9 Insider Things You Didn't Know About Hotel Rooms

Who knew?

You know what happens when you check into a hotel room. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) You plunk down your credit card, get your key, drop your bag, and Netflix it up while raiding the minibar.

But, as you can probably imagine, there's a ton of stuff happening behind the scenes in the hotel business to make that effortless stay possible — and profitable.

Well, prepare to get a lot more knowledgable on the inner workings of the system: Hotelied C.E.O. and founder Zeev Sharon had a lot to say on Quora in response to the question, "What Are the Things We Don’t Know About Hotel Rooms?" that we legitimately didn't know before. For instance...

1.  The lingo

A single room or suite available for sale to customers is called a "key." A standard-size room is comprised of one "bay." A suite could be the size of two or more bays.

2.  The astounding cost of building

The cost of building a new full-service hotel in New York City, including the cost of the land, could be a whopping — wait for it — $800,000 per key. Let that sink in.

3.  The price formula

Sharon explained that the old industry rule of thumb is that for every $1,000 invested in the building of a room, the hotel should charge $1 in average daily rate. In other words, if a room costs $300,000 to build, the hotel should plan on selling it for about $300 nightly.

4.  The bathroom math

Sharon wrote that the quality of a guest room is often measured by the number of fixtures in the bathroom, which is far and away the most expensive room to build. A standard three-fixture bathroom has a sink, bath, and toilet.

But compare that to a five-fixture bathroom, which is typically found in luxury hotel properties: Those usually have two sinks, a bath, a stand-alone shower and a toilet.

5.  The size that counts

While it's very hard to design a hotel room that is narrower than nine feet, you still do see rooms like that in cities with notoriously pricey (and tiny) real estate — such as New York City, San Francisco, London, and Paris.

6.  The sleeping arrangements

Perhaps counterintuitively to laypeople, hotel rooms with double beds are usually larger than rooms with king beds.

7.  The sense of scale

The height of a room's ceiling is one of the most important factors that affect guests' perception of not just the size but also the quality of their hotel room.

8.  The revamp schedule

In order to stay looking fresh and desirable, hotel rooms should get a light renovation — including the likes of carpets, drapes, and wallpaper — every four to five years, and a major renovation every seven to eight.

9.  The surprising money pits

You'd never guess that those crazy expensive-seeming minibars almost always lose money. And the same thing is true for room service: Although it can seem super pricey, in-room dining rarely makes money for the hotel, because of all of the expensive labor involved in delivering that product.

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