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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why, Vegas, Why?


I was in Las Vegas for a few days earlier this week, and returned with several questions and notes...

Why do some hotel bathrooms put the towel rack on the wall furthest away from the sink? When I'm finished washing my hands, I don't want to have to walk across the room. It's not the distance that's the problem, it's the dripping on the floor. Both of the places I stayed this week had this odd design, but at least they didn't put the towels on a shelf in the shower. When I turn off that shower head, I want a nice dry piece of terry cloth, not one that's been pre-moistened before drying my skin

Why don't hotel rooms use fitted sheets? I've been over six feet tall since high school, so my feet always dangle over the edge of the bed when I sleep. But that means the sheets can't be tucked in -- I can't stand being swaddled like an infant with my feet cocooned at the bottom. Because hotel maids uniformly tuck the top sheet in, I always have to untuck it, which pulls out the bottom sheet, and I have to re-tuck that, essentially re-making the bed. If they used fitted sheets for the bottom, this problem wouldn't exist.

Incidentally, the bottom flat sheet they use now is never long enough to cover the end of the mattress, where my feet are sticking out and being exposed to who-knows-what. While not as disgusting as the bed cover you should only lie on while wearing a hazmat suit (we've all seen the TV news exposes using ultraviolet light to show the effluvia other guests have left behind), that exposed mattress end can't be too hygienic, either.

In Vegas, all the big hotels charge a $25/night resort fee (gotcha!) that covers wi-fi, access to the pool and gym, and free local calls from the phone in your room that you never use now that you travel with a smartphone at all times. When I made one of my reservations online, the email confirmation said the hotel had added the resort fee "for your convenience."

No, there's nothing convenient about being charged extra for these amenities, which used to be included in the price of the room. When I go into a store to buy something, I'm not told "and we've added the sales tax for your convenience." By the way, you can't get out of the resort fee by promising not to swim, sweat, call, or browse. You'd have a better chance of getting the casino to pay you 5-1 when you're dealt 21 in blackjack.

Why would hotels limit wi-fi access to one device per room? If I have to pay that resort fee, I want wi-fi included for all of my devices -- phone and tablet. Sometimes, if I have writing to do, I bring along my laptop, too (I find it easier to write on a full keyboard than a touch screen). And what about when two people, or a family, are sharing a room? Why does only one of them get wi-fi access included, while the others have to pay for it? I know that it's part of the gotcha-again fee policy, but it's another abuse of the customer, especially since it won't mean much of an increase in bandwidth use.

Speaking of multiple devices, finding a place to plug in their chargers can be a pain, particularly bedside. The outlets behind the night table are usually occupied by the plugs for the lamp and the clock radio, so I always unplug the clock radio to plug in my phone (which serves the same purposes, and more). But that leaves nowhere to plug in my tablet.

Solution: I recently bought an adapter that has two USB ports, so they can both charge via one plug. There are similar adapters with four, and even eight, USB ports, in case you're traveling with the family and everyone has to recharge both their electronics and their bodies overnight.

Is there any thing more irrelevant in Las Vegas than a Hooters restaurant? There are plenty of other places in that town you can visit to see more exposed female flesh than on a Hooters waitress. After all, Vegas is the town where a rolling billboard goes up and down the strip all day and night with pictures of scantily clad women who "want to meet you" and will come to your room, for a price. It's a town with strip clubs advertised on the taxi cabs. It's a town where several resorts have topless pools. It's a town where the women going to dance clubs wear dresses so short they have to constantly tug at them to avoid looking like they're visiting an ob-gyn. What's so titillating about a waitress in a tight white t-shirt and orange short-shorts carrying a tray of buffalo wings?

It's not like she's going to join you in your room at the Hooters Hotel next door (yes, there really is one!).