How Can Hotels Get Showers So Wrong?

Filed Under: Hotels, Humor

“For an otherwise nice room, this is really a C- shower experience. Maybe even a D.”

Ben and I checked into a for-now-undisclosed hotel late last night after our super awesome Aeroflot flight. And the hotel itself is lovely, but man the shower could use some help.

Now, some of the best showers of my life (and probably yours) have been in airport lounges (holla DFW Terminal A Admirals Club!). Not only are they really appreciated, but for the most part they nail the basics. It’s a shower. It can be no-frills and still be well-executed.

Yet somehow hotels can completely miss the mark with their showers. Either due to poor design, deferred maintenance, or whatever else, even luxury hotels can have mediocre shower setups.

In the interest of entertainment science, I’ve put together a comprehensive and definitive rating system for hotel showers. And by definitive, of course, I mean “something I came up with a few minutes ago during a desperately needed yet somewhat disappointing post-long-travel-day shower.”

So it’s super legit.


Let me explain more about each category.


This is critical, so I weighted this category. No one wants to feel like they need to shower after their shower.

Maintenance / general repair

Does the shower drain? Are the fixtures well-attached? How is the grout and tile looking? Is the enamel peeling off the pan/tub? Will the soap ledge collapse if I set my shampoo bottle on it?

These are important questions.

Water pressure

I don’t know that I’d necessarily mark a shower down if the pressure was too aggressive (though I remember feeling like I’d been sandblasted whenever I’d use the firehose-esque shower at Ben’s old apartment in Bellevue), but a weak stream is always a disappointment.

Pressure should also be consistent, as blast-drizzle-blast isn’t super enjoyable either.

Water temperature

Hot water is important, of course, but so is consistency of temperature.

Some older buildings have temperature fluctuations, and there’s not always much that can be done about old plumbing, but there’s no excuse in new construction. A surprise scalding isn’t fun.

Shower controls

These should be (relatively) intuitive, and easily managed. It shouldn’t take five minutes to negotiate the right ratios of hot and cold water from different spigots, or a mechanical engineering degree to get water to the shower head.

Beyond that, one should be able to do all that manipulation without having to get in the shower, or should at least not have to get drenched in cold water while figuring out the controls.

Just try to set the temperature here without getting wet

Adjustable or double shower heads

This might just be my personal rant against rainforest shower heads, but the ideal shower setup allows for flexibility.

I don’t always want to get my hair or face wet when showering, so being able to angle a shower head is nice. A separate wand works in the case of “fancier” showers too.

This is a beautiful shower, but you’re committed

Water containment

Does the bathroom flood while I’m showering?

I don’t really care whether there’s a curtain, door, ledge, creative angle, or whatever else. I just want the remainder of the bathroom to stay relatively dry.

Has the person who designed this ever showered anywhere?

Ambient temperature / steam abatement

While the water containment situation might be resolved by creative angles, what does that mean for the overall experience?

A shower that’s overly-exposed to the air can be hard to keep warm (or it can be shockingly cold when you turn off the hot water), and a lack of doors or curtains can make the bathroom itself so steamy as to be unusable for several minutes after showering.

Fun, perhaps, but not super practical 

Basic bath amenities

This should be a “gimme” category, but I’ve stayed at enough hotels that randomly didn’t offer washcloths, or enough towels for the registered guests, or more than one bar of soap that I think it’s worth including.

Whatever gets the job done

Extra credit

There are also a couple of things that are minor, but can make a big difference to the overall shower experience, so they each get a half point, potentially.

Separate tub

This obviously isn’t always practical, and we’re talking about showers here, not bathrooms overall. It’s always nice when the tub is separated from the shower though.

Separate tubs are also pretty

Upgraded amenities

Little things can make a difference, which is where the nicer amenities come into play. I wouldn’t score a shower down for not having shower gel, but it’s certainly appreciated.

Taken to extremes at the Parker Palm Springs

Back to that C-/D shower…

Given all that, how does the shower at my present hotel measure up?


I guess the letter grade depends on your rubric. All I know is that there is water everywhere.

You might not be able to see the standing water, but trust me

How would you rate hotel showers? Anything I missed? And any hotels that knock it out of the park?

