Over the years I’ve stayed at a wide range of hotels. Each time I’ve been female. As a result I can’t help but notice how some places get it right and some get it woefully wrong. There are simply some things that we ladies need when staying overnight.
It’s not just a matter of convenience or luxury. It’s evidence that hotels don’t value their female guests (and the money they wield) as much as the men. It’s as much a feminist issue as having enough toilets at sports venues. It means the world is built for only half the population.
For those getting it right, I thank you. For those trying to get it right, here is the Jenography list of what every female-friendly hotel needs:
1. Full-length mirror
Sometimes I need to monitor my feet without craning my neck. Other times I need to make sure the shoes I optimistically packed for my holiday or business trip actually go with the outfit I put in. In any case, a full-length mirror makes sense for hotel owners, as it saves wear and tear on the duvet from when I have to stand on it to see my lower half in the mirror that’s mounted on top of the chest of drawers.
2. A proper, fully-powered hairdryer
I don’t expect every hotel to have a hairdryer like the wind machine I paid up for at home. But I need an appliance that generates something more than a gentle breeze. As for those places that have a wall-mounted hose that looks salvaged from a vaccuum cleaner, we’ve gotten the message: only middle-aged balding men are welcome here.
3. A plug near a mirror for hairdryers and styling irons
I hate that morning circuit of running from the side table with the plug over to the mirror to check the results, back over the dryer, back to the mirror, repeat ad infinitum.
4. A decently lit mirror
To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, “You don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here. It is an up-at-dawn, freshening-up-after-dark, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok?” To save everyone from this horror, I need a well-lit mirror for proper makeup application. Help me. Help me help you.
5. Countertop space for face soap and moisturizer
Here’s where budget hotels always win hands down. They mount their basins in a smooth Formica prairie of countertop, adorned only with a bar of soap and a plastic shrinkwrapped cup. Meanwhile “cool” design hotels can be so in love with their waterfall tap or minimalist style that I have to schlep my face soap to and from the bathroom like I’m hitting the shower block at summer camp.
6. An iron in the room
I know housekeeping has one somewhere. It will take them 15 minutes to deliver it to the room. I only realised I needed one 5 minutes before I have to leave. Please help me continue to be a disorganised traveller.
7. Separate hair conditioner, not 2 in 1
Name one thing that is better when mixed with something else when one of those things isn’t vodka. Guys can use hand soap to clean their buzz cuts. I need something that moisturises the ends.
Because my hands are not nubby makeup removers.
9. Female-sized robes
Sometimes an oversized fluffy robe feels cozy to snuggle down in. Sometimes the cuffs dip into the sink or trip me up when walking. We want man-sized coziness in woman-sized proportions.
10. Front desk staff who don’t announce your room number
Lots of hotels have cottoned on to this safe practice already, opting to hand over a little envelope with the room number written inside. The chance of someone dodgy skulking around trying to discover women’s room numbers is slight, but the only weirdo I want coming into my room is the one I married.
11. The kind of bar or lounge you can read or work in
When I’m in a new town, especially if I arrive late at night, I often don’t fancy hitting the streets to scout out a place to eat, unwind, or get on the internet. It makes a hotel that much more appealing knowing there’s a space in the building where I can get out of my room but still comfortably hang out: Well-lit, with good internet connection, and herbal tea. Throw in some decent wine by the glass while you’re at it.
12. A little container where I can put my jewellery
I confess: this is a luxury rather than a necessity. But such a small item yields great pleasure. I can take off my jewellery (or at least the jewels that don’t go into the hotel safe) and place it in a beautiful small dish or a little leather tray where it is displayed like items from the windows of Tiffany. OK, now I’m just dreaming.
Are there things you absolutely need in your hotel room? Tell me what they are and let’s start a revolution, sisters!