The Most Poorly Designed Hotel Room I’ve Ever Stayed In

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

I spent last night at the Hilton Providence. After spending the week in Newport with Ford and his family, I was scheduled on the 7:15PM American Airlines flight out of Providence. My connection flight was canceled, and there was nothing else out of Providence the same night.

So I was stuck in Providence for the night, and ended up canceling my ticket on American and booking myself on an airline that actually prides themselves on their operational performance. Ford offered to pick me up and have me stay in Newport, which is about 45 minutes away. However, given that my flight was before 6AM, I decided to just get a hotel in Providence.

All the airport hotels were booked out, so eventually I ended up booking the Hilton Providence. There were no Hyatt or Starwood options, and everything else was roughly in the same price range, so I figured I might as well stay at a Hilton, since I’m a Diamond member with them.

I booked a queen room, and that’s exactly what I got. I’m not complaining about the lack of an upgrade since I booked last minute, but my mind is blown at the design of this room.



Notice anything missing?

That’s right — there’s no desk! Yes, the no desk thing is a craze at some hotels, because some morons in charge of hotel design apparently think millennials don’t want desks. That’s garbage, and seems to be increasingly common at Marriott properties.

This room takes it a step further — there’s not even a flat surface you can use while sitting in the chair. Usually when hotel rooms don’t have desks, at least they still give you a small movable table you can use for your laptop, to eat, etc. For example, the Marriott Charlotte City Center is on #TeamNoDesk, but at least they give you a table you can functionally use while sitting down.


That’s not even the case in this room. Suffice to say I’ve had more comfortable seating for a room service dinner.


Upon investigating further it seems like only the queen rooms in this hotel don’t have desks, while the others do. In theory I could see the hotel selling the queen room at a discount as a non-premium room, but the truly bizarre part is that the king rooms (with desks) and the queen rooms (without desks) are the same cost.


The thing is, the room is actually a decent size, and there would be plenty of room for a desk, or at a minimum, room for a proper table that could be used in conjunction with the chair. The way it stands now I’m just sort of left confused.

I’m not sure what’s worse — that someone thought up this idea to begin with, or that no one vetoed it? This is simply next level asinine.

Have you ever stayed in a hotel without any sort of a desk or table?

  1. Madness! Perhaps they can add desks to the room service menu.
    “I’d like my burger with a side of desk”

  2. I think it was a Hilton in Spokane, WA. Me and my friend had booked a double queen at last minute. Oh there was a table, but no chairs on sight! Anyways I was too tired to even bother about complaining.

  3. Ugh, so frustrating! I guess I fall into the millennial category, too, and absolutely value a desk. Working from bed just does not…work, and I’ve gotten some of my best work done at hotels at a desk.

    Also, screw the above insensitive commenters. Mic drop.

  4. The lack of furnishings in this room reminds me of Motel 6. Just add sweaty trucker smell and you’re there.

  5. As I work in Providence, you probably picked the worst hotel in the city. It used to be a crappy Holiday Inn before it was a Hilton. There are a lot better options like the Omni, Renaissance, and even the Hampton Inn is better in the city.

    There was Waterfire last night which an award winning event and very popular when it’s out on. That is why all the good hotels were booked as they are right around where Waterfire takes place.

  6. Such a first world problem.
    What would you do if you had to go day to day wondering if you can get food or have a roof over your head?

    Someone please tell me this was troll bait because I want to shoot myself for wasting 1 minute of my life reading what I thought was going to be a letigimate article.

  8. Lea, Sorry, I have to agree with Lucky. For the cost of this room, you should have a place to put your knees under to work or have a snack. And that chair is far too bulky to move around. It’s basics. Reminds me of the hotel bathrooms with no place to hang towels. Who designs these places???

  9. The Hilton at the MSP airport doesn’t have desks either. Instead, they have a really heavy round table with a chair. However, the room that I stayed in last week, only had a sectional sofa, round table, and a chase lounge, no chair. Terrible for work.

  10. @Damien If that was the case, he probably wouldn’t be writing a blog about traveling in luxury using points and miles. If you’re not concerned about first world problems, then maybe you’re reading the wrong blog. That’s like someone going to and complaining about an article because it’s sports related.

  11. I completely understand this issue. Working form a desk and having things to toss in another place is something of a requirement for most travelers who work. I don’t think people understand that it really does become fussy without a stable/comfortable place to put your laptop down.

  12. Many of these comments are among the very worst I’ve ever seen on this blog, and I’ve been a reader for years.

    First, there’s the comment about how the pictures are misleading because they do show that there’s a desk. Well, no they they aren’t and no they don’t. Why would someone even post such a stupid comment?

