Hospitality/Leisure, News

Guests gripe: London hotel rooms are too dim

This story resides somewhere between industry scaremongering and the truth: The lighting in London hotel rooms is often too dim or sparse and guests can’t stand it.

That’s according to 10,000 online reviews that specifically address hotel lighting, as observed by German lighting giant Osram.

It’s hardly a surprise that a vendor might shout it out when end users complain about a situation that is a sales opportunity for the company. That’s where the scare tactics come in. Osram’s press release said ‘guest reports are criticising lighting.’ Subtext: ‘Hey hotel owner, buy our lights, or your customers ain’t coming back.’

That aside, Osram makes a valid point. Who’s going to return to stay in a place that was so dingy they couldn’t tell their blue socks from their black ones? Or where the overall ambience was royal glum? Or where the lighting scheme would have been beautiful, if only the guest was able to figure out how to operate it? (Simple switches are so 2013 darling).

‘Lighting is clearly important to travelers, so much so that they take the time to go online to warn future guests about their bad experience,’ said Osram’s David Ellis, national sales manager, specification. ‘One recent visitor to London felt that his stay at a fabulous hotel was ruined solely by inadequate lighting in the rooms. This lasting impression remains with them when they re-book in the future, meaning they’ll probably shop around and consider alternative places to stay.’

London’s not the only guilty party. Osram eyeballed over 350,000 hotel lighting reviews across Europe, and identified complaints in the majority of them.

‘European hotels were not spared criticism with visitors comparing lighting in a Copenhagen hotel to that of a waiting room in a railway station and others complaining that they found working in their room impossible because of poor lighting,’ Osram noted.

Peter Veale, managing director at lighting design firm Firefly, implored interior designers to stop overlooking lighting when trying to create the ‘wow factor.’ MAYBE ADD THE CONTROL YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE.

Hmmm. More vendor talk. But that doesn’t invalidate the theme. We’ve seen this elsewhere in the hospitality business, where bad lighting is driving people away from restaurants.