Pushed to the brink by bad design
Here is the thing about hotel bathrooms … no matter how flash the city property or elegant the resort, the ensuite is, for me, the defining element that lifts the accommodation to top billing, regardless of the star rating or tariff. It is not about televisions inset above the tub (I don’t really need to watch soap operas while in the bath, disregarding the obvious synergy) or the provision of fluffy-wuffy towels the size of sheets, but a thoughtful layout and the little details all being present and correct.
Many establishments consider it groovy to have a tub in the bedroom, usually a rolled-top clawfoot number by a picture window overlooking a glittery lake or gentle countryside or, in one odd scenario I encountered last year, an up-close office building. But one reaches a certain age where cavorting naked in and out of a bath is never a good thing, and not just because of the potential audience but the possibility of slipping on the soap (rolltops not being known for their safe carriage of toiletries, spectacles and other needs). In a nudge-wink honeymoon suite? Yes, understandable; but not, please, in chambers of any other category. Ditto for lavatories without doors or privacy screens. This look-at-me loo movement seems to be the design world’s fancy of the day and it is so very wrong.
But what has got me hopping mad most recently is the drain that sits in the centre of the tub. OK, I know this sounds far too particular and pernickety, but bear with me. It will have a push-down release plug, which is the position needed to fill the tub. So far, so good. Then you get in and the minute your derriere, thigh or, indeed, any substantial part of you makes contact with said plug, it pops up under pressure and the water starts to run out. Push, pop. Push, pop. On and on it goes and all because some highly-paid design guru has opted, again, for style over substance, and probably because they only take showers or weigh less than a leaf.
Oh yes, showers, and those dastardly mixer taps that require a degree in engineering to use, and the simultaneous choice of overhead rainfall dumpers or wallmounted whooshers, and no matter which you require, it’s sod’s law the wrong one will turn on and drench all the incorrect bits, such as the freshly done hair you were not planning to wash.
And then there’s the teeny-tiny lettering on the hotel unguents that cannot be read in a steamy shower and before you know it you are applying body lotion instead of conditioner and getting into an altogether different kind of lather.
As I am amid a house renovation and have been haunting bathroom sections at department stores, it is now evident the silly push-pop drains have hit the home market and are breeding. Unable to convince several salesmen (sorry, tapware consultants) of the problem, I have helpfully given two demonstrations (so far) by hopping into (empty) display tubs. This has not gone down well at all.