    And then there are the comments about how Ben whines about first-world problems such as a room with (the horror!) no desk. Listen, people, if you’re in the business of reviewing premium cabin flights and higher-end chain hotels — which is what this blog does — commenting about something like no desk is part of your job. In fact, it is your job.

    The actual merits here then become almost beside the point. I mean, really, why doesn’t it occur to people that there might be some folks out there who actually care about whether there’s a desk or a table? You know, a place to eat or work?

    So, to repeat, this is just about the worst set of comments I’ve ever seen on this blog. Congratulations.

  13. I havent met anyone of any age group that thinks no desk is a good idea. And yet more and more hotels are going this way. Its not a sign of hotels responding to what their customers want. Its a way to make no desks the new normal…and then charge you more for a room with a desk.

  14. i agree with tom … such mean comments. if you want to read about third world problems go follow another blog.

  15. DO you notice anything missing? It’s your relevance to anything. To complain about about not having a desk when you just staying overnight is ridiculous and is another mark on the whiny, bitchy, spoiled pricks we all call millenials. Do us all a huge favor and don’t write anything online..ever.

  16. To the commenters who think that a professional travel critic ought not be so critical:


  17. Ok, ok,ok, so Mike’s comment is the stupidest of them all. “Staying overnight,” as Mike puts it, is what people do in hotels! There isn’t anything else.

    Catering to people “staying overnight” is what hotels mainly do. Other stuff, such as hosting everything from conventions to honeymooners, is secondary.

    My post above, about how these are just about the worst set of comments I’ve ever seen on this blog stands. Reconfirmed, in fact.

  18. Lucky you should have flown out of Logan non-stop and driven. PVD hotels are weak, there was a Westin before that was recently deflagged.

  19. @ Josh G — In theory it would have been a good idea, but flights out of Boston were significantly more expensive, and I had almost no shot of an upgrade out of there.

  20. @ Mike — I think you’re confused about how the internet works. Everyone can write whatever they’d like on the internet. What’s truly puzzling is that you take the time to read AND comment on something you find so bad.

  21. Like Ben and I suppose the majority of his followers I too work while I’m in my hotel room. And I too am concerned that this seems to be a growing trend at many so called “business” properties. Perhaps Ben can use his connections in the marketing departments from some of the big chain hotels to get an explanation on why this is a continuing trend in the industry.

  22. @Tom — if you think these are bad, you should definitely not/not read the thread(s) on the EY Residence Kickstarter funding try/idea. It got ugly and then uglier.

    Removing the desks is ridiculous — maybe they assume no one is traveling with laptops anymore and just smartphones and tablets??

  23. At the other end of the spectrum—-some of the recently-redesigned IHG properties include a massive desk area/countertop space in the room (which I love, because with mutliple suitcases, it seems like there’s never much space to put a bag anywhere). I haven’t seen it as much in the US as in the South Pacific IHG properties, but maybe the trend is headed our way.

  24. You are a whiny stuck up piece of shit brat that don’t appreciate nothing set on the damn floor if you have to quit being a bitch people like you make me sick the way you act I thought it was some woman bitching but actually it was a man grow a pair you got people that’s homeless and going hungry and you’re complaining about a fucking table you’re so fucking ignorant that’s why people like you make me sick and people that follow you r egnor and you’re going to get mad about what I said but it’s called freedom of speech that’s what’s wrong with this world now too damn scared to say anything and your parents probably gave you a ribbon for just getting out of the bed oh yeah and you’re the perfect example when parents say timeout instead of beating that ass if you don’t like the hotels sleep in your damn car and quit complaining girl I mean boy okay I’m done now thank you for reading it dumbass

  25. @Tim about the whiny bitch. True that 😀 Hahaha, taking pictures of menus is one thing, but this is a post that defies all sanity lol. Maybe the author needs a reality check, no disgrace in that.

  26. Lucky
    I have to say that overall in my 23 years of hotel experiences…the Hilton properties inside the USA are a downgrade and lackluster compared to the overseas Hilton. This is just a broad opinion, Hilton seems more prompt and aggressive with keeping the properties outside the USA up to snuff and modern.

  27. I too believe that there is a conspiracy here regarding hotels eliminating furnishings such as desk, office type leather chairs that go with the desk etc. Since 90% of my travel is business related, I too require these furnishings in the room because I carry a laptop. Its my belief that the reduction of these items is solely based from corporate decisions due to the fact that the new trend for business travelers / executives is that they no longer carry or use a laptop for business or pleasure these days….it’s all about the tablet and you can pretty much work it from any position in the hotel room without having to have a desk. Since most of the hotel corporate executives probably are all tablet junkies, they feel everyone else should be too. A desk is wasted space as far they are concerned and the pillow is the way to go. If this is the reason for the desk elimination, I feel they may be puthing the cart just a little bit too soon before the horse. In turn pissing off a lot of old school laptop heads… I’m sure one day laptops will be all but obsolete and all hotels rooms will be a 10 x 10 box one chair, a tv, toilet and a community shower down the hall if that’s the way they want to go, but for now I will still be wanting my desk with the hotel logo writing pad, a things to do while in town brochure, bible in the drawer and all the other little goodies we all have become accustom to..

