Why Do I Need a TV in My Hotel Bathroom?

by  Mike Barish | May 7, 2012
TV in bathroom
TV in bathroom / rilueda/iStock

Far be it from me to decline hotel amenities. I enjoy an ocean view, complimentary chocolates, and plush robes as much as the next traveler, but even I'm baffled by some of the "upgrades" that hotels offer. A television in my hotel bathroom is one such vexing luxury. For all the grousing and moaning about how filthy hotel rooms can be, apparently people have no qualms about lingering in an allegedly clean tub and watching their stories until their fingers get pruney.

When it comes to bathing in hotels, all I ask for is good water pressure. If I can rinse myself off without having to pool water in my cupped hands and splashing it on my torso, I’ve hit the hotel hygiene jackpot. I don’t require a rain faucet directly above my head (it's an inefficient attack angle for the water), heated bathroom floors, or a television by the tub.

I suppose, at the very least, that I wouldn’t have to worry about how disgusting the remote control is since I would already be bathing. However, are we ever certain that the tubs in our hotel rooms are clean? Take a bath in a dirty tub and you’re essentially a giant matzah ball in a pretty spicy consommé.

I understand that baths are relaxing. I also enjoy watching television. Combining the two should be a blissful vacation activity. In New Zealand, I attempted to take advantage of this opulent setup and drew myself a bath. After 20 minutes, I was finally able to take the plunge (or, more accurately, the step) and made sure that the TV remote was within reach. I browsed the various channels, skipping the soap operas and sporting events whose plotlines and rules, respectively, escaped me.

I had hoped to watch the local news. It’s not glamorous, but at least it’s informative. Sadly, no such option existed. My indulgent bath quickly devolved into a half-hour of frustration in some tepid water while half-watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle nearly three years after it had gone off the air in the United States.

Perhaps I’m just being a contrarian. I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a television in the bathroom. It’s a simple luxury that allows us to feel like we’re wealthy for a few days.

Yet, seeing a TV by the bathtub always makes me feel like the hotel is trying just a bit too hard. Besides, if they really wanted to treat me to the perfect bathroom experience, they would put the TV in front of the toilet. That’s where the magic happens.

What do you think? Do you watch TV in the tub when you have the chance? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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