Everyone has slept in a hostel or hotel that’s got all the class of a hovel. There’s mould on the ceilings and musty smells on the pillows and a showerhead that looks as though it was purchased from Poundstretcher in 1987 – and this was supposed to be three-star accommodation.
This writer’s worst hotel experience was in a chain hotel in Glasgow. The building looked shabbier than a Depression-era Wall Street banker, a hangover from the 80s when architecture had become a means to an end.
And the room wasn’t much better. The showerhead in the bathroom was attached to the taps and provided you with a whimper of lukewarm water. By the time you were finished washing yourself, you became convinced you had pneumonia.
The tiny 14-inch television in the corner of the room barely had any signal, leaving this insomniac writer staring at a crackling image of BBC2 (the only channel that the cheap aerial could receive) and hoping that the congestion outside would quieten down on George Street on a Friday night (not likely).
When you’re staring at a crackling portable television and listening to your girlfriend snore louder than a foghorn (that probably can’t be blamed on the hotel, to be honest), you begin to wonder what you’d want from the perfect hotel room.
Beating the pong
For a start, you want a decent smell. How many hotel rooms have you entered that smell distinctly like someone else’s feet, as though it was last washed in the late 70s? Even fairly nice hotels suffer the problem of pongs left by former guests.
The savvy hotel manager should employ industrial air freshener in their premises to help cleaners combat overbearing smells and disgusting scents. The best of these air fresheners can neutralise carbon particles and create a more hygienic room.
A beautiful bed
Beyond pongy smells, the bed itself is usually the worst part of a poorly hotel. Its springs are sharper than a set of Stanley knives, the quilt is thinner than tissue paper and the mattress protector is made of plastic. It simply won’t do.
If you’re a hotel owner, ensure all beds are of the same quality you’d have at home. We’d recommend Mattress Man, which features a great selection of the best beds specially designed for hotels.
After these basics are covered, the rest is a question of interior décor. Does the room welcome you in or repel you with garish colours? Is there enough room to stretch your legs or are you more cramped than a passenger on a Ryanair flight? Does it have a personality of its own or is it as faceless as a blank balloon?
Maybe the perfect hotel room is a dream, a figment that every customer will continue to chase. But when profits are at stake, it should be a dream that every hotel owner is trying to make a reality.