  28. I am more than amused by all the comments you’ve gotten that are variations on: “It doesn’t matter that you paid $200 for a hotel room. You are an American (yuck) so STFU.” If these people think missing desks and chairs are not an issue, then clearly they never stay in hotels, so why war they reading you to begin with? Just for the credit card recommendations? Oy vey.

    I don’t know what is more ridiculous: the idea that companies should flush their loyal customers in order to appeal to millenials, or the idea that these idiots really believe millenials don’t like desks & chairs. One thing that is obvious, this company is being run by bean-counters, not career hoteliers,

  29. I stayed here in 2012. The room definitely had a desk. I even checked the photos I posted to Trip Advisor to confirm. My problem with this property was that, at least back then, half the hotel still allowed smoking, and even though my room was technically non-smoking, it right next to some smoking rooms and smelled terrible.

    It was also immediately after I stayed here that I started getting absolutely harassed by relentless Hilton Grand Vacations salespeople. I still hold it against the place, whether deserved or not.

  30. Providence is more of a big town than a city, rates for hotels spike during some (city events) I think your room for $200 isn’t bad for your time of stay.

  31. @ Joseph N

    I travel more than most, I like luckys blog for his experiences traveling etc. but saying “Most Poorly Designed Hotel Room I’ve Ever Stayed In” for no desk in a vanilla Hilton in ghetto Prov RI is a bit much, what I’m saying is it’s a shitty hotel in a shitty city, for a couple hundred during a summer event it’s fine. Lastly I think the room looked ok

  32. I agree desk is important for work and dining! However we don’t know the motivations behind removing the desks in the hotel rooms! More space? Save money? Anyone working at hotels could explain this?

  33. These are the most entertaining comments I’ve seen for a while. I’m firmly on Team Lucky here. All the haters here remind me of that group of moms in the 80’s who tried to get Married with Children taken off the air because they personally didn’t like it and didn’t want their children to see it. Just change the the channel for crying out loud. There’s space on the internet for everyone.

  34. @lucky: I have a 3 page list of insulting responses you are free to use . Just ask.
    The response to @Mike would have been:

    “What is peculiar is that even though this may not affect you, you feel this bizarre narcissistic, borderline psychotic, compulsion to tell others about your not having that experience.”

    It may not fit precisely, but it’s enough of an insult that it shows you don’t exist to please your commenters.

  35. What a cry baby. You want everyone to kiss your butt, they won’t.

    It’s your world and we get to live in it right? Go pound sand.

  36. @Tom—-how many people do you think this post helped? How many out there are planning on staying at this particular hotel in this town? I’d like a single person to speak up.
    People follow this blog with the expectation that most of the posts would be relevant to a majority of the people. Redeeming miles for Europe, staying at well-known properties in large cities where one might want to stay, etc.
    Complaining about the lack of a desk at a non-popular hotel in a random city doesn’t help anyone.

  37. What on earth are these people so very angry about? If you don’t care about a topic, don’t read the post, but please, a little courtesy!

    On the subject, I agree that a desk is very much a necessity – not just for a laptop or for eating as mentioned, but as a woman who does not care to dry her hair in a steamy bathroom standing up, I always set up my blow dryer on one side of the desk (laptop on the other). So hotel design teams please take note – you are failing multiple categories of travelers with this silly idea.

  38. Can you not moderate comments so that comments from jealous losers won’t be published?

    It is annoying to read this negativity. Clearly, there are many people envious of you and your lifestyle so they will bash you no matter what (probably Trump supporters too). Most of us sane, well adjusted people, come here to read precisely things such as poorly designed hotel rooms. If that woukd be of no interest, why would we visit a luxury travel blog?

    Please do steongly consider not publishing the idiotic, venomous comments.

  39. @Smarter than you: I’d bet that the last thing you are is smarter than @Lucky. I’m guessing that his income and net worth are substantially higher than yours as well. One thing is certain – he’s more literate than you and your diatribe of run on sentences. Feel free to google diatribe.

    I have a personal rule against getting involved in flame wars, but I’m making an exception. As others have said, Lucky runs a travel blog and does it very successfully. As other posters have pointed out, reviewers are expected to point out the good and the bad. Many of us find the lack of a desk bad. So we appreciate his concern. Yes, it’s a first world concern on a blog about first world issues.

    Go read a blog at your intellectual level and let the rest of us enjoy Lucky’s work.

