Must-Have Amenities
October 13th, 2009

I love hotels. I may be one of the few people that says that. I also love airports as long as I don’t have a twelve hour layover or am sleeping on the floor because I’ve missed my connection.

Being in the travel industry, I’m constantly taking in what my hotels and airports have to offer, noting unique features and details to share with my readers. Here’s another (not so) secret about me – I am easily amused by seemingly unimportant things and love novelties or items that make me feel special. This inspired me to share some of my favorite features with you all and learn about some of yours!

Airport:

Free wifi – I can’t say this enough. Whether I want to check my facebook account, investigate some final tidbits about the destination I’m headed to, catch up on my news or check my email I love the ability to pass the time in the airport on my computer, especially when it’s free!

Cell phone waiting lots – This is not for me at the airport, but for the person picking me up – or when I have to return the favor. Seattle’s Seatac airport has this and I believe several others do as well. They don’t have to circle and I don’t have to wait for them too!

A real bookstore: This means not the multipurpose store that has the ten latest trashy romance novels (sorry to fans of that genre). Once again I use Seatac as an example – it has a Borders the size of the one in my local mall. I got great reading material for the plane!

Good Signage: Tokyo’s Narita might be the king of this. When I deplaned for my transfer to my flight to Seoul, there were signs with instructions for each individual connection, where to go and people to help make the passport check and transfer process easier.

Restaurants and shops on both sides of security – It’s great for those waiting to pick up loved ones if there are places to shop and eat outside of security. On the flip side, ever get through security (to make sure you have plenty of time) only to realize that there is just a pretzel stand or coffee shop and you have a 6 hour flight ahead of you that charges $7 for a snack box? Not fun!

Hotels:

A big, fancy bathroom – Yes, if a hotel has upscale bathroom amenities, duel shower head, whirlpool tubs, heated towel racks and bathrobes and slippers I’m pretty much sold on it. I also like my bathroom to have a scale – another bizarre preference of mine.

Free bottle of water and snacks – I don’t mean the whole mini bar has to be free, but something nice to welcome you to the room is nice. Chocolate at turn down is also desirable.

Fitness Center and Spa – I like to both keep fit and enjoy a little pampering when away, or at least have the option too. I especially like a free 24-hour fitness center.

A local area guide and map in the room – I’ve found that hotels seem to be cutting this out more and more these days. It’s a basic feature and gives the guest confidence about exploring the area.

Lots of outlets in the appropriate places – I kid you not that the other day I was in a hotel where the only outlet was under the desk. Great for my laptop, not so for drying my hair! I travel with lots that need to be plugged in (hair dryer is not actually one, but I do use the hotels) and so do the people I travel with. We may both need to charge our phones at the same time. Let us!

A nice coffee shop or cafe – I love to eat and I love breakfast, but I don’t need an all you can eat buffet for $30 per person. Give me a place to get some coffee and a bagel, scone or yogurt parfait and I’m happy.

I’m sure there are more and if I think of them, I’ll add them in the comments. For the time being, though, these are my thoughts, praises and rants. Your turn!

2 Responses to “Must-Have Amenities”

  1. Naturally, I am always interested in what airports how airports provide for people with disabilities. My favorite was the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe where a woman was wheeled out to the plane and the crew literally came out and carried her up the stairs into the plane.

    • maya says:

      This is a bit of an issue and definitely difficult in countries that do not have the same standards of accommodation for people with disabilities. Lifting a woman onto the plane is pretty remarkable, and I think it would take the friendliness and work ethic of a country like Zimbabwe (and yes, for those who haven’t been the Zimbabwe people are very friendly to visitors) to do something like this. On the flip side, I have watched security agents make a poor woman in a wheelchair get up (they had people lift her) so that they could check under her seat for anything “suspicious”. I understand the safety concern, but I felt bad. It amazes me that they now have a full service airline exclusively for pets and cannot have flights that are geared towards people with disabilities. I am investigating into which airports around the world are best suited for people with disabilities.

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