When hotel high-tech goes bad

Hotels are slowly entering the new millennium, and are investing in new amenities. In addition to better toiletries, most new and renovated hotels are adding (HD) flat panel TV’s, smart thermostats and better water management.

There is however one major flaw with some of these technologies – hotels are installing technology they don’t have any experience with, and some of the technology appearing in the room becomes more of a burden than a blessing. Here are three examples of technology being added to hotel rooms, that simply does not work.
The double flat panel TV curse
Lets assume you find yourself checking into a decent hotel – one that recently replaced all their old CRT TV’s with some nice flat panel models. The hotel even went so far as to install not one, but two TV’s in the suite – which is perfect if you are planning to let someone sleep in the sofa bed, or if you want some TV when you are working at the desk.

There is however one major flaw with this – in 4 different hotels I recently spent the night, each flat panel TV used the same remote control code. The result of this is that anything you do on one TV, also happens on the other.

Ready to go to bed at night? You’ll turn off the TV in one room, and the TV in the other room will turn on. Change the channel on one TV? It’ll change on the other TV as well. Some hotels make this curse even worse by installing a mirror next to the TV’s, making it much easier for the remote control to reach the other TV.

Of course, this does not happen when you have completely separated rooms, but since most suites are only divided by a small wall, you’ll understand how annoying this can be.

The solution for hotels is to find a way to set different codes on each TV, but you’d expect them to have figured this out before they invested in all these nice new TV’s.

Going green means getting warm

I’m not the most “green” person in the world – and one of the first things I’ll do when I enter my hotel room is dial the thermostat down to a comfortable 70 degrees.

In more and more hotels, I’m being forced to become green thanks to motion detection thermostats. These “smart” devices think they know when a guest is no longer in the room, and will disable the AC when it decides the room is empty.

Of course, this also means these stupid boxes think I am gone, when I am fast asleep.

I’ve regularly woken up in the middle of the night several times finding the room at an uncomfortable 78 degrees, all because a piece of equipment thought I was gone.

Thankfully a quick wave in front of the sensor reminds it that I’m still there, and that I’d like a bit of cool air.

The scrubbing shower jet

Thermostatic shower controls are great. These controls keep your shower water at a constant temperature, which prevents being showered with freezing cold water when your hotel room neighbor takes a shower at the same time.

They also have the unfortunate side effect of not controlling the water pressure.

On old double tap controls, you could dial the pressure up or down a little, but had little control over the final temperature.

With these new controls, you run the risk of getting the perfect temperature, but having so much water pressure, that you could use the jet to pressure wash your car.

Things are not too bad in the morning, when everyone else in the hotel is taking a shower, but if you arrive in the afternoon in need of a shower, then you could be the only one using all that water. It’s time like that when a bath is the best option.