  1. a pet peeve is shower amenities – shampoo / body wash / conditioner – with lettering so small you cannot read the label without your glasses in the morning. SINGAPORE MARRIOTT TANG PLAZA gets this so right: huge lettering on soft packets in multiple languages that are easily read…. as opposed to Hilton, who seem to have bought their toiletries bulk by the truckload back in the 70’s when we all still had our eyesight…. Worth a whole article just to discuss this…

  2. Absolutely brilliant article. I was nodding my head the entire time.

    And yes, holla at the Dallas Admirals Club, but for a real experience try the locker room shower at the Park Hyatt New York. It has ELEVEN (11) shower heads!

  3. Any shower that doesn’t have a simple thermostatic control is marked down in my book. Separate hot and cold, and non-thermostatic mixers are unacceptable, even in old properties.

    But I like rain shower heads, whereas clearly you don’t.

  4. Agree completely. My experience at the Conrad Seoul in South Korea: beautiful hotel, great rooms, with spectacular bathroom and shower but one fatal flaw, a glass shower door without a rubber strip at the bottom or depression of the shower floor, so that every shower resulted in a flood across the entire bathroom. Calls to maintenance suggesting there was a piece missing resulted in nothing, perhaps because of language difficulties. Takes the pleasure out of a nice shower when you have to wade across the bathroom the rest of the morning.

  5. I *love* that you wrote this column. Right now I’m staying at a Kimpton hotel with the most complicated shower controls imaginable, and I was just complaining about it 10 minutes ago. The controls are so complicated that there’s even a door-hanger with instructions on the shower door (so, at least it has a door). No shower should require a door-hanger with instructions. None. Ever.

    Also, because of the poor design, not only do you need to get wet from above when you’re adjusting the temperature, but it’s also easy to get wet from in front because of jets mounted to the wall.

  6. I still remember the shower in my junior suite at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond 7 years ago —

    “The room was a nice size, separate living room with fireplace, a desk, couch, and flat screen television. The bedroom had another fireplace and flat screen TV. But the best part of the room was the bathroom – separate toilet room, dual sinks, flat screen TV above the tub, and a double-sized shower room with three shower heads (one on each of two opposite walls and one overhead). Toileteries were Molton Brown and they had two complimentary bottles of water in the room.”

    Shower ROOM with 3 separately controllable shower heads. There was SPACE. I think the size of the shower needs to factor into the rating scale somehow.

    One of the most beautiful bathrooms I ever had was in my overwater bungalow at Bora Bora Nui, of course there was glass to look down at the fish from inside your tub. It’s been over a decade, so forgive me if I’m mistaken, but I think you could open the glass and FEED the fish from in the tub.

  7. So many hotels seem to go for style over function. Conrad St James has a lovely shower, but it is level with the rest of the bathroom floor and water ultimately leaks out.

    My favorite setup has been the Hilton Tokyo in the executive level rooms. Shower and bathtub in a separate shared area with no leak issues. Great temp/pressure/cleanliness. Overall bathroom size is a bit tight, but the shower is legit. Would give it a 9/10 on your scale with the minus due to steam abatement. The Japanese do bathrooms right.

  8. That all seems fair enough to me. My big issue is the black surface mold that seems to live in most hotel showers. I think that ends up coming down to lack of housekeeping attention to detail and poor design. It might look pretty when it’s brand new, but creating something that’s easy for the housekeepers to keep clean for the longhaul is something that I doubt many designers pay much attention to.

    And I am also with you on the shower gel thing. I don’t even mind at all if it’s a dispenser on the wall instead of those wasteful little bottles.

  9. Nice list, Tiffany 🙂

    Coming from a Nordic country, I really find most American showers frustrating because the shower head is either fixed or barely moves. It’s really easy to wash your feet for example if you can direct or move the shower head right at your feet. I find this to be a necessity and all showers without this functionality receive a bad grade from me even if everything else is ok.

  10. I’d like to throw in a little gripe about perfumed, or overly perfumed amenities. I have smelling the the costmetics floor of a departments store after I’ve used a hotel’s products.

    Doesn’t need to be unscented, but keep it simple, light, and neutral, please.

