Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A tale of two hotels - power to the guests

I should preface this by saying I actually enjoyed staying at the Langham in Auckland, the service was excellent and the hotel itself is very comfortable. I would consider staying there again.

Two hotels I have recently stayed at were the Langham in Auckland and the St Kilda Parkview in Melbourne.

In the Langham, there were no free power sockets! Not one! The small number available had hotel appliances such as lights plugged into them. To plug in my PC I had to grovel under the desk and unplug a light. There was nothing to charge my phone unless I unplugged my laptop.

Are they catering to the time travel trade where guests turn up from 1975?

In contrast, the Parkview (which actually feels older) has a power multi-board mounted above the desk. OK, it's ugly - but it gives me four power sockets right where I need them. I can plug in my phone, laptop, iPad (I wish) and still have one over. There is a spare socket right beside the wardrobe where the ironing board is (in the Langham it was almost impossible to plug in the iron).

I'm with Tim Taylor, there's no such thing as too much power, and if I were picky, I'd also like a spare socket by the bed so I could have my phone there instead of on the other side of the room, but that's minor.

The Langham is an extreme example of how bad things can be for the business traveller, but a lack of sockets is not that uncommon. We all complain about it but no-one does anything.

Well, that's going to change. From now on, I promise to fill in a feedback form every time I have to grovel under a desk or make a choice about which appliance to plug in.

If the people that design the rooms don't understand how they are used, we should educate them!

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