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16 Things Hotels Should Have—But Don’t

Staying in a hotel should feel like an escape—after all, we are paying for a bed to always be made, an abundance of clean towels, free cable TV, and maybe even a nice piece of chocolate on our pillows at bedtime. Here are 16 things hotels should have but too often don't.

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A room service menu that doesn't price gauge its guests

A stack of buttermilk pancakes should never cost $20 and anyway, what are we getting for that 18 percent service charge separate from the extra gratuity earned by the person actually doing the work to make the delivery? Every full-service hotel should have a room service menu that doesn't price gauge its guests and ideally would offer marvelous food for their vegetarian visitors, like the heavenly Impossible Tacos at the Gaylord Rockies. Here are 15 things you should never do in your hotel room, including ordering overpriced room service.

Vinyl player with plates on a wooden table. Entertainment 70s. Listen to music. Top view.Vladimir Sukhachev/Shutterstock

Turntables and vinyl records

If every hotel can afford to populate their rooms with a small Bluetooth speaker/phone charger/alarm clock combination device, then a suitcase-style retro turntable with a few vinyl LPs shouldn't be too much to ask. If a property wants to invite guests in with a welcoming, warm in-room atmosphere, there's hardly a better way to achieve this than a turntable, just ask those lucky travelers who have stayed at one of the eight Lyric Suites around the country which supply guests with a premium Denon turntable and speaker system along with a curated stack of records from bands who call that city home. The Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky Montana also places such audio entertainment in their cabins and the result is a vacation that immediately sounds and feels more relaxing and at Austin's Hotel Van Zandt, you'll find a Symbol vinyl record player in the Presidential Suite. Peek inside 16 of the most luxurious presidential suites around the world.

Keep calm and ride on. Businessman cycling against office buiding, going to workProstock-studio/Shutterstock


More hotels should be like the Hotel Galvez & Spa in Galveston, Texas in offering their guests complimentary use of bicycles (and bike locks) during their stay. Bikes are not only a fantastic way to explore a destination, but they also leave no carbon footprint and provide a bit of exercise too. That's a win all around! Using bicycles while traveling helps keep the Earth clean but here are things hotels aren't cleaning as well as they should!

Charging electric car on a city parking lot the future of mobilityHerr Loeffler/Shutterstock

EV chargers

More and more electric vehicles are hitting the motorways, so it makes perfect sense that every hotel should offer some EV charges station parking spots to their guests. Hotels should offer EV chargers but hotels should never be spying on you in your room.

Photo frame on wall - coffee picture(3d rendering)baitong333/Shutterstock

Original artwork

This might seem frivolous, but art can heal, energize, reinvigorate, initiate reflective thoughts, and bring peace of mind. When staying in a hotel, especially if traveling solo and battling the loneliness of life on the road, original artwork like the pieces inside every room at NoMad Las Vegas that have been curated by Paris-based design studio be-poles, are capable of subtly shifting a trip from good to great. Amenities are regulated to top-tier properties; these are some of the best value hotels in America.

Woman working on digital tablet computer at nightleungchopan/Shutterstock

Bedtime stories

Doug French, co-founder of the Dad 2.0 Summit, spends a lot of time in hotels both for personal travel and scouting locations for future Dad 2.0 conferences, and he has a problem shutting his mind down for a good night's sleep. French suggests that one thing hotels should have is, "A bedside device with a Spotify Premium and/or Audible subscription, allowing guests like me to queue up a story or podcast to help us drift off into dreamland." For children, this kind of bedtime story service exists at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island in the form of a pirate, a parrot, cookies and milk, and an evening tale that will provide not only a good night's sleep for tiny tots but also family memories to last a lifetime. The next best thing to bedtime stories for kids happens at Legoland Florida Hotel, where an after-dinner dance party will exhaust your tiniest travel mates making falling asleep not a problem at all. These are 15 more of the coolest kid-friendly hotels around the world.

Unmade bed with shades of sunlight through the curtain in morning.PJjaruwan/Shutterstock

Smart blinds

Though we love those blackout curtains that many hotels feature, the lack of sunlight can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Now, some hotels, including the Encore Boston Harbor, have voice-controlled Alexa-enabled smart drapes and sheers. "It was amazing to simply ask Alexa to crack open the drapes to let in a bit of natural light without even setting a foot on the ground," says Anne L. Fritz, a Reader's Digest editor. "It made for a nice, easy wake-up." These 17 tips will help you sleep better while on vacation.

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