  11. A pet pieve in a hotel I’m currently staying is the placement of the handicap support bar. It’s likes they said “I wonder how we can damage the most elbows??”

  12. Your forgot one item:

    5 pts: SIZE OF SHOWER. In London, I find that even pretty expensive hotels have TINY showers (and sometimes it’s a problem elsewhere). You can barely move without bumping into a wall or the faucet handle, and there’s no way to direct the water away from you while you soap up.

    Interestingly enough, it was in London where I discovered the Best Bathroom Feature Ever: HEATED MIRRORS! So you can steam the bathroom up as much as you want, and the mirror will always be clear. Delightful! I’m so thrilled with this idea I’m considering installing one in my own bathroom at home, if I can figure out how to do it.

  13. God, yes. My biggest pet peeve is the lack of water containment. Combined with insufficient towels, this means a lake on the floor to step over/around. Also, if you’re one of those green people who wants to re-hang your towel for later use, you can’t because it needs to go on the floor.

    One of my worst hotel shower experiences was a weird temperature control “bar” where you turn the ends for hot/cold. The hot side got so hot that I burned my leg when I accidentally brushed against it – major points off for injury. I’ve seen that design in a couple of European Hiltons and I always stay far away from it now.

    And the greatest feature, to my mind, is the bathroom mirror with the steam-proof square. Saw that all over Japan. It’s the bees knees.

  14. A couple other points to ponder about hotel showers:

    – shower head fixed too low (I’m tall, but not giant tall. I should be able to wash my hair without squatting)
    – tub height that is quite elevated. (Again, I’m tall and shouldn’t need a step ladder to get in or out especially when it is inevitably slippery)
    – why does the shower curtain stick to me? Have they never heard of the curved shower rod if in an older property?

  15. I’ve never understood why so few bathrooms in hotels have ventilation. It’s required in residential bathrooms, why not hotels? A simple bathroom vent removes moisture and smells and makes a HUGE difference!

    Aside from that, I stay in some of the nicest hotels around the world and almost every single time I end up with a flooded bathroom because the shower doesn’t keep the water in. I just don’t understand how no one ever envisioned this when they designed these bathrooms!

  16. Just stayed at the new Hyatt residence club in Maui. Beautiful and expensive condos. In the shower there was rain shower and removable shower head. Beautiful tile. But no place to put soap or shampoo. Nothing. Had to sit it in the floor!!!!! Would have been nice if they had a bench to sit on. It was sure big enough

  17. There is nothing more disgusting than the combo of a bath tub and shower with a plastic curtain that tubs in your body while you are showering and a molded rubber mat inside the tub. To add to the nasty experience you have a tub drain that does not match the flow of water and fills up the tub with dirty soap water. Seriously, rooms with a tub should be an option if you have a child but I would never give them a tub bath in a hotel room. I always used the shower and not the tub for my kids on hotels.

  18. 1. Men with no or short hair surely must design the bathrooms with only rainforest showerheads. I’m looking at you Hyatt Vancouver.

    2. Having to put my ‘supplies’ on the floor b/C there is no shelf space in shower is just plain wrong.

    3. Bonus points if the floors are heated. The Nordic countries get this one right most of the time.

  19. I’ve never had a bad shower at a St Regis. They’ve always been amazing. The Conrad in Dubai and the Rosewood in Abu Dhabi also nail the shower experience.

  20. Hotels try to be cutting-edge with their shower design in an attempt to keep from becoming outdated anytime soon. However, when you’re on the cutting-edge, there is an increased risk of making mistakes.

  21. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to open the body wash bottle at the Madinat Jumeirah al-Qasr in Dubai.

  22. I’ve also noticed that in Japan, no matter how crappy or fancy the hotel, the bathroom seems to be in a self-contained “pod” within the room. The fancier hotels try harder at masking the fact that you’re essentially in a RV bathroom that’s sitting inside your room. Not sure what the zoning rules are that dictate this construction style.

  23. My regular annoyance is when the shower door isn’t far enough off the floor to pass over the bath mat and you’re left with the mat a couple feet away from the shower entrance. Seen this in China mostly.

