15 May 2006

Make It Do What It Do, Baby

One thing you can say for sure about overseas hotels is that when they do something, they generally do it right.  An example of this is the way they use your card key to keep the lights on while you are in the room.

If you've never been in a European-style hotel they have a slot on the wall inside the door of your room next to the light switch. When you walk in the room, you put your card key into the slot and leave it there. This activates the lights and whatnot automatically. There are many reasons why this is cool.

 - It saves energy because when you leave and take your card with you, the lights can all go out no motion sensors needed.

-  When you are getting ready to leave, your card key is always in the same place, so it's harder to forget.

- When you leave the room, it turns on a signal so that the staff knows you've left your room.  This way there is no annoying knock from housekeeping at "Oh-Heavens-It's-Way-To-Early" in the morning if you forget to put the Do-Not-Disturb sign out.

- There are handy indicator buttons that light up inside and outside so that you can tell in a glance if your room is in Do-Not-Disturb mode or not and adjust accordingly.  This is great if like me, you head to the gym first thing in the morning and don't want someone in your cleaning before you get back.

It sounds trivial, but this kind of sound thinking is way overdue for the US market.  As someone who travels full-time, you learn how valuable the little things are pretty fast.

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