I travel for work and stay in a lot of hotels. In 4.5 years of traveling, I have stayed 743 nights in hotel rooms. For my first client I stayed at a Marriott property, which is where I have accumulated all my stays ever since.
For the most part, hotel rooms are consistent. The sink, toilet, TV, and furniture are standard. There are some variations with mattresses and pillows. But one area that has been wildly inconsistent for me is the hotel shower.
The shower is an important amenity for obvious reasons. The worst case scenario is when the water goes out and there is no shower. Yes, that happened to me and it was no fun.
The next consideration for the shower is water pressure. Sometimes the shower head is the governor of the pressure; other times different rooms with the same shower heads in the same hotel will have different pressures. This appears to be a function of how far the room is from the boiler. I've had every variation from a low-flow slow drizzle to a fire hose.
This brings me to perhaps the most important aspect of the shower: water temperature. There is nothing like a nice hot shower when you wake up in the morning, and anything less sets a bad tone for the rest of the day. Water temperature makes or breaks the shower experience.
This morning I discovered that the maximum hot setting in the shower is about 75% of full hot. It could be worse but is not ideal. I've had showers where the hot water was completely gone. Those are awful. I have also experienced an odd phenomenon I refer to as the "shower temperature roller coaster." This has only happened at one particular hotel. I would set the temperature to my liking. The water would gradually get cooler, so I would turn the lever hotter. The water would warm up but then get cool again, so I would turn the lever even hotter. This went on for a few minutes until, suddenly and unexpectedly, the water would instantly reach the "true" setting of the lever, which was practically scalding. I explained this to hotel staff members, each one giving me a more puzzled look than the last one.
There are other issues not as critical but still annoying. Virtually all the rooms I stay in have a combined shower/tub. A tub with a slow drain combined with a high-pressure shower head leads to an experience I call a "shath," which is a combined shower/bath. There is the occasional stray curly hair that is definitely NOT yours, which makes one question the overall cleanliness of the room in general.
I am reminded of a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and Elaine take a flight together, and only one person is upgraded to first class. Elaine wants to take the seat, but Jerry asks her if she has ever flown first class before, and she replies, "No." Jerry said that he has flown first class, so he would know what he is missing whereas she would not know what she is missing. The rest of the episode is a comical contrast between Jerry's luxurious experience in first class and Elaine's miserable experience in coach.
I have stayed in spectacular resorts, so I know what I am missing. But I am not paying for these stays, and I know my days in this field are numbered.