Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Does Your Hotel Play "Hide The Hair Dryer"?

USA Today: LONDON - When I checked into the affordable Hoxton Hotel in London's trendy East End Saturday, it was the first hotel here that didn't force me to play the dreaded "Find the hair dryer" game.

It's a game I truly hate playing since it wastes precious minutes that I simply do not have when on the road.

The Hoxton - which the owners of London's ubiquitous Pret a Manger sandwich shop chain opened in 2006 - cleverly deals with the no-space-for-hair-dryer issue by building it into a custom, hotel-necessities drawer.

The drawer is located in the guest room's can't-miss desk, which also contains the ever-so-important power outlets, TV and coffee pot. But to ensure it gets a look, housekeepers leave the drawer open in not-yet-occupied rooms so guests are forced to see the contents before closing it. Note: All but three of the hotel's rooms are identical, so this is most likely what you'll see if you stay here. In my experience, ultra-hip boutique hotels do the best job of hiding the hair dryer to keep up their minimalist design and sometimes due to a more practical reason: No space, especially in Manhattan. The chains - whether Marriott, Hilton or others - don't always do any better.

My experience at the InterContinental at Park Lane earlier this week was flawless - except for the three or four minutes wasted searching for the hair dryer on my first day. The bathroom was large, but I couldn't find it. Finally, I gave up and dialed the front desk for help...

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