USA Today: I’m Not Alone in Hotel Extreme Makeovers


USA Today columnist Barbara De Lollis was curious how people make hotel rooms more accommodating.  This has been something I’ve done without giving much thought to for the past 30 years.

Barbara recently interviewed me and a number of other “re-arrangers” to come up with a most interesting list and additional comments:

  • Two people she spoke to move furniture around to access electrical plug-ins.
  • One person moves hotels beds for a better “feng shui” orientation, while another moves beds for child safety.
  • One commenter said they move furnishings when necessary to hide stains while another person rearranges to have space for yoga. That’s something I’ve done too.
  • Another individual said they move furnishings when necessary to maximize their view. I completely concur with that.

Here are other things I do, which I neglected to mention to Barbara:

1.  Electrical.  I carry two light-weight extension cords and a 3-way adapter.  For international trips this includes a converter and at least two additional adapter plugs for the country I go to (sometimes you need only the adapter) so you can plug things in more conveniently.

2.  Lighting.  I bring one or multiples of the following:  bright light bulbs, battery operated book light or a lightweight, headboard mounting reading lamp.

3.  Kitchen supplies.  We wrote about how to save money and eat better using portable kitchen supplies.

4.  Decor.  For me, adding decor to a hotel room is as de regeur as unpacking the suitcase. The photo above shows a straw mat and brass plates I purchased to enhance the room.

What do you do to make your hotel stay more accommodating?  I welcome your comments.

Photo:  My room at  Honolulu’s Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki with added features.

4 thoughts on “USA Today: I’m Not Alone in Hotel Extreme Makeovers”

  1. Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken. Yoga is probably the only form of physical activity that massages each and every one of the body’s glands and organs. This includes the prostate, a gland that seldom, if ever, gets externally stimulated in one’s whole life.

  2. I think it depends on whether your vacation is intended to be a sightseeing, activity packed vacation, or a relaxing, lounging vacation. If you are going to be here, there, and everywhere…your hotel room doesn’t matter as long as it’s conveniently located, the bed is comfy, and the bathroom is clean. As Ed suggests…why pay for it.

    On the other hand, if you are going to be lounging around the resort, taking it easy, enjoying the view, then yes, you do exactly what Jeff suggests.

    We’ve done both extremes…and even on the same trip: staying in a $75 a night hotel room to sleep and grab a pop-tart for breakfast while we zip around from here to there, then packing up and going to a $700 a night resort for some quality R&R time. Some resorts have so much to offer in terms of scenery and amenities, it doesn’t make sense to waste valuable vacation time to head elsewhere. Ours has complimentary kayaking and snorkeling, so we can easily spend a week there and never get into the car.

    And yes, if we’re going to be staying in a room for a period of time, we move a few things around. Usually to make it more child-friendly, or move a chair to the lanai. We always put things back where we found them.

  3. Actually, I don’t do any of these things. To me (and my wife) a hotel room is nothing more than a staging area from which we plan our assault on the vacation spot we chose to visit and a place to sleep and *maybe* to eat a snack or light lunch.
    I *NEVER* read in my room. I *NEVER* sit in the room and watch TV. I *NEVER* hang out at the hotel…and why? I didn’t pay gobs of money to fly to some exotic resort vacation spot just to stay in my hotel room! For this reason, I never purchase an expensive room. The most I’ve ever paid for a hotel room is $175 (saturday stay at the Princess Kaiulani in Waikiki, but the week averaged out to $149/day with the lower weekday rate). Again, I don’t see the point in paying for a room that I’m only going to be sleeping in! And getting a hotel with an exercise room? If you need an exercise room while you’re on vacation, then you are doing sightseeing all wrong!
    Back in the day when my wife and I were just starting out, we thought we could save money by staying in hotels that had kitchens so we could cook our own meals…we found out we threw out more food than we ate…This led us to another vacationing point…eating the food of the vacation spot is part of the vacation! Who wants to do dishes while on vacation? When I go to Hawaii, I look forward to eating at L&Ls (or Vegas as well…they have an L&Ls there too!)…or a spam and rice breakfast at McDonalds!
    I honestly don’t see what a $500/night room can offer me beyond a more comfortable bed to sleep in…because when I’m on vacation, I am up and out by 10am and I don’t get back to the room until 11pm or later! (especially if I’m in Miami!)
    web/gadget guru

    1. Thanks Ed. It takes all of us to make the world go around.

      Thanks Mike. And you make a good point, I always put things back and leave the room as I found it.

      Aloha, Jeff

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top