This is no laughing matter – I am deadly serious about this topic. You may think it funny that a bloke writes about this but I have had enough!
When I travel it is often on business, and I like to wear a nice well ironed shirt when I go out for meetings or presentations with clients. Call me fussy, but I hate to be seen in a crumpled shirt. So when I stay in a hotel, motel or apartment I need a good functional steam iron and ironing board. Is that asking too much? For many places it is!
Yes I know that in many holiday locations owners/managers may feel that guests who are on holiday do not want to be ironing, but there may be some who have clothes they want to iron. And there may be business people like myself who need one. So Mr Hotelier please make an effort to provide something acceptable!
I know that some 4-star and most 5-star hotels have a laundry service, and many of the latter do not supply an iron for that reason. But I need to be able to drag out the iron and give my shirt a quick press just before I leave the room. Or if I am really well organized, the night before.
So you get the picture, and here are my specific requirements. I can say that very few establishments come anywhere near the mark in satisfying my needs! So read and get a laugh – but if like me you travel regularly and need good ironing facilities, then I am sure that what I say will resonate loudly with you.
1. The Iron. Firstly it should be a solid, heavy, steam iron of a name brand. I expect the bottom to be clean and not have anything sticking to it which will immediately attach itself to my white shirt! It should heat up quickly, and the thermostat/temperature setting should be accurate. I don’t want to burn a hole in my silk tie.
2. The Cord. It must be long. That’s it. Short cords are a pain in the you know what.
3. The Power points. Have hotel designers never stayed in a hotel? If so, have they never had to use a power point ? If so why are they so few in number?
Secondly, why are they never where you need them? Do I really want to crawl on hands and knees under the chipboard desk to find it? And then the cord on the iron is too short to make the whole ironing thing workable. I often find myself ironing a shirt in the most unlikely parts of the room just because of the location of the power point – perhaps compounded by the short cord.
PLEASE give some thought to where you place the power points.
4. The Ironing Board. This is where I get really serious and nasty, so if read no further if you are easily offended – just joking. Problems with ironing boards fall into 3 categories
a. No padded covering. If you have missed the photo at the beginning here it is again. This was the ironing board at the apartment that I featured in my post “Get Out by 10 am or Else”.
If you look closely you can see the metal top under the flimsy cover. When I ironed my white shirt it left an interesting diamond pattern! OK I placed a towel over it and it was fine. But what twit set it up like this?
b. Crumpled ironing board covers which cannot be flattened and smoothed out no matter how hard you try. These really are frustrating and drive me nuts trying to use them. And normally the tie strings are broken or inadequate.
c. Ironing boards with short legs. There is a standard one which is used widely in hotels/motels. It has legs which open out to about 15cm (6ins). I assume that you are supposed to place it on a bench top/table in the room to iron. Problem is that I have never been able to work out how to iron a shirt on one so that it comes out looking like it has been ironed. I am happy to take lessons though..
But the prize for the most impractical goes to the brand new hotel (2 years ago) in a large, prestigious NSW country town, where they had installed a size that I have never seen before or since. Before dinner I went to iron my shirt and found the ironing board in the wardrobe. When I opened it out, to my surprise, it stood about 75cm (2 ft. 6 ins.) tall. To iron I would have to bend at an impossible angle or get on my knees. Perhaps it was meant to go on the table – no it was too tall to iron like that.
I thought that I must be missing something, so I rang reception and spoke to a lovely lady who said she would come to my room to investigate. Well she was as bemused as I was, and offered to iron my shirt there and then. But I couldn’t have her kneeling on the floor ironing my shirt no matter how much of a male chauvinist some may think I am. (joke). So I knelt and ironed.
Next morning at check out I asked the gentleman behind the desk if there had been a little persons’ convention at the new hotel opening when they bought the ironing boards. Yes I was being a smart a…. That was a mistake. ” I am the hotel manager, and I purchased the ironing boards of that size so that they would fit inside the wardrobe. Full sized ones will not fit.” So I had my answer, bizarre as it was. I paid my account and left swiftly with tail between my legs…
I would like to finish on a lighter note. Is anyone else regularly attacked by ironing boards when they attempt to open them out for use – the legs attack me or the mechanism jams my fingers – but I am improving. And I don’t blame the ironing board this time. 🙂