Five star blindspot

5 star hotels happily boast about the wonderful “amenities”, “facilities” and most of all, “luxury” on their “property”. The writing on different hotel websites is near-identical. This suggests that the hotel staff member in charge of approving the copy is either too busy or incompetent to read it, or is unable to be creative.

Luxury, decadence, indulge, expansive, superior, splendour and more, are all used. See this page. Plundering his or her thesaurus, the copywriter has not only used “truly” twice, but also plumped for the hotel being “quintessentially” Peninsula. Which is quintessentially ridiculous.

This, however, is not the point here. That was a mere digression, made solely in order to enact a personal catharsis. The point is that top hotels take much pride in their design, as well as comfort and service. There are, of course, many hotels out there which claim to be 5 star yet fail to deliver on the expected standards. But there are also many hotels which do delight and amaze, making it a place which is difficult to leave, and makes it sad to have to depart from such a nice environment and return home.

However – and we now arrive at the point – almost all of them make the same mistake. They put the room controls in a difficult-to-reach location.

A gauntlet for the short-sighted of us

As in the photo, if you need to quickly close the blinds to get naked/changed, if you want to adjust any of the light settings and such, you are forced to climb onto the bedside table and get your eyes within an inch of the miniscule instructions. If you want to lower the shade or sheer blind anything other than fully open or fully closed, you need to stand, hunchbacked and squinting for 15 or 20 seconds, waiting to press the button again, to stop it at your desired level. I agree that in writing this may seem like a minor annoyance, especially in a world in which some need to walk for water.

But when in such a hotel room, one wonders why on Earth there is always the same oversight by hotel designers and managers, who have otherwise worked so hard for guest satisfaction.

So to hotel designers: place room controls at normal light-switch height, and make the writing well-defined, sizeable and easy to read.


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Categories: Travel


Foreigner in Shanghai


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