Travel Tools - Is there a "Seatguru" for hotel rooms?
Apr 15, 08, 5:25 pm
Last night I stayed in what has to be the best hotel room ever, by my very odd standards. What made this room great was: (1) 10th-floor location with a window facing a brick wall in the center of the block, (2) something like 250 square feet of space, in Manhattan!, (3) a very comfortable bed with a duvet that was neither too heavy nor too thin, (4) an HVAC system that was completely noise-free and set to a comfortable temperature for me, (5) a layout that included a little foyer leading to a 90-degree turn inside the room's door, which meant that hallway noise was nonexistent, and (6) an iron and ironing board in the closet as well as a reasonably placed outlet with which to use them. The upshot: I slept like a log, did not wake up either sweating or freezing, and ironed my suit with ease. Apparently, these things are REALLY important to me.
I have made a note: Room 1002 at the Warwick. (This hotel is one block from my company's NY office, so I stay there a lot.)
So, my question is: does anyone keep a Web resource of similarly great individual rooms in various hotels? Or am I on my own to start my own personal list, so I can request them when I book?
Apr 15, 08, 5:49 pm
That would be one massive site. If layout of the properties was standardised to the extent of the aircraft, hotels would be boring places. The site would have to be ordered by each individual property. Not an easy job.
Apr 15, 08, 6:44 pm
I thought about this while on vacation in Mexico.
Getting the data would be horrendous!
Max The Distance
Apr 15, 08, 7:01 pm
There may be too many variables and analysis too subjective to make such a site viable for hotel rooms. On seatguru, things are pretty standard: reduced seat width, no window, no under seat storage, etc. While some people may consider those "negatives" to a particular seat, its really just the "facts" and not opinions that are provided. With a hotel room, something like "very soft duvet" would be subjective. One person's "soft" may be different from another's and, accordingly, a person might book a room looking for the "soft" duvet, only to find out that it isn't the "soft" that they were expecting.
Another challenge would be that, unlike airplane seats, people don't typically reserve specific hotel rooms. Hotels would have to start assigning rooms in advance because, if roomguru took hold, everyone would be looking to book the "best" room. And then, what is a hotel to do when one of their most regarded elites books a room 2 days in advance when only the "crappy" rooms are left.
Don't mean to rain on the parade, just seeing a lot of difficulties with this.
Apr 15, 08, 7:47 pm
I like to read (and write) reviews on Trip Advisor. I always make note of my room number and include it in my review and I look for other reviews that do the same. At the very least I like reviews that tell what wing, floor, view people liked so I know what to request when I check in. It really helps if photos are included.
Apr 15, 08, 8:12 pm
When I've known I was going to be staying at a certain hotel week after week, once I found a room I liked, I'd try to reserve it every week thereafter (e.g., at the Minneapolis Hyatt, there was a room with a nice view toward downtown, on the concierge floor, that I really liked and I'd usually get that). But I don't know that something on the order of SeatGuru would be practical--after all, all 757-200's flown by a given airline are likely to be pretty much the same, while every Hyatt will be different, even if many might be architecturally identical, because they are sited differently and have too many other variables. That would be like having SeatGuru rate seat 11-B on every different DC-9 in NW's fleet for condition of tray table, spring in the seat cushion, etc. ("Avoid this seat on flight 1476--the seatback pocket is damaged and hangs too far open.")
Apr 16, 08, 3:17 am
Best I can think of doing is to ask each time, "as high as you can get me, facing away from the street or parking lot, far from the elevator and the ice machine."
Apr 16, 08, 3:22 am
In my last job I used to stay in the same hotel in London for 2 or 3 nights nearly every week for 3 years. I kept a list of my room numbers and what I liked/disliked about each. So after a few weeks I knew which rooms I wanted and asked for them at check-in. It's an interesting idea for an web site but it would be hard to gather sufficient factual (as opposed to qualitative) data to make it useful. TripAdvisor is a good resource but comments tend to be qualitative rather than factual. What makes a "nice" room for someone may be different to my criteria. Likes and dislikes are so personal.
Apr 16, 08, 5:22 am
I realize my idea is fairly unworkable, but I was just hoping! I do think something like this could be added to TripAdvisor--at the very least, a "room selector" section for each hotel that asks reviewers "what room number did you have, and what did you like/dislike about this room?" It might be too much to ask for people to actually remember their room numbers for the review, but you never know--there are people who are awfully obsessive-compulsive about such things (e.g. FTers!) Maybe I can suggest it to TripAdvisor.
Meanwhile, I'll be starting my own list, adding to it whenever I get a particularly good/bad room.
Apr 16, 08, 8:51 am
-there are people who are awfully obsessive-compulsive about such things