  24. – Even at 2 points I would weight cleanliness higher on my own personal scale. If you miss there and get everything else right, the shower still sucks.
    – Really not into the international Hiltons (most of them!) that give you that gross orange shower gel but not a bar of soap for the shower. Give me a bar of soap! Any bar of soap will do!

  25. @Brian Kusler. Agree that the open, exposed bathroom is horrible, especially the toilet. I share a lot of things with BF but toilet time is not anything I find remotely acceptable.

    @Tiffany. As for the showers, I don’t like rain shower heads. I have long, thick hair and I want to be able to rinse it without spending a half hour under a garden sprinkler. Just give me a conventional shower with good hot water and decent water pressure. Of course, other things like cleanliness and water containment are right up high on the list.

  26. Yes! Yes! Yes! Why do hotels not get this?!? When water hits a body, it splashes off again. Water containment is essential!

  27. Oh this is one of my travel pet peeves. I have also personally established an international shower rating system, and have frequently joked that I am going to set up a blog that reviews only showers (I wonder if “one shower at a time” is an available domain.).

    One factor you didn’t mention is ease of ingress/egress. This is particularly an issue with tub shower combos in those areas of the world where they seem to need a three inch or more step up into the tub. Add slipperiness, odd glass placement and other weird designs– and sometimes it seems like you need to be a gymnast to get in and out

    Then there is the question of whether you can turn the shower on and set the correct temp withou getting soaked with either freezing or steaming water.

    Oh I could go on and on

  28. I agree, water pressure is absolutely critical! I will plan hotel stays based on water pressure! Also I have found at some hotels that the water pressure varys by room. I can’t believe also with some blog reviewers and general consumers that they don’t mention the water pressure when reviewing a hotel.

    I agree on the other points, but water pressure is exceedingly important.

  29. Couldn’t agree more, I’ve been to so many hotels around the world that just don’t seal the bottom of the shower door properly. Seems that I now just assume that the main bathroom area will have water running all over the place now because they assume a small plastic shield will prevent water from running under the door… nope.

  30. @ snic (and @ Gary) — I was going to include size, but was conflicted. I’ve had great showers at the Sheraton CDG, for example, which basically has capsule showers, but they get everything else perfect. Maybe it can be an extra credit category?

  31. @ Curt — Oh, I hate that too! Not sure whether that or a 3″ gap that lets all the water out is worse though, hmm…

  32. @ Donna — Totally, and I’ll be there’s a direct correlation between hair thickness and opinions on rain shower heads!

  33. @ Elteetrav — Oooh, good point! The Sheraton in Catania nearly killed me every time I showered there due to that exact combo.

  34. How about those STUPID half doors on the tubs instead of a curtain. I seen them mostly in Europe!!! Useless!! They never contain any water. The floor becomes a watery mess. I suppose they save money??

  35. @Santastico, how the mat looks like does not matter, since we are all wearing shoes when showering, don’t we? I mean bathing shoes or whatever the correct English term is. But I agree with you that the curtain may be bothersome when it is difficult to avoid contact.

    Tiffany, I agree with most of your points. Though I don’t mind rainshower heads. I always shower my complete body including face, hair, etc. But for those who like flexibility they are indeed not very practical.
    But isn’t it a contradiction to list “basic bath amenities” under essentials and then “shower gel” under extras? How do you shower without shower gel? Just wetting the body and done?
    This is something I don’t understand that so many hotels don’t provide the most basic bath amenity. And that’s the reason why I always have my own shower gel with me.
    But there are more than enough soap bars that are usually only used for washing hands. Come on, does anybody know anybody who still uses soap bars for bathing or showering? I don’t know anybody who has done that in the last three decades or so.

    When it comes to controls I don’t like those with just one handle. Turn on the water and then try to find the position for wanted temperature. It may be okay while you are outside the shower and try to find the right temperature. But after wetting and shampooing and everything? If there is only one handle I prefer the version with turning for temperature and pushing/pulling for turning on and off the water.

  36. Emirates First A pier lounge steam abatement might be the worst i have ever seen. I always have to get dressed at light speed after a shower because I come out dripping sweat.

