What’s so Zen about a hotel room?

Did you ever think about why it’s so relaxing to stay in a hotel? The obvious answer is that most people are on vacation when they’re in a hotel. But there are some certain organizational and zen qualities to hotels that really force us to live simply, if only for a few days.  As an organizer and someone who is always in search of making her life more simple, I have thought about what it is that makes me relax in a hotel and how we can incorporate those elements into our own bedrooms and homes.

  1. No clutter – right off the bat we know that hotel rooms do not come with clutter. Dressers are cleared, nightstands have only the essentials:  a lamp, clock-radio and a pen & paper for notes. How about your bedroom – is it clutter free?
  2. Everything in the room serves a function – The function of a hotel room is mainly to sleep. Subordinate functions would be to watch TV, eat, use a computer, shower & dress.  No extraneous equipment is found in the room. Can you say the same about the rooms in your home?
  3. Furniture & appliances are the appropriate size – The biggest furniture in the room is usually the bed because that is the main function. No one is cooking three course meals so the refrigerator is appropriately small. How many times do we have oversized or undersized furniture in our own homes?
  4. Decorations are coordinated and neutral – I’m speaking about most mid-range hotels. I realize some budget hotels might have tacky or bad décor and some theme hotels might have extreme designs. Most hotels have neutral colors that don’t offend and room darkening curtains which make it easier to sleep. How about your bedroom? Is it coordinated and decorated completely with curtains, artwork on the wall?
  5. Most hotels blend with their natural surroundings – By this I mean that a hotel in the mountains will have a “woodsy” feel. One at the beach will have a nautical or beachy vibe.  What is the vibe you want your house to give off? Can you incorporate that into each room so there is a natural flow from the outside in? Harmony with your surroundings is another way to feel the Zen.

The next time you’re at a hotel, take notice. With less clutter, and more harmony are you able to focus better? Relax? What is it that appeals to you about the room? Then take that home as your souvenir, (not literally please) but take the concept and use it at home. Create a calm oasis, preferably in your bedroom where there is no clutter, distractions, stress and a way to shut out the light when it’s time to sleep.

What do you like best about staying in hotels?

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