Home Hotels This Travel Pet Peeve Left Me All Wet

This Travel Pet Peeve Left Me All Wet

by joeheg

If you haven’t figured it out based on the title, one of my travel pet peeves has to do with water. More specifically, it has to do with falling water.

I’ve had it with hotel showers.

Admittedly, a shower is one part of a hotel room that has the most things that can go wrong. The curtain can blow onto you during your shower. There can be a lack of light in the shower, leading to what I like to call a shower closet. Showers can have poor waterproofing or just a poor design that leaves whatever is on the bathroom floor, like floormats or your clothes, soaking wet. The shower controls can also be placed in a location where it’s impossible to turn on the shower without being in the path of the water.

I had a totally different problem with one shower I encountered. With this shower, I just couldn’t figure out how to turn it on.


This shower looks simple enough, right? It’s actually very nice, if a little small for a junior suite. There are both a rain-shower head and a hand shower, which I always appreciate.

I woke up after my first night of sleep and in my morning pre-coffee grogginess, went to take a shower.


You tell me (and no fair if you’ve used this shower before), what is each dial for???? Know that if you get the answer wrong, there’s a chance of getting scalding hot OR freezing cold water either sprayed on your torso or dripped onto your head. Do you still want to guess?

Here’s the answer. The knob on the left is the on/off valve. The middle knob is a toggle between the handheld and the rain-shower heads. The right knob is for temperature control.

How did I find this out? By trial and error, and that’s just not right. How come hotels can’t either label each knob or give instructions? I had one hotel, I think a Moxy, that put the shower instructions on the glass shower door as a decal, which I think is a great way to solve this problem.

There’s another solution to this problem – stop installing shower knobs that are so confusing that no one can figure out how to use them!!!!!!!!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Marc March 20, 2019 - 4:36 pm

That is why in cases like this you stand outside the shower/tub trying out the options

Donato March 20, 2019 - 5:03 pm

Might be customary in their Country.
Beware of a string or cord hanging near the tub. I pulled it while in the Nicolaus Bari and immediately got a phone call inquiring whether I was OK. They explained this cord was for emergencies such as a fall in the tub. I was young and American and their first guess was that I was OK but confused.

Brian March 20, 2019 - 5:57 pm

If you can’t intuitively figure out how to use it, the design is bad. A sign telling you how to use it is an indication that the designer has failed. While Moxy’s solution is better than nothing, it would be better still if you could figure it out automatically without any instruction. Think about how often you see doors that have signs that tell you “push” or “pull.” Or worse have nothing, so that you pull when you should really push. The door handle should communicate without words whether you need to push or pull. The same can be done with a shower – and it doesn’t cost anything extra. This is a huge pet peeve of mine also.


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