  37. That there are people who do not use soap in the shower is a surprise to me, that’s for sure.

    A perfect hotel shower:
    Big space with walk-in entry.
    Rain shower up top and hand shower below. Side jets are really great as well (the ICON in Hong Kong has like ten side jets in their gym shower rooms).
    Strong water pressure.
    Controls accessible without stepping into the shower.
    Controls that are immediately obvious. (How there exist things like doors where the side they open/whether they are push or pull is ambiguous is a mystery to me – surely every industrial designer knows these things drive people bananas?)
    Good quality toiletries that are easy-open.
    Very large towels.
    Non-steam mirrors.
    In the bathroom more generally: space on the sink level for toiletries and dopp kits, toilet with Toto-style heat and bidet, large mirrors, space, heated floor, toilet in separate room.

    The Shangri-La Tokyo came close to getting all of this right.

    Interesting fact: close to 100% of men prefer rain shower/no tub, whereas many women hate rain showers and insist on tubs. Indeed, I would suggest most men do not even realize that women face away from the shower jet when they shower, and most women do not realize men face toward the shower jet. I am sure there are similar differences in preferences between young and old. This makes it a real challenge for hotels to satisfy everyone.

  38. I was nodding in agreement as I read this post!!!! Spot on!

    I am a snob for bathrooms. More accurately, I am a snob for showers. (I have not been in a bathtub since 2001 …. and that only was because we were in Africa and the tub was outdoors, overlooking the plethora of animals on the savannah. Before that, it was about 20 years since I was in a tub.)

    I love showers. When I built my home …. 4 shower heads above, and a vertical bar of spray in each of the 4 corners. Granted, it is a bit extreme for most people, and I never expect that in a shower in a hotel — except maybe the most ostentatious suites.

    But in my book, a shower is the feature that makes or breaks a hotel room …. IMHO. But maybe not IMHO, because others seem to share my thoughts, too.

    And to the person who asked for large print on the amenity bottles: Yes, PLEASE!

  39. I’ve had so so SO MANY of these thoughts during and after my various hotel showers. And the shower experience really does often make or break my feelings about a hotel room over all.

    Some of the best showers I’ve had were in casino hotels: Tulalip and Northern Quest in Washington state both come to mind as my most recent excellent showers, with a large space, side access to the controls, and triple spa-shower heads.

    Others are hit-and-miss: the tiny hotels in the small town of Churchill, Canada, got a good solid shower right, while fancier hotels in big cities often foolishly place style over substance.

  40. @Guyguyguy this is the absolute worst – black of proper ventilation in showers rooms
    so the humidity never gets low enough to get properly dry or, as you say, you get more sweaty than when you went in. Airport lounge showers are particularly bad for this, the al-marjoon lounge in Doha is particularly bad, as is the Cathay pacific arrival in Hong Kong.

    Particularly good for shower ventilation – qantas club in Adelaide.

  41. Also interesting is the shower above the bath thing, I feel only because our corporate travel policy forbids us from staying at hotels where this is the case – too risky, we may slip and fall – which leads me to wonder who fell and when, policies like this never get set in isolation.

  42. My unscientific observation when speaking with friends and family is that the rain shower head issue generally falls along gender lines due to getting hair wet.

  43. “Also interesting is the shower above the bath thing, I feel only because our corporate travel policy forbids us from staying at hotels where this is the case – too risky, we may slip and fall – which leads me to wonder who fell and when, policies like this never get set in isolation.”

    Interesting? So … someone at corporate “investigates” hotels before they are placed an approved vendor list … or do you, as the traveler, have to ask before you make your reservations?

  44. Agree with so many of these comments! I hate the rainfall showerhead not because I have thick hair or am trying to keep my hair dry but because it’s just not powerful enough. I want my water pressure to flow like Niagara.

    Something I didn’t see mentioned (and maybe I missed it): I prefer the tub, not because I want a bath but because it gives me somewhere to prop my leg when shaving it. If a shower stall has a place for that then it’s fine but usually they don’t.

    Another pet peeve (because I just experienced this): rooms where the bathroom door is frosted glass. If I have to get up in the middle of the night I don’t want to wake up my roommate by turning on the light but may have no choice. Though it could be worse – was just on a river cruise boat that, at the flick of a switch, could change the frosted glass in the shower to see-through glass. Not a fun choice when cruising with friends!

