Five Things Every Hotel Should Have

Between business travel and vacations I’ve stayed at a variety of hotels, from the very fancy to the very basic. No matter what the price tag, I find it’s the little things that can make or break my experience. Here are five things I think every hotel should have.

Things Every Hotel Should Have
1. Free WiFi. Between needing to keep up with work and wanting to keep up with blogging, internet access is a must, and free high-speed WiFi is always appreciated.

Thunderbird Hotel

Our hotel at the Grand Canyon may have been “no-frills”
but at least it had free WiFi
–which I didn’t use because I kept my promise to myself.

If I’m travelling for work I’ll pay for WiFi, but no matter who’s paying the bill a hotel that advertises free WiFi shouldn’t make it tricky to log on without being charged.

2. Free water. I’ve gotten used to hotels trying to charge $4 or $6 for a bottle of water, so I’m pleasantly surprised whenever there’s a free bottle of water in my room. Since I can’t count on that, I usually re-fill my own water bottle in the hotel gym (if there is one) or at least pay a slightly less outrageous price for water at the hotel gift shop (if there is one).

Copenhagen Water Bottle

I had to look up the exchange rate
to figure out how much this water cost in Copenhagen.

And of course a Starbucks in the lobby is always nice! 😉

3. A decent gym. I have found hotel gyms vary widely, and the nicest hotels may not have the nicest gyms. I’ve worked out in huge, well-equipped spaces, and I’ve taken one look at the “fitness room” and decided to go for a walk instead. A sturdy treadmill, a full set of free weights, and good ventilation are really all I need.

Fulls racks of free weights–I prefer the dumbbell style to the plate style

4. Idiot-proof controls. Have you ever been in a hotel room and not been able to figure out how to turn on the lights? It happened to me in London. To ensure that guests don’t leave the lights on, you had to insert your room key into a slot before the lights would work. In another hotel you could control everything (lights, curtains, music, TV) via iPad. While the idea was cool, the execution was annoying–who wants to wake up an iPad and scroll through to the right menu just to turn the lights off?

I liked the control panel on the left much better!

5. Counter space in the bathroom.Is this so hard to figure out? I need a place to put my toiletries but some hotels have pedestal sinks with only a small shelf, which means I end up knocking things onto the floor. And am I the only one who is tired of playing “where’d they hide the hairdryer”? Once it was on the top shelf of the closet!

Yes to ample counter space, but I could do without the scale!

Can you figure out something hotels try to not to have?

Hotel Elevator

I thought my room on the 14th floor might really be on the 13th floor, but with the lobby, mezzanine level and ballroom level, I think I was really on the 17th floor, right?

What do you think every hotel should have?

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14 Responses to Five Things Every Hotel Should Have

  1. GiGi Eats says:


    There was a hotel in Taiwan that had controls for LIGHTS on the TELEPHONE!! THUS I had NO IDEA how to turn them off… And I had to sleep with the lights on! BAH HA HA AH AHA HA! Needless to say, I did not give that hotel the best rating on YELP! Oh and I hate that hotel gyms have HOURS, um… What if we have an early departure time yet still want to get a work out in, opening at 8am is UNACCEPTABLE!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…I Want Labels… Do You?My Profile

    • Coco says:

      OMG! I would have tried to unscrew the lightbulbs …. I encountered gyms that open at 8:00am in Europe. If you are going that late, you must be on vacation, but then why bother with the gym? Just go outside!
      Coco recently posted…Ticked Off TravelerMy Profile

  2. When I was in Italy, we had the hardest time at first figuring out the silly lights – it was the same thing with the key. I love working out at a hotel. I’ve been pretty lucky with finding good workout rooms while on the road.
    carrie@familyfitnessfood recently posted…August Ultimate Coffee DateMy Profile

  3. Amy says:

    I agree with all the things you said. Good list.
    Amy recently posted…Looking forward … Amy’s road to Ironman Florida 2015My Profile

  4. Great list. Agree with this. Staying in a hotel should be simple and have what you need. Not only free, but actually GOOD wifi too, that stays connected and actually moves above a crawl, haha.
    John @ run. geek. run(disney) recently posted…Five Justifying Running Tips | #FridayFiveMy Profile

  5. A microwave & fridge! I always ask for them. I like to travel with food. And it’s nice to reheat leftovers rather than having them thrown out.

    I’m so with you on the bathroom.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Friday Food Porn #6: Home made Cereal!My Profile

  6. I would also add hair dryers that work and early morning coffee bars that are open. 🙂
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…5 Things You Should Never Do Before A RaceMy Profile

  7. Chaitali says:

    Agree with all of these! The expensive wifi or overly complicated wifi really annoys me. And I’ve been in some really poorly ventilated hotel gyms. That made the experience especially bad.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday 5 – Running Tips for new runnersMy Profile

  8. Liz says:

    Totally agree on all of these things.. Kinda weird that there was a scale in your room! I’ve never seen that…
    Liz recently posted…Friday FiveMy Profile

  9. Farrah says:

    Totallyyyy agreed on all of these! 😀 (+ gyms that are 24/7 would be lovely. >_> )
    Farrah recently posted…Day in the Life: Family MedicineMy Profile

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