Travelers wanting to end a hard day with a long, hot bath may have to wait until they return home. A movement is afoot to remove bathtubs from hotels and replace them with upgraded showers.
Hilton Hotel Corporation’s upscale Beverly Hills [Calif.] and New York City properties have been testing shower-only rooms since the summer. Representatives for the brand say so far, guests have responded positively to the spa-like, shower-only bathrooms, but plan to leave a limited number of rooms with tubs available by special request. Marriott and Renaissance properties plan to phase out in-room bathtubs as properties undergo renovations over the next few years.
Reasons cited include guests’ sanitary concerns and the tight schedules modern travelers keep. Properties catering to European tourists are more reluctant to pull the plug on tubs, since bathing is more popular overseas than stateside. Mobile and AAA guidelines may prove another obstacle to shower-only conversions: Five-Star properties must have four bathroom amenities, including a bathtub.
Room designs for Hyatt Place, Hyatt’s new limited service product, is emblematic of the movement to ditch tubs in favor of creating a better shower experience; its bathroom showers may feature memory boards for guests to jot down notes or creative thoughts while cleaning up. Not all properties are ready to throw out the bath with the bathwater, however. In Scottsdale, Ariz., guestrooms at the Hotel Valley Ho feature bedside tubs, encouraging guests to work, socialize, watch television and relax while they scrub the dirt of a long, hard day off their backs.
Sources: The Charlotte [N.C.] Observer, Lodging Hospitality Online