10 Fun Facts About the Hotel Industry
For leisure travelers, hotels embody the most enjoyable and entertaining aspects of travel – a chance to be pampered, indulged and distracted from the cares of daily life. But anyone who works in hospitality knows that creating such an inviting environment involves a lot of hard work, long hours and dedication.
Nevertheless, hotel industry staff should never loose sight of the more lighthearted side of the business, both to help keep motivated and to maintain perspective on what makes this such a unique industry. Here are 10 fun facts that could come in handy when you next need to strike up conversation with a co-worker or a guest.
1. Hotel guests in the U.S. didn’t likely start stealing the bath amenities until 1829 when the Tremont House opened in Boston. Considered the country’s first “modern hotel,” it is also reported to be the first in the U.S. to offer complimentary soap, guest room doors that locked and indoor plumbing. After counting President Andrew Jackson, Charles Dickens and Davy Crockett among its guests, the hotel closed in 1894.
2. The McHotel was a thing. In 2001, the Chairman of McDonald’s Switzerland, Urs Hammer, opened two Golden Arches hotels; one in Zurich and one in Lully. Both Swiss properties had a 24/7 McDonald’s located just off the lobby in addition to McDonald’s-themed guest rooms. But the venture failed and both hotels closed in 2003.
3. In 2014, the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. hosted the exhibition “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation,” which highlighted the fact that at least half of America’s motels are owned by Indian-Americans, 70 percent of whom are from Gujarat, a state located on India’s northwest coast.
4. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest hotel in the world just opened in Dubai in February. The Gevora Hotel stands 356.33 meters or 1,169 feet tall from ground level to top and has 75 floors and 528 rooms.
5. There truly is a hotel out there for every type of traveler, including those who don’t want to be boxed in with walls. In the Swiss Alps sits Null Stern, where open-air guest rooms consist of nothing more than beds and linens. The name Null Stern translates to “no stars,” which is certainly not a reference to the night sky views, but rather to the fact that staff is entirely focused on each guests and not the structural up-keep of the hotel.
6. In 2014, the world’s most expensive restaurant, SubliMotion, opened in the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza. Diners pay £1,500 for one of 12 seats and enjoy 20 courses of molecular gastronomy prepared under the direction of Executive Chef Paco Roncero whose Madrid restaurant La Terraza del Casino has two Michelin stars.
7. Knight Frank’s 2018 Wealth Report found that London has more five star hotels – 75 – than any other city in the world.
8. There are two places on earth where you have little to no chance of finding a hotel industry job. There are no hotels in Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. (So you’ll have to settle for Rome, if you’re looking for hospitality employment in the area.) Antarctica also has just one lodging facility; luxury camp White Desert has just six “suites” and is open November and December.
9. Celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed six hotels, but only one remains in existence today. The Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa completed an $18 million restoration in 1999 that included the adjacent Wright-designed City National Bank, which now houses the hotel’s ballroom.
10. Although Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, it’s many hotels generate a lot of dirty laundry. In 2008, Boyd Gaming opened its own 100,000-square-foot laundry facility in nearby Henderson where 75,000 pounds of linens and towels from its 12 Las Vegas hotels are washed daily. The sustainably-designed facilities uses 1.7 gallons of water for every pound of laundry and cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 percent by consuming 27 percent less electricity and 47 percent less natural gas than like-sized facilities.