Monday, June 18, 2007

Peculiarities of a London Hotel Room

Like learning about all aspects of visiting a foreign country, just learning about the unusual features of an English hotel room can be an interesting experience. So far every hotel room I've stayed at in London has had a pants press. I guess English men really like to have the crease in their pants crisp. It does work but it really can't be used for anything else. I tried it on the sleeves of a long sleeve shirt. Better press shirts and anything else with with an iron and ironing board, also included in the room.
This next feature I like very much. A hot towel rack. There's something that has to be said about using warm clean towels especially on cold mornings. I can picture Americans using the 'hot rails' to dry their clothing....I am not one of them.
Rather than using a sign that hangs on your door knob, the English are high tech enough to have a switch inside your room to indicate "please clean room" or "do not distub". A flick of the switch in either direction from inside your room will have a light outside beside your door indicating either request. No more someone stealing the 'do not disturb' sign from a door knob....something I have never done.
The first thing I told myself when I saw this desk was 'Beam me up, Scottie". Honestly this desk looks like something out of a Star Trek TV episode. Touch any switch and you'll be transported to another dimension. In reality here are the desk features from left to right: blank cover, telephone outlet, two British outlets with on/off switch; 110V supply outlet; fuse for the 110V supply; fuse for the hair dryer; and a second set of British outlets with on/off switch. The hair dryer is kept in the desk drawer and connected to an outlet from under the desk drawer. Finally unlike filter coffee makers one may have in a U.S. hotel room, the one in this room is a hot pot to heat up water with instant coffee and tea bags. But look, real spoons and not just stirring sticks. Okay, I took the instant coffee and tea bags home. It's a way of trying to recover a very small portion of the huge 17.9 Value Added Tax that is charged on everything.


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