Guests want adequate and accessible transformer friendly power outlets in a hotel room. What is Adequate? Research shows 4 at the desk and 2 at the bed side. What is Accessible? At desk height please and definitely not on skirting boards butted up to the floor. Guests shouldn’t have to crawl around on the floor to plug in their devices. What is Transformer Friendly? Widely spaced to allow for all sorts of transformers.
Power Outlets – Why are they such a big deal?
A recent survey showed that 15% of guests travel with 4 or more devices and they all need charging. 90% travel with a laptop, 82% with a Smartphone. If you own a Smartphone, you will no doubt find you have to charge it every 24 hours even when not using it much.
Adequate and Accessible
You can probably never have too many. Ideally you should have 4 available outlets at desk height near the desk area and 2 outlets at the bed side. Again they should be in logical location for guest use (not under the bedside table). Don’t forget, these need to be power outlets that are AVAILABLE to your guests so that’s AFTER the table lamp, clock radio etc. Adding power outlets is expensive but there are other options – a basic power board, not great but can bridge the gap until a refurbishment. There are also now attractive ‘Power Modules’ that can provide power outlets in housing appropriate for sitting on a desk or they can be built in, many of these also have USB and data ports too. USB ports can help to reduce the need for more power outlets and is particularly useful for guests with mobile devices with power plugs from another country. USB has become the default standard charging mobile devices.
There is no point providing four power outlets at the desk if effectively only two can be used as transformers block access to the adjacent outlets – keep this in mind when installing outlets or sourcing Power Modules. Make sure spacing is as wide as possible and maybe two modules with two outlets each would address the issue plus provide maximum flexibility for your guests.
Food for Thought for those planning a Refurbishment
Power outlets are not cheap but retrofitting is not cheap either. Make sure you have enough power outlets for all the guest facilities you will be providing PLUS extra available power outlets for your guests. Think about where they are. You even need to think about outlet placement for devices that you are providing – one property had to turn all the outlets upside down to accommodate the transformer for their clock radios – make sure power outlets are not too close to the floor. Also think about the need to access the power outlets so staff can reset devices (e.g. resetting a movie providers set top box) don’t have them in the back of cabinets that only a small child could possibly get to. However many you think you need, probably add another 50%, as more technology goes into rooms, more power is required. Just think about the TV – there’s the TV, the Movie Provider Set Top Box, Media Hub, Blue Ray Player; that’s 4 outlets and I am sure future technology will require more.
Can I provide universal power outlets?
In Australia, unfortunately universal or international power sockets are not legal. As you know in Australia we have fairly strict standards when it comes to power. The standard is that a fixed item such as a power socket must comply to AS/NZS3112 and anything other than an Australian socket with 1 or 2 minor variants will not meet AS/NZS3112 and hence will not be able to be approved and therefore is not legal. On a positive note, as USB charging has become a default standard for mobile devices and USB charging sockets are universal the potential need for universal power sockets has reduced dramatically. If you are providing a USB charging socket, an overseas guest simply connects their device cable to USB socket to charge their device, no adapter is required. For non USB devices, such as a laptop, a universal input to Australian pins power adapters could be made available thru the mini bar or loaned to the guest through the Concierge Desk.