Hotel Pet Peeve: Bathrooms & Why I’m Forced to Carry This Item with Me

by Shelli Stein

As I take a look at what I pack each time I take a trip, I realize that one item in particular is pretty weird. Now that I think of it, given how many nights each year I’m in hotels, taking only one weird item might not be as weird as I think it is. I figure if I take unusual items when I travel, others must do the same thing.  It relates to my hotel pet peeve.

The expression “misery loves company” doesn’t apply here, because after all, with the advantages we miles and points people have, what’s to feel miserable about? But it sure would help me feel better if I knew you all took some weird necessary items along with you when you travel!

So I’ll start by telling you mine.

For a while now, I’ve been mystified and frustrated by the bathroom designs I see in some hotels. It’s not one particular chain, and I even see this in boutique and one-off hotels. Why don’t they give us towel hooks in the bathrooms? Maybe even towel racks? Am I asking for too much here? What are they thinking I should do with my towels?

Slovenia Hotel Bathroom Wall

No Hooks on Bathroom Wall

Slovenia Hotel Bathroom Door

No Hooks on Bathroom Door

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In this hotel I stayed in when I went to Slovenia, as you can see from the photos, not one hook or rack. I loved Slovenia and the hotel, but couldn’t make sense of the bathroom design. There’s plenty of room on the bathroom walls and on the back of the door. What’s really odd is that in this hotel, on the wall near the bed are these two hooks. What was the designer thinking? I’ve long thought people who design hotel rooms don’t stay in them 🙁

Oh look, I found the towel hooks... next to the bed.

Oh look, I found the towel hooks… next to the bed.

So I’ve taken to traveling with towel hooks of my own. After all, it is my hotel pet peeve. At first, I thought I’d use hooks and then leave them for the next guest, but that’s sorta like defacing property. I use hooks that attach with suction, and then take them with me when I leave.

There are other quirky bathroom and room designs that I don’t get.

I can’t bring a drill with me to install a peephole in the door because the height of the peephole is for people over six feet tall. And I can’t travel with extra light bulbs or lamps so I have enough light to work by. But I can easily fit a few travel hooks with me on trips, now can’t I?

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Bottom Line

OK, your turn. That’s my hotel pet peeve but it may not be yours. What’s the weirdest item you bring with you that makes your travels more comfortable? I promise, I won’t tell anyone else!

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J December 8, 2018 - 2:42 pm

I bring a couple of wooden clothes pins to secure window curtains – they always seem to gap and light outside light into the room, and I sleep better in a completely dark room

Shelli December 8, 2018 - 4:26 pm

Items to close windows to create a dark room for better sleeping is probably the number one thing people carry with them. I do like that many room now have black-out curtains that work well. Thanks for reading, J.

Droopy November 23, 2019 - 4:54 am

Clothes hangers in the close that have clamps on them also work, in case you forget your clothes pins.

Shelli November 23, 2019 - 9:24 am

Great reminder of another workaround! Thanks.

LeeAnn December 8, 2018 - 2:59 pm

A wash cloth

Shelli December 8, 2018 - 4:27 pm

That’s a good one. I always throw a pack-towel in my luggage, just in case. Thanks LeeAnn!

Joseph N. December 8, 2018 - 3:27 pm

I agree about the bathroom towels. I often notice the shower curtain bars are “drooping” in hotel bathrooms and attribute this common problem to guests having to hang their wet towels over the shower because there is no alternative.

However, my one item is light bulbs. This started in 2016 when I made my first visit to Laughlin and found the hotel rooms so dark, from using dim bulbs, that even with every light turned on it was too dark to read.

Outside of casino hotels, I only occasionally find the room lighting to be so bad, but at least twice, in Laughlin and in Reno, I not only brought my own bulbs, but left the light bulbs behind as a courtesy for the next guest.

Shelli December 8, 2018 - 4:30 pm

True, Joseph. What’s with those droopy shower curtain bars? I’ve noticed that as well. You made me laugh with your light bulb courtesy. That’s a great idea! Dim lights are an issue with me, too. At least use bulbs that have different levels of brightness. I often move lamps around in a room to add to my lighting options. Thanks for reading!

Enjoy Fine Food December 8, 2018 - 8:18 pm

Night light prevents a lot of bruises. Several tiny LED rechargeable bikelights/packlights/flashlights from camping stores last overnight.

Shelli December 8, 2018 - 8:49 pm

This is another great one, EFF. I have a few small flashlights for travel. The first time you stub your toe or bang a shin on something, that night light becomes a keeper in the sundry bag!

747always December 10, 2018 - 10:09 pm

When travelling out of India, I always carry a bathroom mug to ensure cleanliness after doing no 2. Cant stand “cleaning” with TP. It always leaves me feeling like theres something left behind.

Shelli December 10, 2018 - 10:47 pm

Bidets are popular in some parts of the world for just this reason. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

Anna December 14, 2018 - 12:44 pm

I couldn’t agree more! This is hugely annoying! It’s like they want us to throw towels on the floor. I hate doing, I like to reuse my towels a few times.

Shelli December 14, 2018 - 12:46 pm

HI Anna, I agree. I won’t put towels on the floor so I end up draping them over the shower door, if possible, or on a door knob. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

Gina MARCELL January 4, 2022 - 1:35 pm

Magnifying mirror.

Shelli January 4, 2022 - 2:14 pm

Good one, Gina!

DaninMCI December 16, 2023 - 1:01 pm

Bars of soap. It’s actually a new thing. Nearly every hotel I stay in lately has done away with the little bars of soap. I assume it’s some virtue signalling attempt to save the planet. I don’t use “body wash” and especially communal random brands. I assume those that do use a wash cloth which requires washing and drying so there is no advantage to the hotel other than saving a few cents per stay. Now I have to travel with bars of soap, its crazy.

Shelli Stein December 16, 2023 - 1:23 pm

I agree, Dan. I’m on team carry my own bars of soap as well! I do find that if you ask housekeeping, they often have bars from the good old days. Thanks for reading.

Lea December 16, 2023 - 1:03 pm

I’ve found that often even when there are towel racks, there’s still no place to hang a wet washcloth. When I arrive, I often find the washcloth and hand towel draped across the bath towel that is hanging on a rack. I’m fine with not having to hang up the hand towel but I don’t want to put a wet washcloth on top of my towel because neither one will get dry that way! If I’m only staying somewhere for 2-3 nights we usually decline housekeeping so I don’t want to throw the washcloths on the shower floor but struggle to find somewhere to put them.

Another pet peeve is tiny little corner shelves for toiletries in the shower. If there are two of us traveling together usually one of us brings her own toiletries. Fortunately I’m now seeing more hotels install a low corner footrest in the back corner of shower stalls which makes shaving my legs easier but often there’s not a shelf above it to put the shave gel and razor.

Shelli Stein December 16, 2023 - 1:25 pm

Great point about the washcloths, Lea, and not wanting to throw them on the floor. Another great point about surfaces in the showers. You made me think back to my most recent hotel stays and it seems the newer hotels often don’t have surfaces in the showers at all because they have the dispensers on the walls. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


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