Hospitality/Leisure, How to Light

How to Light: Lighting lessons from TripAdvisor

Forget lighting designers – it’s guests whose opinions about your hotel lighting really matter. They’re making their views known online, and it ain’t always pretty. Here’s how to avoid getting a bad write-up.


Maintain your lamps

‘I reported the broken light bulbs in the afternoon. I returned a few hours later to find the matter unresolved, I then reported again. Around an hour later it was still unresolved and it was now dark. In the end I had to hastily change rooms, as they did not to have staff available for the task of changing a light bulb.’
A Knowles from Blackburn never quite found out how many members of staff it takes to change a light bulb at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield, England

‘How many Holiday Inn people team it takes to change a light bulb and still fail? Seven. Staying here for two weeks and they haven’t figured out how to replace a light bulb.’
NomadicGuru from Washington suspects the Holiday Inn Townsville in Queensland, Australia is relying on its good location to make up for its poor service

‘How many maintenance requests does it take to change a light bulb? At the Emerald Lake, the answer is three. This is a splendid property. It needs an upgrade in management and service.’
Martin E from California was expecting better when he visited the Emerald Lake Lodge in British Columbia, Canada

‘We spent two out of three nights with no bedside light – on one side the bulb was blown and on the other side there was no plug socket, until on our last night they fetched an extension lead.’
Catllar from France was left in the dark at the Golden Rice Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam

“Light bulb missing from stairwell light. Dirty, dark and dangerous”

Jeff G, Montana

‘I stayed there two nights, stairs were dirty and never vacuumed. Light bulb missing from stairwell light. Dirty, dark and dangerous.’
Sounds like Jeff G from Montana won’t be rushing back to the Super 8 in Gillette, Wyoming


Don’t leave guests in the dark just because it’s an evening/weekend

‘Premier Inn feel it necessary to fit special bulbs to stop you nicking them, for which special knowledge is required in order for one to be changed. 10pm is a time when the bedside light would be most handy, so if a bulb fails at this time it would be useful if a spare and the suitably trained person were available. But no.’
Adrian M was unimpressed by the out-of-hours service at the Premier Inn in Newcastle, England

‘Electric jug and one bedside light didn’t work, so reported both to office staff. Given new jug but informed light bulbs not allowed to be held in stock. Assistant made phone call, but no answer. We had to purchase new bulb from local supermarket in order to read in bed… No maintenance support over weekend? Not good enough!’
The fact that it’s Saturday is no excuse for the lack of maintenance at the Port Lincoln Tourist Park in South Australia, says 272jfw45


If bulbs start exploding, maybe take a look

‘Watch out for exploding light bulbs! While in the room, the light bulb outside the bathroom exploded right above me when I turned the light on. Apart from the almighty bang, there was glass everywhere, and smoke following a flash of light. We immediately rang reception who totally did not understand the severity of what had just occurred. The cleaning lady came to the rescue, but not once did reception seek to find out if I was hurt.’
Janine2511’s holiday at the Edelweiss Hotel in Ulan Bator, Mongolia started with a bang


“The light switches in the room are annoyingly difficult to figure out”

MamaGuida, Florida

Don’t overcomplicate things

‘One quirk: the lighting “slot” in the room I first stayed in was eight feet from the room door – fun in the dark! I struggled to find the main light switch to turn the lights off to sleep. The first time I ended up pulling the card out of the slot. On the second occasion I googled it (really!) and found it was on the back of one of the legs on the desk. Bonkers. At least put a sign up!’
Sleepysand2014 from Exeter was frustrated by the lighting at the Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield, England

‘The light switches in the room are annoyingly difficult to figure out. There is even a light switch to turn on the electrical outlets – and it’s unlabelled. One desk light we never found the switch for. We would’ve turned off the main kill switch at night, but then our phones would not have recharged. We had to unscrew the light bulb. Really???’
MamaGuida from Florida lost patience with the Sheraton München Westpark Hotel in Munich, Germany


Don’t mistake darkness for atmosphere

‘The retro-modern design was a good idea, but it’s poorly implemented. Insufficient, gloomy lighting’
Christoph Stieg’s verdict on the Regina Hotel in Bad Gastein, Austria

‘Good night’s sleep with spacious room. However, for the size of the room… the lighting is too dim.’
VictorNgWH from England was underwhelmed by the lighting at the Mercure in Bratislava, Slovakia

‘The rooms, though lovely, are very dark. Very romantic and a good ambience, some may say. But when trying to do hair and make-up – hopeless. To make matters worse, desk light not working. Tried to get bulb replaced, but nothing. Therefore had to move lamps around, and ended up going out looking like a clown!’
ashover98 failed to live up to her usual grooming standards – and she blames the Doubletree in Lincoln, England


Don’t forget to leave space for your guests in between your fancy light fittings

‘The worst feature is a four-light bulb fixture on top of the headboard and in the middle of the bed. The bulbs stick out about a foot from the wall and about a foot and a half from your head so if you are not careful, you could hit them and hurt yourself… I have never seen anything like that!’
iim1dcn wasn’t convinced by the lighting design at the Cozy Cove Beach Front Resort Inn in Lincoln City, Oregon