THE 'AHs' AND 'OOHs' IN THE BATHROOM AND OTHER UNSPEAKABLE THINGS BY THE DESIGNER CROWD.
We are an industry that likes to create AHs and OOs in all areas of our operations but this problem is an almost untouchable subject, but not here.
The desire to please is one quality that permeates our industry. Someone coined the phrase "exceeding your expectations" and that was well coined. We all wake up in the morning with the hope of another day when we might exceed the expectations of our guests. Creating that one 'touch', that one small uplifting experience when that experience is taken beyond where the visitor expected it to be.
And "beyond where he expected it to be" was also in the mind of the designer or the industrial engineer who crafted many of the pieces of the furniture in today's hotel bathrooms.
There are two critical parts to a toilet which must be well designed and work for and on behalf of two bodily functions, actually three if you count Spring Break. They consist of the seat, the receptacle and the flush action. All must respond to the needs demanded by these functions since 100% of our guests make use of these facilities since the dawn of mankind and the hotel industry. Where do the designers go wrong?
- The seat. Men and women are made differently. You did not have to read this blog to learn that. There are seats for the male body and seats for the female body. The hotel seat can not choose one of these designs. Co-ed seats in a hotel are a must.
- The receptacle. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the landing area must have some relationship to the launch area. It also makes some sense that the landing area should probably display sufficient square inches of water to allow for marginal anatomical differences.
- The flush. I understand the need to save water. I also understand that the world turns and so does the water in the toilet. Engineers however either have to speed up the pace of the world turning or figure out how to increase the flush efficiency ratio. Because 2 or 3 flushes does not help at all.
The important deliverables here are the ability to wash hands and faces, shave and nothing else that I am aware of, unless you count filling the coffee machine, or washing socks. The two critical components are the taps and the plug, or more elegantly re-named the faucets and the sink stopper in the 1900's.Where do the designers go wrong?
- The Spout. The spouts are chosen for their beauty not their function. Huge spouts that appear to leap across the sink like 'gargoyles'. The result is one's inability to get access for the face to a sinkfull of water. The extended sink spout literally divides the sink into two smaller parts neither of which is large enough for an adult's face. They are OK for drying socks!
- The Plug. The sink stopper is perhaps the single most inefficient part of every single hotel in the world. The seriousness of the 'trickle effect' has a direct relationship to the scarceness of water in that country ie. desert kingdoms have sink stoppers that in fact hasten the exit of water from a full sink and require a 'shavee' to keep the water running perpetually.
Initially designed to reduce the amount of wasted water used in a bath, the shower has evolved from its namesake outside where a short burst of gentle rain at the right temperature was deemed perfect and then evolved to something that resembles a carwash, but I digress. Here we cleanse everything from hair to toes where the important parts are the shower head, a soap & shampoo dish, the drain and the amount of free space. Where do the designers go wrong?
- The Taps. The control valves are in the shower area so that temperature adjustment by the 'showeree' starts in a jetstream of cold water, or scalding hot water.
- Showerheads, if not already mounted permanently at chest level, they are mounted on a sliding rod with no remaining possibility of fixing it higher than the navel. Experienced 'showereees' hold the showerhead between the knees while soaping. This method has been around for years .............and never worked.
- Soap & Shampoo dishes, where they exist, are designed for things other than soap and shampoo. Neither remain as one would want.
- Space. Showers in baths with shower curtains that inspired Saran Wrap are not showers or tubs. New hotels still build these monstrocities. I call them 'shubs'.
The tub as it was known was very good in the old days because there was more time to fill it, more time to enjoy it and this was before Blackberrys were invented. A place to dream and relax, far from the chaos outside and a spot to submerge everything, even the two thumbs needed for the Blackberry. The critical functions, waterpressure to fill it quickly, the size and shape and perhaps some candlelight, music or a view.
- Most tubs are made for small guests and therefore one is unable to submerge chest and knees simultaneously. Therefore a bath at 105 degrees in an airconditioned room results in either cold knees or a cold chest or both.
- Faucets do not make good headrests.
- Bathplugs do not make good seats.
- The view from the tub is guaranteed to uncover shortcomings from the construction phase of the hotel, regardless of the hotel's age or Star level.
I am not sure about this item. As a Brit, I find that there is nothing left to focus on after I have been through the other items in the bathroom but someone came up with another way of washing something and they must have had an awful time because they called it a a B-Day. The French disguised the name but the Americans then connected that to the financial crisis as a B Debt. Our 3 year old son who grew up living in hotels used it as a drinking water fountain.
- The Tap. There have been several attempts at determining where the water should be launched from. These have oscillated from the area of the plug in a vertical stream upwards, preferred by my son, to a jet stream that is diagonally projected........towards the sink area, and is finally more appropriately aimed downwards from the faucets. Obviously the designers have not yet figured out either what the bidets are really for. However, the industrial designers had other plans.
The designers tossed the basic functions to the wind...............oh that reminds me of another item.
THE EXTRACTOR FAN
There are three versions but most good one ones resemble a helicopter in both sound and power and the really good ones have an On and Off switch.
- The on/off switch. Most electricians do not leave us an option. If you are in the bathroom, the air around you should be removed. I am unsure whether the interior designer had a say in this decision. The guest generally does not.
- The sound. A spouse who needs to use the facilities in the night without disturbing their mate needs to remember the location of the bathroom furniture the evening before so that all functions can be performed in the darkness and without the sound of that dreaded helicopter.
All of this to say that a Five Star bathroom's basic functions must eventually be identical to those of a Two Star bathroom because our anatomy has not changed substantially since we stood up. How many more centuries are we going to allow the manufacturers to re-invent the industrial design of these pieces? This must stop!!
These people are getting it so wrong, I almost think they are the same gang that are designing the hotel radios/alarm clocks so that no-one can figure them out.......but that's for another day.
Do not contact the email@example.com for anything to do with this rant!