switch and the panes change from transparent to opaque – should be a minimum.
What makes a stellar hotel bathroom in your books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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