By Hope S. Philbrick hotel inspection
From the day we launched Getaways for Grownups, we’ve consistently featured hotels and resorts. We will continue to do so: We know that wherever you go and for whatever reason you’re going there, accommodations can set the mood for the whole trip.
While we’ve always highlighted essentials and adults-oriented amenities, we are introducing a 21 Point Inspection for all types of overnight accommodations featured in our “Hotels & Resorts” section. This will help our reviewers target consistent details and help you pinpoint things that may be important to you when choosing where to stay.
We’ll continue to highlight positive aspects of each featured spot (if we don’t think grownups would enjoy a place, we don’t write about it). Of course, different people like different things—I like walking into a hotel bathroom and discovering it has a big bathtub; my husband is more impressed by a spacious shower—so there’s no one “right” answer. We just aim to help you choose accommodations that are right for you. hotel inspection
Here are our 21 Points and the sorts of questions we’ll be looking to answer.
1. Adults Only? Odds of Encountering Children?—As always, places that are strictly for adults will earn our 21 Plus Salute top honors. For all others, we’ll offer our honest evaluation about the odds of encountering children.
2. Parking?—Is parking free? Valet only?
3. Clean?—Can we breathe easy? Are we brushing away bedbugs or little black hairs?
4. Space?—Is there a convenient spot to stash a suitcase? Is there sufficient space to put all the miscellaneous stuff we lugged here?
5. Kitchen(ette)?—Can we chill a bottle of wine? Microwave leftovers?
6. Coffee/Tea?—Can we sip the sweet nectar of our addiction with ease?
7. Glassware? Ice?—Are glasses provided and, if so, paper, plastic, or glass? Some of us are germaphobes, some of us really want to hear ice cubes tinkling.
8. Tub/Shower?—Is there a bathtub, shower, or both? What style is the showerhead? Rainshower, hand-held, hose, or what spouts the water? Does it spray out enough water with sufficient pressure to efficiently drench even long hair?
9. Temperature?—Is it possible to adjust the room temperature to suit personal preferences? Is the HVAC system loud?
10. Linens/Mattress? (sheets, towels, pillows)—Are enough linens provided and are they in decent condition? Is the bed actually comfortable?
11. Hooks?—Sure, we can reuse towels to help conserve water and minimize pollution, sounds good. But are there actually enough hooks and towel bars available to hang those towels to dry between each use? Can we also hang a toiletry bag? Robe? Wet swimming suit?
12. Hair Dryer?—Is it filthy and packed into a cloth bag, located in plain view, hidden away, or nonexistent? Does it function properly or suck hair into itself and catch fire?
13. Window Treatments?—Can we darken the room if we want to?
14. Seating?—Is the bed the only place to sit? Is there enough seating for two adults? Can we chat with friends in the room without the situation feeling awkward because the only place to sit is on the bed?
15. Work-Friendly?—Does the hotel offer free Wi-fi? Does the room have a desk? If not, can a work surface be provided?
16. Outlets?—Is there an easy-to-find and -reach plug to recharge a phone next to the bed? Is there a plug near the desk to conveniently recharge a laptop?
17. Pet-Friendly?—Can we bring our furry friend?
18. Service?—How friendly and helpful are staff members? Is a concierge on site? If something goes wrong are employees empowered to fix the situation?
19. Pool/Hut Tub?—Is a swimming pool and/or hot tub available? Are adults-only hours offered?
20. On-Site Amenities? Can we stick to our exercise routine at a fitness center? Can we print out a boarding pass at a business center? How far do we have to go to find food? Does the hotel have a spa? Bikes that are free for guests to use? What’s here to make this place convenient, accommodating, special?
21. Accessibility?—If our guestroom is located upstairs, is an elevator available?
Because individual definitions of “affordable” and “expensive” vary, and because hotel rates fluctuate routinely, cost is not one of our inspection points. We will note rates and point out hidden fees to the extent possible, but we recommend verifying rates at accommodations prior to booking a stay.
Are we missing an inspection point you consider essential? Let us know!