A Plea for the Return of Crappy Hotel Room Coffee Makers
I do not pretend to know the economic vagaries of running a hotel; I just like to stay in them, or sometimes have to stay in them, depending on the circumstances. But I stay in them a lot—say for instance eight nights over the past two weeks. It's a downright presidential percentage of time away from my home and office, and I have spent an upsetting amount of cash and emotional energy on coffee acquisition because there was none in my room. Not even fancy coffee, mind you. Maintenance coffee. The coffee I would need to introduce into my system before even contemplating going and meeting a friend for coffee. It is shameful that my dependence is thus, but here we are. If I ever meet the person who pioneered the trend of taking the coffee makers out of hotel rooms in favor of fancypants lobby coffee shops, I'm gonna be hard-pressed not to give them such a punch in the snoot.
When I'm at a hotel, I am (obviously) away from the creature comforts of my own home, not to mention the various creatures who live in my home. I am vulnerable and raw, waking up away from my husband, dogs, the bulk of my possessions, and my normal TV channel lineup. My morning routine is in disarray. Usually it's: wake in horror, check Twitter to see what Donald Trump has tweeted, talk myself down from the resultant panic attack, do various powder room tasks, pour coffee into my face to fortify my body and brain, and make myself halfway presentable to walk out into the world to face the day.
But in a coffee-maker-less room, I'm left defenseless. I must jackhammer the sleep sludge off my face, dress myself enough to masquerade as a functional human being, leave the room, take an elevator down, queue up amongst other hotel guests, politely engage with a barista, find cash or a credit card, and wait my turn at the creamer station before trudging back up to my room. As the indignities of human existence go, it's pretty minuscule, but in the moment, it makes me feel as if I'm being held upside down by an ankle, dress flopping over my head, being shaken for every last coin in my pocket.
No, in-room coffee isn't often great shakes (except shout-out to the hotel chains that have started deploying Nespresso machines), and in fact it's pretty notoriously wretched. But it's there, and when you're far from your own pillow, that's often what matters in the moment. And I'm not about to start packing a portable grinder, cone filter, electric kettle, beans, and the works in my carry-on.
So this is my pathetic little plea: Hoteliers of the world, feel free to skimp on the in-room electronics, the newspaper delivery, even the quality of the little lotions (does anyone ever actually use those or do they just stuff them into their bag to take home and never use?), and slip the cruddy coffee makers back into the guest rooms. I promise I'll shut my mouth and just be grateful to have some.