  45. Excellent post!

    Can anyone explain to me the popularity in Europe of shower/tub combos with just the half glass partition? Water always gets on the floor. Why not a full glass door or curtain?

    Speaking of Europe, what is up with the tiny waste bins in bathrooms? You have to be very careful stepping on the lever or the entire bin goes flying across the room.

  46. My personal musts – some if which have already been mentioned:

    1 – shower head needs to be tall enough to stand under without contortions;
    2 – need to be able to turn on and adjust without getting all wet;
    3 – need SOAP – not just body wash;
    4 – if a shower, need a bench to prop a leg on to shave;
    5 – shower head needs to be adjustable – I am in the “hate rain shower head”;
    6 – water pressure and temp of course;
    7 – decent lighting in shower.

  47. I’d suggest adding shower head height to the list. I’m only about 6′, but I’ve still found shower heads located at chest height even when I had plenty of headroom.

  48. Showers drive me crazy:

    – Insufficient water quantity (even with tons of pressure) often makes it take forever to rinse off. I wish showers had a “rinse” button that would override the extreme flow restrictions while pressed, so you could effectively rinse without wasting water while you soap up.

    – No place to put a towel: countless nice hotels have bathrooms where you have to walk across a marble floor soaking wet to get a towel. A simple towel ring or bar within reach of the shower would be so useful.

    – No water containment: I can’t stand flooding the bathroom (or even main room) while showering.

    – No shower gel.

    – Over-perfumed amenities. Hilton used to be a prime offender hear but since their switch to Peter Thomas Roth it’s much better.

    – Over-softened water. You can rinse for an hour and still be filmy.

  49. European shower walls …. altho I was raised in the US, my grandparents and other extended family lived in Europe. When I was a kid, we only had a tub and a handheld nozzle for “showering.” It was an advent to finally get a stand-up shower with a partition, even if it one half. And you know, I have learned, as do most natives, to shower without water splashing all over. It’s the tourists who have the problems … but isn;t that always how it works? I can’t stand the squat toilets in much of Asia … but the locals do not have a problem with it.

  50. Hotel Moments Budapest hit all the points. Plus extra credit points. Plus a heated towel rack! It took reading this post to realize it why I loved the shower so much.

  51. Excellent article, Tiffany, and great comments, fellow travelers. @Lisa, there was one of those bar controls at the sink in the airport bathroom in Munich. Several of we ladies just stood there to see if anyone could figure it out … nope!

  52. As an older person whose wife has hip disability, I rate a free-standing shower near the top of my list. I don’t need a tub at all but appreciate that many people, including families with children, have different preferences.

    Agree, particularly, with you & other people regarding water not staying within the confines of the shower cubicle. It seems as though a fashionable appearance outweighs practicality with many hotel bathroom designs.

  53. Great post! I would add two things:

    1) Some place within reach of the shower to hang a towel. Too often, even if the water containment issue is properly done, I end up with a wet floor when I have to walk out of the shower to get a towel.

    2) I appreciate a shower that has the conditioner/shower/gel/shampoo in dispensers mounted inside the shower. Convenient, easy to use and no need to find a place to set the bottles or soap bar.

  54. Having just returned from Portugal yesterday, it was a timely report. I find the European tubs almost always too dangerous for older people, at least. I am 74 and do not want to fall taking a shower.

    We stayed at the Marriott in Lisbon and found the perfect European tub/shower set up. Mainly, I find,
    they never have safety handles in the shower to assist getting in and out of their too high tubs.

    This hotel had low tubs and perfectly placed handles in the two rooms we stayed in on two visits there.

    The European valve set up is always challenging but that’s OK. My wife couldn’t figure how to turn on
    the water on our second stay there. It’s never clear which way to turn the handles nor which is the water
    and which is the temperature.

