I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do after checking into a hotel room is to head over to the window and survey the view. Immediately after that I head to the bathroom to check out the bathtub and other amenities. Unlike many homeowners I do not have the grand, whirlpool tub with jets and chrome fixtures which seems to be a standard feature in new homes. Instead, it is always my hope that the hotel I am staying at will provide me with a gigantic, marble, spa-like bathtub where I can soak my cares away and perhaps enjoy a massage courtesy of the tub’s hydro-therapy jets. (Ok, maybe that’s a lot to ask from a standard hotel room, but at the very least I expect a basic bathtub.) So, imagine my surprise when I recently learned that several major hotel chains are looking to eliminate bathtubs from their rooms.
Hilton Hotels is testing out some all-shower hotels in response to guest feedback. Apparently, I am in the minority when it comes indulging in long, luxurious bubble baths in hotel tubs. Research conducted by the hotel found that more guests are rushing in and out of the shower then sprinting out to their next meeting. Two of Hilton’s properties, the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, and the New York Hilton, are testing shower-only rooms to gauge guest response. Which means, if you want a room with a bathtub you must put in a request when making your reservation. Hilton executives say so far there haven’t been any complaints about the lack of tubs.
In addition to finding that business travelers prefer showers to baths, Hilton’s research found that “many women won’t take a bath in a hotel because of cleanliness.” Other respondents went so far as to call bathing a dated ritual. So out went the tubs and in went the showers. Marriott Hotels and Intercontinental Hotels are also following the shower-only trend. Both hotel chains have ripped out tubs in order to give guests roomier showers and tidier, modern bathrooms. At Marriott’s hotels, the showers are large enough to fit three people and include a tile bench. The extra space created by eliminating the bathtubs will be used to extend vanities and countertops. Marriott says it is just “experimenting” with shower-only rooms, in “select locations,” meaning not the ones that cater to groups of European travelers who tend to like baths more than Americans. (Perhaps, I should check out those properties.)