  40. I think having a desk or a decent sized table to work on should be basic in terms of hotel rooms. I’ve stayed on a Best Western or even a Travel Lodge and even they had a decent working space.

  41. The last three times I stayed at a hotel, I used the desk a *lot* for my laptop and work, and on two of those times, I only stayed at the hotel for one night. I would *not* like to stay at any hotel without a desk, regardless of length of stay.

    While I may not have current plans to stay at this precise hotel, it’s good information to consider when staying at any Hilton — or any hotel, for that matter. Knowing that desks are being eliminated in some cases is important to know, and verifying that there’s a desk might get added to my usual travel to-do list.

    (And lastly, I’m really amused by all the negative comments – what a lot of energy to spend on something you find unimportant.)

  42. Ben (and or anyone who might have experience),

    As a Diamond level member, could you a room change from the queen to the king (with desk) at no penalty (particularly given that the prices were the same)? (Providing they had availability of course).

    I realise that in this case, Ben’s circumstance (early flight, jet lag, etc.) might have meant it was more trouble than it was worth. But just as a point of better understanding status, treatment, and charges/penalties, etc. I’d like to inquire.

  43. Agree with Lucky a Hotel without a writing desk is akin to a fish without a bicycle.I travel a lot is Europe and SE Asia and even the cheapest $20 a night semi doss houses have some sort of facility.Holiday Inn express (UK)Travel Inn and Premier all top notch although personal favourites tends to be Brussels Sheraton and Amsterdam Hiltons. Big leather,stainless steel with polished wood or glass top with FREE high speed LAN/Wi -Fi internet …thats civilisation for the modern traveller…

  44. As always I’m impressed how Lucky ignores the idiotic trolls who probably have never had the opportunity to travel very much, and who think because they are bitter or jealous it is just fine to slag off at Lucky for his informative, helpful, and often valuable reviews.

  45. @AD – what you said!! Wish I’d said it first.

    The venom some people spew amazes me – and the energy it takes is just not worth it. It’s a blog on upmarket travel. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  46. a hotel room without a desk?? that’s unacceptable, that’s insulting, that’s discriminating! I would sue them! Desk lives matter!

  47. Hardly the “most poorly designed hotel in the world.” I don’t really understand why such hotels have no desks – although in my experience I am rarely working in the hotel room. For business, I expect to be at an office and for leisure, I am out all day and typically at the hotel lounge or cafe for work.

  48. Ben! You woke the trolls again!
    Ever notice that they never say anything worth posting?
    Free speech is an amusing concept!

  49. I’m firmly on Team Lucky also… don’t know why those people even bother reading the blog or commenting either one. But I do agree that the headline could have been better. With your many hotel stays, I expected it to be really bad and hear multiple examples of things like the bed up against the wall with no good view of the tv, etc, etc. My favorite is when you have to jump around to weird corners of the bathroom just to get the door to shut.

  50. I’m with Lucky. I traveled for business for 8 years and did a lot of work in hotels. I’m a teacher now with an online business and still want a desk when I travel. Re the 1st world comment- get over it. I teach many kids from 3rd world countries. We’re just fortunate that we live in America.

  51. Stayed at Hiltons recently . One room : beds for four but one chair . The other : bed for two people but , only one chair ( and the refrigerator was missing also ) They are being cheaper with the furniture obviously . If you travel enough , you begin to desire and expect certain items for your money . If you stay in hotels frequently you grow weary of shabby treatment . If you stayed at a $12 a night hotel and complained about the furniture people here would be rightfully incredulous . Hiltons however present themselves as a much better experience and charge as much as better hotels .
    As for the criticism , do you believe anything better than a dome tent and a bedroll is extravagance ?
    Maybe Lucky should write about the better cities for sleeping in parks and doorways . Come on !

  52. Oh my, at first when I read the hate and vitriol I thought I was on a political website. @smarter that you Your one long, run on, unpunctuated, grammatically inferior rant makes me want to tell you to please calm down and find another page more to your liking (perhaps a Trump love-fest site?) before you have a stroke. As to the actual topic here: I can’t imagine what they were thinking to remove desks. Even if you’re not working, people often use a desk to eat, jot a note, plan an itinerary, etc. I agree that someone probably came up with the bright idea “Hey, let’s remove the desks and make them pay extra for them. A way to make MORE money!”

  53. The problem also exists the other way around.I stayed at the Hilton Universal City three weeks ago in an executive room on the top floor. The room was huge, had a nice desk and a proper table for in-room dining, but only an office chair. Where is my partner supposed to sit, as it was a room for two. The was not sofa, no armchair or anything. When I called reception they suggested on the bed. Hello?! A dining table with no chairs.
    Not booking that Hilton again.

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