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Doug Wallace

Contributing writer

Editor and publisher of TravelRight.Today, Doug Wallace is a habitué of hip hotels worldwide. Current clients include the London Telegraph, Fairmont Magazine, Trivago.ca and Today’s Bride.

You open the door to your hotel room, look around, put down your bags and go to drop your things on the sideboard or the desk—but no-go: The hotel has junked up every single surface in the entire room with stuff so there’s no room left for your stuff.

Most of it is unnecessary: paper and pen (maybe keep the pen), room service menus (okay, but rarely order it), folded and towering promotional cards (such hucksterism), TV instructions (really?), amenity trays (old-ladyish), do-goodie reminders (all malarkey), notes about not smoking (what, am I in Europe?) and tourist guides (you think guests wait until they’ve arrived in a city to research what to do there? Are you mad?).

One of the first things I do when I get to my room is sweep through it gathering up all the crap and depositing it in a drawer with the Bible for the remainder of my stay.

I am traveling and I have stuff. The desk looks nice, the plugs are all in the right place, the chair is fine, the light is good—but the whole desktop is so full, where am I supposed to put my laptop and work accoutrements? Why do hotels spend all their waking marketing-trend hours dreaming up things like pillow menus and then make the room inhospitable in this way? Record player? I didn’t come to your hotel to play scratched-up records or spend my time moving around the useless objets. (Oh, the gloves are really off now.)

Often, the bathroom is a disheveled mess as well. Don’t get me wrong; I like a nice imported bathroom amenity just as much as the next guy, but I don’t need a shower cap or shoe mitt (who uses this?) or four face clothes or reminders on what to do if I don’t need a fresh towel. I need space! I need to spread out. This is particularly irksome when there is no vanity counter and I’m forced to store my kit on top of the toilet tank. Classy.

Don’t get me started on the coffee-making station.

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