What Is It With Hotel Showers?

March 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

moden hotel bathroom

I stay in a lot of hotels. Business hotels in the main. I have stayed in some bad ones, and I have stayed in some good ones. Most are mediocre. You can sometimes be very favourably surprised by a boutique or privately managed hotel, and very disappointed by the standard of the main chains who ought to know better. But, what is it about hotel showers? Why is it so hard for hotels to provide their guests with a nice, clean, functioning, shower? shower

Water pressure. Why is it so hard to plumb a hotel room in such a way that it provides the guest with an adequate water pressure in their shower?  So often, I step into an enticing shower cubicle only to be disappointed with the amount of water that is emitted or not. There seems only to be two extremes. Either the water is jettisoned with a force akin to Niagara Falls – needles of water at a pressure that threatens to strip the very flesh from your bones. Or, there is a pitiful trickle. A case of shower incontinence. Barely enough to wet one’s whistle, let alone provide an invigorating rush of H2O with which to wash away the grime and invigorate the soul. Often the only way a wash is possible is to hold the shower head and run it up and down the bits of the body that you want to clean. You’d be better off with a damp flannel.

Temperature. Why is it so hard to provide water of a consistent and adequate temperature? It is either too hot or freezing cold. And, the temperature of the water in the wash basin taps is no guide to what you should expect from the shower.  Sometimes you get one which is OK. You might even be enjoying a relaxing soak and then it happens. The sudden burst of scalding water or an arctic blast. You are forced to run a temperature gauntlet as the shower blows hot or cold depending upon who else in the hotel is using their showers, filling their kettles or deciding to roll over to the left side of their bed. But, it does not matter how cold and refreshing your morning ablution might be, seconds in any hotel shower will result in the whole of the bathroom being steamed up. And so, you will be forced to spend the next ten minutes trying to de-steam the bathroom mirror using that pitiful under-powered hotel hairdryer that they have stuck on the wall.

steamyEase of use. Why do hotels make some showers so complicated? Some have more buttons and lights than a Japanese toilet – if you have used one you will know what I mean. You need a degree in engineering…..

Location.  Most hotel showers are poorly located. The shower head will be either too high – pity the poor lady who was trying to avoid getting her hair wet, or so low that it sprays no higher than your chest and you are required to kneel or perform yoga in order to wet the top half of the body. Except that is that you were likely to have got soaked even before setting foot in the shower –  often the tap or the temperature control is so badly located that you cannot switch the damn thing on without soaking your head or an arm stretching across. And, hotels always seem to locate the shower as far as possible away from a) the towels and b) those suspicious little tubes containing the shower gel and shampoo. So, whether you have finished your ablutions or having realised that you have forgotten to grab your gel you are forced to drip all over the bathroom floor. Not that it makes that much difference – if you have been in a cubicle then most of the water from the shower will have already made its way under the cubicle door. Hotels should provide wellies.

And, whatever you do, don’t look down. There is nothing more likely to put you in a bad mood in the morning than the sight of someone else’s pubic hair floating around your feet or blocking the plug hole. Nasty.  And, I find iot always helps not to check the shower curtain or non-slip mate too closely. They are often coated in something which you are better off not knowing about……

And, hotel showers are veritable death traps. If the legionnaires disease festering in the shower head does not get you then chances are you will slip and die. I know a number of friends and colleagues who have nearly come to an end in a hotel shower – especially those above the bath which require you to step into and out of a bath which is always at an awkward height – either too high or two low – or involves stepping onto a surface which has been polished to resemble the surface of the Cresta Run.

Oh come on, hoteliers, please. It can’t be that difficult can it…….


Entry filed under: middleman. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

A Touch Of Paradise! Argo

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jocackett  |  March 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Yes! Totally agree…it it is a rarity to find a fully functional and practical shower in these hotels. Most often you soak the whole bathroom because the curtain is non-existent or inadequate. Should be simple, right?!


  • 2. Middle Man  |  March 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment Jo. If anyone would know, I guess it would be a seasoned traveller such as yourself.



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