  55. Def consider shower head height and the presence or lack of a fan.

    Worst domestic Hilton shower experiences can typically be had in old Embassy Suites properties. Once had a high floor room where water took ten minutes to get hot during shower times that weren’t normal. I was told I was in the room most opposite of the boiler so it was to be expected…

  56. Give me a thermostatic shower with separate flow and temperature controls, shelf for holding bottles and my razor, toiletries with a large font all within a spacious closed cubicle and I’m in heaven.

    Trouble is it doesn’t look sexy so hotels just muck it up, my rule of thumb is that the more impressive a shower is the less likely it is going to be.

    I agree that Japan hotels are 100% flawless even if they look entirely functional – which they are. For example they usually have a gully at the edge of the shower tray drain away any leaking water. I also prefer the 1ltr size toiletries because they keep them maintained and looking clean.

    Aitport lounges don’t always get it right. The BA arrivals lounge at LHR showers flood the entire floor area of the bathroom. You have to place everything above ground level.

    Worst premium hotel shower Sofitel Sydney – total disgrace.

  57. Bathmats please! My feet are smooth enough on the bottom that a typical smooth floor, when wet, is extremely slippery to me. I’ve been known to need to throw a spare *towel* on the floor of the shower or tub just so I can be safe during my shower.

  58. Totally agree about water containment. Some of the water on the floor stay all day long. This goes through all star categories. Not sure if hotels can change their attitude about this if you call the cleaning staff every time you took a shower.

    Maybe this is not related to shower in particular, but Privacy is another issue. No need to have a bathroom made up of look-through mirror walls – Radisson Blu in South Africa and some other places come to mind-. Some of the activities in the bathroom must remain private. some hotels give you an option by having a window between the bathroom and bedroom or frosted glasses.. That at least better than having it all out!

    Then the issue of regulating the temperature. either it’s too hot or too cold . When you finally felt you figure it out, water will start to creep back to either extremes in the middle of the shower!

    How about those showers with no enough lighting? Too dark to differentiate between toiletries in the middle of a Shower!

  59. My pet peeves are insufficient or clogged drainage that leads to the shower being flooded overflowing into the rest of the bathroom. Hate to walk on cold wet towels. Ugh.
    Insufficient hooks or hanging space to hang up your clothes when you hop into the shower – have to put them on the commode. Double ugh.

  60. I appreciate all of the comments of magnificent shower experiences. However, I think my room at the Comfort Inn at Sonora, TX, which was $79 a night, would score high on this scale.
    Clean, Good water pressure, consistent temperature. easy to understand controls. ability to set temperature without being in shower, vent fan, washcloths.
    Not to mention it was an amazing shower after climbing and crawling around in a cave for the previous 4 hours.

  61. Things like this really annoys me. I work in hotel FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) and so many places just don’t get, or care about, the basics like this.

    Some just don’t know to think about it and some of them leave it up to designers who go for looks rather than practicality.

  62. This is the reason why I wish more hotels would post photos of their bathrooms. I find that most of the time you get one photo and you can’t figure out if it has a bath/shower combo or rain shower or what. I pick my hotels by their bathrooms and if there was a blog devoted to that i would certainly read it!

  63. Thank you so much for writing this! As a 5’2″ woman, I more often than not find myself straining on my tip-toes on the edge of the hotel bathtub to reach a showerhead that’s high up on the wall — and risking breaking my neck in the process. (Adjustment is necessary 99% of the time to find the setting on the usually Waterpik type head that comes closest to acceptably rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of my hair. Only once in a blue moon am I lucky enough to find myself in a room in which the shower is already on a setting that works for rinsing my hair.) How hard woukd it have been to have just installed handheld showerhead on one of those vertical bars, that lets you adjust the height and just take the thing off the mount, if necessary in the first place? (I mean, come on. Looking at you, Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns.)

    Also (someone else has probably already mentioned this), I always, always, always need more shelf soace in the shower. Most hotel showers only have one tony shelf in the corner and maybe a teeny soap holder.

    Between this and the showerhead height being set for someone six and a half feet tall, it’s painfully obvious that hotel bathrooms are virtually always designed by men. (See also the placement of toilet paper holders in locations you have to be a contortionist to reach while sitting on the toilet.) Hire some female designers, hotels of the world! You’ll be shocked at what you’ll learn! And you’ll get more wonen like me to book with you.

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