Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Evolution of Hotel Amenities

Hotel Chatter: Every year's end we round up the best and the worst of the year that was, including the Must-Have Amenity, whatever hot item that hotels were killing themselves to place in their guestrooms.

Here's a quick rundown of the past must-have hotel amenities from the past couple of years:

2006 was the flat-screen TV, 2007 was the iPod docking station, 2008 was high-tech recreational toys, 2009 was the plug panels and 2010 was the iPad.

But have you ever wondered about the must-have amenities of years long gone by? The Washington Post has that covered in a recent article about the evolution of hotel amenities:
Joseph A. McInerney, president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel and Lodging Association...can offer a ticktock of the milestones: After color TV came the TV-plus-remote, then the clock radio. In the 1960s, shampoo became a must. Lotions, mouthwash and more followed. The 1970s saw the introduction of sewing kits, shoe mitts and shoe horns. In the early 1990s, coffeemakers appeared in the room. At the end of the century, irons and ironing boards became de rigueur.
Nowadays, thanks to the recession, hotels have started to do without some of these bathroom perks like lotions, sewing kits and even little bottles of shampoo and conditioner (instead they use dispensers on the bathroom wall.)

But at least they aren't taking away our gadgets. iPads, flat-screens and plug panels continue to be crucial to hotel stays. Now if only we could get them to add free WiFi as a milestone amenity.

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