Five Stars for usability
I stayed in this Premier Inn for one night in September 2018. I had a good stay, and all the general things you read in TripAdvisor reviews were good, notwithstanding some slightly flaky wifi. However, there were also a whole bunch of features that drew my attention as an ergonomist.
The first was solved my all time hotel room usability problem - using a hair dryer.
This sounds like a simple problem. I need a plug socket close enough to a mirror that I can use the hairdryer while looking in the mirror. But there are so many hotels where the room design is such that I can’t make this work.
Here we have a whole area set up for this purpose. Two plug sockets, the hotel hairdryer, a little shelf, and a light. Perfect usability (apart from the standard under-powered hotel hairdryer of course, but apparently we can’t have everything).
Elsewhere in the room two other features caught my eye. First of all there was an amazing array of sockets to plug a variety of devices into the TV. I didn’t get a chance to test out how easy they were to use, but I loved the options for integrating tech.
Second, there was some great layout of light switches. My last act before going to sleep in a hotel room is usually to flick each of the lights on and off trying to work out which of the switches next to the bed work which lights, but no issues here. A single switch clearly positioned to operate the bedside light. A pair of light switches which map to the two sets of ambient lights in the room.
In the bathroom, the layout gave a lot of flexility with a large work surface next to the sink. The shower was also well laid out, with one of my favourite control interfaces - a separate temperature and power control. There was also a towel rack within easy reach of the shower to save the “soaking wet tip toe out of the shower to reach a towel” move.
Overall, I have to say that when viewed from the ergonomic perspective, this was one of he best hotel rooms I have stayed in. There were clearly some ways the room could have been more luxurious - but in terms of human factors and ergonomics it really hit the mark. Five stars for usability.