Florence Hotel Shower Mishap

With all the great design

being featured on Passport To Design lately, I thought I’d try to balance out the good with the bad and give you a taste of some more bad design I’ve encountered on my travels.

As you can imagine, I am pretty picky with hotel rooms (when I can afford to be, that is), and although I’ve stayed in my fair share of dingy, dirty, run-down and down-right disgusting hostels around the world, I’ve also had the pleasure of enjoying high-end accommodations that made it difficult to leave the hotel room!

The experience I had in Florence, Italy, is caught in the middle. The hotel I stayed at, called Hotel Annabella, was very clean and respectable (in the most modest and boring of ways, as you’ll see), but I had major issues with the bathroom’s lack of functionality.

Let’s have a wee tour of the hotel room first:

The bedroom was VERY basic. Shown here: Queen bed with unproportionate wall sconces.

Wide shot of the Florence hotel room. At least the floors were made of wood!

A view out of the small balcony terrace. The balcony exterior pretty much looks identical to the balcony showed across the street.

The bathroom is located across from the hotel room's main door - this is nice because there was a short hallway between the bathroom and sleeping area (which was nice for privacy).

The bathroom looks pretty harmless from a distance, right?

Well, the true lack of functionality became apparent when I tried to use the facilities.

First, you will notice from the above photo that the wall-mounted toilet and the toilet paper roll holder are located on the same wall. This is silly – it makes it very awkward to access the toilet paper that is located behind you when you’re…um…*COUGH*sitting on the toilet*COUGH*.

When the toilet seat is up (which means the toilet is being used) it's very difficult to reach the partially obstructed toilet paper.

Another problem with this washroom lies in the shower.

The first shower I took consisted of a series of injuries, after which followed explicit curse words that cannot be repeated here.

The shower is extremely small, which is typical of European shower stalls, but the lack of tightly closing stall door and a centrally located floor drain make it very difficult to shower comfortably.

A closer look at the shower drain will show you why this is an example of BAD DESIGN. Not only is the drain lid located in the middle of the shower floor so that you cannot stand properly in the middle of the shower, but it is also raised by a couple of centimetres, making it a tripping hazard and a sure-way to stub your toe.

The shower drain showed in the "open" position so that water will drain during a shower is a toe-stubbing hazard.

These lavatory frustrations are the result of poor design. These details were overlooked and now contribute to an overall lack of efficiency and comfort in this Florence hotel room.

Criticisms and bathroom banter aside, the hotel has a very cool cage-style elevator (and since I don’t like to end a blog post on a negative note, here’s a photo of the super great elevator!)

Stepping out of the old cage-style elevator in Florence.

After a heavy, Italian dinner, I usually opted to take the elevator up instead of the two flights of stairs, and boy, was it fun.

Staying at Hotel Annabella is a good idea if you’re looking for a centrally located hotel, a modest overnight rate and a simple place to sleep. If you want luxury, opulence and well-thought-out design, look around for another place to spend the night.

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  1. Very cool elevator indeed!! When I was in Florence, I stayed in a similar place – not luxurious by any means, but did the trick. Would I have wanted to stay more than 3 nights there? No. I guess it’s all part of the trials and tribulations of travelling!

  2. Agreed, Shannon. Awkward hotels are all part of the fun, but I really get a chuckle out of the silly design flaws that could’ve been avoided…obviously the toilet paper roll and drain were after-thoughts. :)

  3. At least it is better than the hole in the floor toilet I encountered in florence Italy ughh!

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