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How do you work the shower?

Sydney Paulden asks if you have ever seen instructions on how to use a hotel bathroom?

There is one thing that always seems to be missing from a hotel room. That is a sheet of simple instructions on how to use the controls of the shower.
Bring up this topic in the company of any frequent traveller and you get immediate recognition of the problem and the examples of start flowing of the problems people have encountered over the years.


Showers in hotels have a built-in challenge. People who need glasses are not wearing them when they shower. Even people with good natural eyesight have difficulty if there is steam and spray all around.

Then there are the older or infirm guests who, whilst in the shower or bath, do not find it easy keep their footing and look for the means of operating the controls.

And, of course, everyone has noticed that hotels are priding themselves on the installation of more and more sophisticated ablutions. There are high-powered jets of water that shoot out from the wall of a wet room. There are pencil nozzles that will power a shower to snake dangerously around your head or your feet if it is turned on unintentionally and not, therefore, being held firmly.

Let’s face it, there are knobs to set the temperature, others to turn on the hand-held shower and others to start a torrential monsoon flowing from above. Some are so cleverly designed into the structure, that they are not even obvious unless you do a recce well in advance. Some pull out to increase temperature or force, whilst others have to be pushed in. Others need to be turned to the right or, perhaps, to the left.

If you are a member of a group with an itinerary that is running late and you have been given six minutes to go to your room to change for dinner or to meet in the lobby ready to board a bus to dine out, the last thing you want is a scalded scalp or a waste of ten minutes sorting out the controls to have a wash.

It would, therefore, seem common sense to have a simple, illustrated instruction sheet on how to operate the controls. This should be very much in evidence on the bedside table or displayed on a wall, so that it can be read and digested before a guest ventures into the bathroom.

Nowadays even worse horrors lie in wait. There are electronically controlled, push-button loos making an appearance. They certainly require clear instructions that can be learned by guests prior to use.

Has anyone ever found suitable instructions made available in a hotel room before the moment of truth? If you have, let This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know which hotel it was.

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