Hotels Are Getting Rid of Bath Tubs

Last Revised on November 6, 2007

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Many hotel chains, especially those catering to business travelers, are now starting to get rid of bath tubs in their hotel rooms. Instead they installing shower stalls. New Hilton Garden Inns plans to have only shower stalls in rooms with king beds. Marriott is doing something similar with its new SpringHill Suites hotels, and developers of new Renaissance and Marriott locations will have the option of shower-only designs.

Often times the people take a bath in a hotel room is when they have a company with them. Otherwise, travelers prefer to have their room outfitted with a quick and easy shower. Travelers are too busy to take a time to soak for a long period. Another reason is the liability issues hotel chains face when travelers claim they have trouble navigating the walls of an unfamiliar tub. Besides, the shower-only designs are more space efficient and it appeals to hotel developers who are struggling to keep up with the soaring high real estate costs. Then there this “icky” superstition where travelers are concerned about the cleanliness of hotel tubs. Even if they prefer bathing, they won’t do it in a hotel.

“We’ve committed to 60 percent shower-only rooms and we’re not going back,” says Adrian Kurre, senior vice president of Hilton Garden Inn. “Business travelers prefer showers.” Tubs are slowly giving way to showers at Marriott International too. New Hotels of SpringHill Suites brand, which caters to business travelers who need extended-stay accommodations, will have many rooms that have only shower stalls. And Hotel developers of Marriott’s full-service hotels, Renaissance and the eponymous Marriott chain, now have the choice of installing rooms specifically designed with shower-only bathrooms.

There still appears a group of travelers that will prefer Hotels leaving the spacious bathtubs in hotel rooms alone. That groups is families. They dominate the hotel business on weekends and gives hotels a huge revenue at a time. “You need rooms with bathtubs for them,” says John Wolf of Marriott. “When we travel with our four-year-old, well, we just have to have a tub.” A word to the world’s remaining hotel-bathtub fans: To avoid disappointment, make sure you request a room with a tub when making your reservation.

Note: less than 2 percent of people take baths in hotels. If you do need a bath tub, whether for yourself or for your kid, don’t forget to ask for one when making your hotel reservation.

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