They say traveling together will either bring you closer together or destroy your relationship, and the latest hotel design movement is certainly putting that concept to the test.
According to The Guardian, open-plan bathrooms are a growing trend in luxury hotels. Instead of hiding in a separate room, showers, baths and even toilets are now being placed right inside the bedroom. Occasionally, you’ll find walls separating the wet areas from the bedroom — although see-through glass does little to shield you from the eyes of your travel companion.A few hotels that have embraced this concept include the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel and the Ecclestone Square Hotel in London (though at least here you can flip a switch to turn the glass walls opaque).
While some couples might get a kick out of the less-than-private baths or showers, the placement of the toilet leaves a lot to be desired. After all, no matter how close you are with your partner, do you really want to be in on each other’s bowel movements? And what exactly do you do if you’re traveling with a relative, friend or business partner?
Making matters worse is the fact that some of these open-plan bathrooms are not just “open” to your roommate, but also to the public. At The Standard Hotel in New York, one suite features a floor-to-ceiling glass wall in the bathroom that faces out onto the street. And yes, people are watching. One hotel specialist told The Guardian that while staying at a different hotel in New York with a glass wall that faced the outside, she “could see a guy standing in a building looking at me having a shower.” Creepy or what?
Would you stay in a hotel with an open plan bathroom?
Humans aren’t the only ones that need to clean up. As we see in today’s shot by Flickr user ladyexpat, even elephants like to have a scrub now and then. It’s a great candid shot of not just the elephants in action, but also the handlers, as they casually chat while standing on the animals’ backs.
Taken any great elephant photos during your own travels? Or any other animal for that matter? Why not add it to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.
With two rounds in the books, only the biggest, most annoying and burdensome hotel pet peeves remain in our Hotel Madness tournament. The second round featured some of the tournament’s closest contests and featured one impressive upset. Resort fees squeaked by One-ply toilet paper by a mere 23 votes while the #7 seed Bad water pressure dumped cold water on Bad front desk service’s title hopes. We’re inching closer to crowning our champion and learning just which hotel nuisance bothers you the most.
Our two Final Four match-ups are listed below. As always, vote for the ones that bother you the most. The two winners will advance to the championship round to battle it out for Hotel Madness glory ignominy. Be sure to vote in both polls and check back to see who wins.
#1 No free Wi-Fi vs. #4 Resort Fees
Our number one seed continued its dominating run in the second round. No one seems to want to pay for internet access. However, it has yet to face an opponent that also attacks our wallets. That run ends now. The #4 seed Resort fees was far from impressive in the second round but continued to show that hotel guests don’t like added fees, especially when those fees are so ambiguous. So, is it worse to pay for internet access or for whatever the heck resort fees cover?
#3 Expensive parking vs. #7 Bad water pressure
Showing just how much people detest paying extra for anything while traveling, our #3 seed coasted into the Final Four. Since many trips simply require a car, guests seem to resent being forced to pay for parking. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise of the second round was #7 Bad water pressure simply annihilating the #2 seed Bad front desk service. Clearly, people value their showers. Whether you’re on a beach vacation or need to look good for business meetings, you need your shower to be on top of its game. Well, which grinds your gears more?
Final Four voting ends at 11:59EDT on Wednesday, March 30.
We launched our Hotel Madness tournament on Monday and the entire first round is now live. If you don’t know what Hotel Madness is or you just need a refresher, check out our introductory post. First round voting is open until 11:59pm EDT this Sunday, March 20. Be sure to vote in each and every match-up listed below. Simply choose the hotel pet peeves that bother you the most. The winners will advance to the second round, which you’ll be able to vote on next week.
Make your voices heard. Vote, leave comments and let us know what you hate most about hotels.
This intriguing Hotel Madness contest is a battle of bathroom bothers. The #7 seed Bad water pressure tries to drown #10 seed Small towels. Whether you’ve spent your day at the beach or need to clean up before a full day of business meetings, bad water pressure can make your shower useless and leave you a smelly mess. On the flip side, getting out of the shower only to discover that your towels are smaller than a handkerchief is a problem that leaves you wet and shivering.
Read the full bios for each of this peeves below. Then be sure to vote for the one that makes you the maddest! The winner advances to the second round.
(7) Bad Water Pressure
Waking up in hotel rooms can be confusing. You’re not 100% sure of where you are and the comfort of your morning routine has been disrupted. Surely a shower will help you shake the cobwebs out of your head. Not so fast. Your hotel comes equipped with a moderate trickle of water with which to wash off the memories of last night’s corporate team building karaoke or the smell of livestock that has permeated every pour of your body since you hitched a ride in that horse trailer. Hope you don’t get any soap in your eyes.
(10) Small Towels
You’ve stepped out of your quasi-refreshing shower and need to towel off quickly because the default setting on all hotel thermostats is “Arctic.” Before your skin freezes solid, you wrap a towel around your…thigh. You’d like to get it around your entire torso, but, quite frankly, you have napkins larger than this back home. You double-check to make sure that you didn’t grab one of the hand towels or washcloths. Nope, this is the bath towel. You sneak a peak of yourself in the mirror. Sure, you ate a lot at the dinner last night but you’re no fatter than you were when you left home. It’s just a small towel that kind of feels like sandpaper.
So, which bathroom bother gets your blood boiling? Vote now!
First round voting ends at 11:59EDT on Sunday, March 20.