Of course, it all looks good when you are shown the room; the problems only surface later when you have fully unpacked and, usually, got settled into bed. It then becomes clear that whatever staff member escorted you to this place has never spent a night there, and neither have the management staff who greeted you so smugly in the lobby, restaurant or beside the pool, asking how your stay is going almost as if to rub it in.
Last weekend, it went like this. A friend and I were pleased with our twin room: it had comfortable beds and great views. Yet the first red flag occurred after sunset, when we realised that the curtains wouldn’t close either with or without pressing on a supposedly multifunctional panel (one of which glowed so brightly in the night it had to be covered up with some dark-coloured undergarments).
In our case, there were three of these panels dotted around the room; sometimes they come in the form of flatscreen tablets: also unwelcome if you spend too much of your life behind a screen anyway. These panels and tablets usually at least partly don’t work, an annoyance compounded by the fact that they are ultimately unnecessary. How difficult is it to close the curtains by hand or operate lamps by their switches? And why is one deprived of these simple pleasures?