Let there be light


Photo: ©Jasleen Kaur

By Good Hotel Guide editor Adam Raphael


George Goring, one of the dynasty who run The Goring beloved by Royals (so much more comfortable than the Palace) used to sleep in all of the hotel’s 69 bedrooms. How many other hoteliers do that?

That thought came to me recently when I was staying at a new seaside hotel which had been done up with taste and style. The bedroom lights were the usual hopeless glow worms, making it impossible to read in bed.

The obliging receptionist went in hunt of higher wattage bulbs only to return defeated. The net result was that we had to read our books sitting on the loo. Not good!

Why are hotels scared of light, particular in bedrooms? Is it cost, designer whim or just thoughtlessness? One of the inescapable facts of life is that the older you are, the more light you need for reading. And as most hotel guests are over 50, this should be a priority.

Martina Photography 

Photo: © Martina Photography

It is not just bedrooms that need attention. I like this tale from one of our readers: ‘We descended for dinner at the proscribed time, expecting a jolly gathering of diners tucking into their canapés and sipping their aperitifs…….to find the lounge empty with only flickering firelight, a few tea-lights on small tables, and a few weak wall lights to greet us. 

‘The manager arrived with two menus and the wine list. We stared at the menus – we couldn’t see them in the twilight – we tried at every angle and even with our mobiles – impossible to read. When he reappeared to ask if we would like to order, we explained that we couldn’t possibly read anything in this light and please could we have some light to read them by!T

‘With much muttering and many shrugs he disappeared around the corner and switched on the main lights.’

There is no excuse for this sort of nonsense. Modern lighting is not only cheap, it is infinitely adjustable.That allows young and old to have the precise amount of light they need.

A lot goes on in bedrooms besides sleeping. I am confident that reading comes high up the list. When will hotels get the message?

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