- 1 point for each room where a pool of water in basin indicates they haven't mastered the plug
- 2 points for each guest who gets a wet head when trying to turn on the bath tap
- 3 points for each guest who has to get someone from reception to explain how to turn on the tap
- 4 points for each guest too shy to ask reception so doesn't wash during their stay
Thursday 19 July 2012
The bewildering bathroom challenge
The tap is a simple but genius piece of design. You turn a handle one way and water flows. You turn it the other way, and the water stops. The bathplug is even simpler. You find a pliable, waterproof substance and cut it to fit exactly into the hole out of which the water flows, and you equip it with handle or chain on top that you can grasp to remove it.
Hotels the world over, however, are not satisfied with such simplicity. They conspire to make the task of producing water and containing it ever more baffling. I had wondered whether they were just more focused on appearance than function, but this website makes it clear that it's deliberate: It's worth quoting the blurb in full:
"A lot of attention in the design world is focused on creating products that are intuitive and easy to use, but sometimes a little ambiguity can be a good thing. Designed for use in restaurant and hotel bathrooms these taps embrace ambiguity to create a sense of intrigue to provide a more engaging interaction."
Hmm. Ambiguity is not really what I'm seeking in a bathroom. And engaging isn't the word I'd use for my interaction, as I try turning, pressing, pulling levers and dials and waving my hands around under taps. It usually ends in quite a bit of swearing. And that's in the cases where I can actually find something to push, pull or turn.
I wonder if there is some secret competition, known only to hoteliers, scored as follows:
Hotels in the old Soviet Union had a simpler approach to frustrating their guests - they just didn't provide a bath plug.