I admit it. I judge hotel rooms by a few litmus test amenities. Just to be clear, I'm talking about five-star properties catering to guests with deep pockets. If that's not the market the hotel is targeting, then that's a different story: I adjust my expectations accordingly. Sometimes just clean sheets and proximity to the highway is plenty.
But posh hotels with lots of zeroes on the room price should pamper, and most of them do. That said, sometimes lots of square footage and a beautiful view can be offset by some missing goodies that I (along with a highly informal survey of my travel writer colleagues) think transform the guest experience from good to great -- particularly for guests who paid through the nose to stay there.
1. A high-end, in-room coffee maker. I love Nespresso, but there are other nice options. Whatever brand the hotel chooses, a hot water heater with packets of instant coffee should never make its way into a five-star hotel. Ugh.
2. An iPhone charger compatible with current phones. Most of us have moved beyond the iPhone 4, and so should the hotel.
3. A variety of outlets that work with U.S., European and Asian plugs. To be honest, I didn't even know this existed until I came across a hotel thus equipped a few years ago. Now I can't go back. Let's hear it for not having to pack multiple adapters.
4. Free Wi-Fi. Come on. If Holiday Inn Express can afford to offer it, so can you. And trust me, just because a hotel guest has plenty of disposable income doesn't mean he or she wants to dispose of it on something that's free elsewhere.
5. A bathtub. A really great one, and preferably separate from a walk-in shower. I know there are plenty of people who only shower, but for those of us who love a soaker tub full of bubbles, going more than a few days without one feels like deprivation.
Got must-haves of your own? I'd love to hear about it.