HOTEL ROOMS: Make sure you take along your own ‘hotel kit’.

IT’S happened again. Every time I return to London, it’s the same old, same old. A minuscule room in a trendy hotel costing an arm and a leg where I end up feeling less at home than in my own home!

My years of research, rigorously peer-reviewed – by which I mean, I asked friends sitting on either side of me and they both agreed – have led me to the above conclusion.

A major bugbear is inadequate soundproofing not just between rooms, but between rooms and corridors, and televisions that can be turned up full volume. Yes, you’ve guessed, noise is my main problem in hotel bedrooms. I go there to sleep, not to listen to an impromptu party outside in the corridor or someone else’s TV – assuming they can get it to work.

And what about the ritual of folding the ends of toilet paper into a triangle and ‘turning down the bed?’ Thanks, but I can still pull back a bed cover without any help…

Another gripe is the lighting. Very few rooms have central ceiling lights, and trying to position yourself near an acceptable side light to read the paper often requires Houdini-like athletic contortions. Sometimes the lighting is so dim you assume the hotel is doing its bit to stop the National Grid shutting down.

Yet other pet hates are pillow mountains, shower curtains (uncomfortable and unhygienic), gauzy, inadequate curtains, and windows with so much security any emergency escape would be impossible unless you happen to have a hammer to hand.

And hairdryers in hotel bathrooms – how can I dry myself with something that hasn’t got enough power to dry a mouse? Who designs these rooms?

One temporary solution? A ‘hotel kit’: some Bulldog clips to close the inadequate curtains, a Swiss penknife for emergencies, earplugs for noise (of both infrastructure and intimate kinds) and eye masks (see ‘inadequate curtains’, above).

OK, rant over! My, how I enjoy getting grumpy! So much choice these days… maybe there’s some paint drying somewhere I could watch?


Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.


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