Why Hotel Hairdryers Are So A Pain When Traveling

I have been fortunate enough to stay at several hotels recently. A combination of work and pleasure has allowed me to check into eight hotels in the UK, Paris, Italy and Greece. They ranged from the pinnacle of luxury to more no-frills and gem establishments. Everything served a purpose: a place to lay my head for the night and take a hot shower in the morning.

I like a hotel. Both the romanticism that surrounds them and the escape. You step out of your daily bubble and are transported to a different world from the moment you are greeted at reception until the moment you say goodbye.

Of course, your usual day-to-day life goes by the wayside: room service, eating a club sandwich with a glass of wine in bed seems normal; leaving towels on the floor is almost, almost excusable; and turning on CNN to see non-BBC news is an educational treat.

But as restorative and affirming as those stays are, I have one constant bugbear: the hotel hair dryer.

First of all, there must be a universal rule as to the location of hair dryers. Because finding them is often a thankless task. Get wet, in a towel after showering or bathing, and the hunt begins. No sign of one in the bathroom, so on to the wardrobe. No. A search in some drawers. Nothing. Finally, you find it in what looks like a shoe bag hidden in a secret compartment. It’s like a hairdresser’s Easter egg hunt.

Then, the outcome of the agreement. This is often easier said than done. Especially when the household has done some apparent rigging with the catch that a sailor would be proud of. Oh, and I wish the staff wouldn’t hide it every day if you’re there more than one night.

Anyway, you’ve found it now, and a few swear words later, and then you’re ready to dry your hair. But wait. The catch…?

Outside of the UK they allow the use of hair dryers in the bathroom. Rightly or wrongly, they trust us to use electrical equipment without falling into a bubble bath à la Mel Gibson in What women Want. Back to Blighty, that’s clearly too risky, so the art of drying your hair often comes down to finding out how far the cable runs from the outlet to the mirror. If Nicky Clarke did yoga.

You know you’ve struck gold when you find a small leather box. It means one thing: a Dyson. That distinct buzz it makes encourages confidence; you know you’re in good hands with all those settings and accessories. But so often the hotel hair dryer is a complete disappointment. There’s real sadness for those hooked up to the wall like an old phone, with no heating options or intensity levels.

But as taxing as hotel hairdryers are, they’re still outdone by the bedside setup that has no outlet to charge your goddamn phone. That’s a lot of hot air.

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