Whine Wednesdays: Work Desk At Hotels? Case Hilton Auckland

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This week the Whine Wednesdays deals with an issue that many business travelers are facing even at full service hotels.

Whine Wednesdays Work Desk

For me, having a proper and functional work desk is a make or break issue. Some hotels are trying to discontinue work desks (save space and this money) and get people to do their work in public space (higher F&B spend?).

You can access Hilton Auckland’s website here.

So, I was at the Hilton Auckland the other week and had this tiny and nonfunctional work desk in the first room. I spoke with the Manager on Duty and told her that I need to cancel my stay and move to another hotel if they are not able to find me a room with proper desk.

Whine Wednesdays Work Desk Bad

After typing away for few seconds, they found a suite (I would call it a deluxe room) that had more adequate work space.

Whine Wednesdays Work Desk Proper


You sometimes wonder if people doing interior design for hotels have actually ever stayed at them while trying to get some work done? The new hotel design trend tries to get business people to work in lobby or cafe.

If there is no proper surface in the room to get work done, I cancel the stay and move on. Luckily, most of the full service hotels still have proper desks

And I do get it. If someone is staying at these same properties on vacation, they properly have zero use for these.

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  • Kevin

    John, Same here. It’s not that the designers never stayed at the hotel, it’s the consultants the brands hire to help them attract the millennials. They have this idea that, as you said, these young, hip jackasses want to work from the lobby, while taking selfies and sipping a latte and want their room furnished in the minimalist style – aka SPG’s ALOFT brand. (freaking hate it).

    When I try to explain that I’m at the hotel to, you know, work, and I need a quiet place to do so, with a REAL desk, I get the deer in the headlights look. When I elaborate that the nature of my business requires that I not sit around in public areas talking on the phone or working on sensitive documents, and don’t sit cross legged on my bed hunched over my laptop, that will usually get the point across that they need to give me a freaking desk or I’ll find someplace that will.

    • I believe that this is sold as something millennials want whether that is the case or not. I would say that this is more cost reduction (no desks = smaller rooms) plus hope for a higher F&B spend.

  • Chris

    Great way to get a free upgrade, need to try this next time 🙂 although, I normally only stay from late evenings to early mornings so pretending to be working in the room all day is a stretch. But definitely worthwhile if you do stay extended hours in a room.

  • Avi

    Seems like we just missed each other. What gets to me at this particular hotel is the lack of an Executive Lounge. I could manage with a screwed up desk. As my office away from the office, the Executive Lounge is where I can get real work done, meet with partners and customers, or simply to wind down after a busy day.

    • Yep. No executive lounge so they give you the two drink coupons to Bellini bar….

  • David Crane

    This has been my pet peeve at the new hotels designed with millennials in mind. Good to find out that the idea is that they work in the lobby. I wondered – don’t millennials work? Now I have stayed at a new hotel – one wastebasket – in the bathroom. When I called to tell them the wastebasket in the main room was missing I found out – it’s not missing. You only get one. Perhaps millennials don’t have waste – or maybe they take their waste to the lobby.

    • Ryan John Sullivan

      Millennials don’t produce waste, as you “oldies” have created enough of it already that we will have to deal with.

  • colin

    In days of remote working over secure company VPN connections, doing work regarded as confidential, or on video-conferences discussing confidential matters working in a lobbyis not an option.
    As an I.T. professional I am never allowed to work remotely in non-secure public spaces be that eg a)train/airplane b)lounge/business-center.

    I am authorised work remote at home or in my hotel room. It is critical a good desk and 5-legged chair is provided. I find increasingly a desk with totally unsuitable chairs, 4 wooden legs, no wheels etc.

    As an aside, Intercontinental Pattaya, a holiday resort type, removed inroom work desks July2016 onwards during room refurbisment…. probably reasoned and ok as this is resort hotel.that is unlikely to have business guests needing to work.

    • The chair is very important too. Every once in a while they bring one from their own office when I request inadequate one to be changed.

      Haven’t been to the InterContinental Pattaya yet (used to be Sheraton). Will visit sometime this year.

  • Harry Webb

    You can’t really blame Hilton for having hotel rooms which are, well, hotel rooms.

    If having a work desk is a make or break issue, hire an office as well as a bedroom.

  • Ian MacKenzie

    And while we are on the subject of in-room working, how about more power sockets.
    I usually have my laptop, two mobile phones, one iPad and by the time that the desk lamp and router are plugged in there will be one spare power socket.
    My daughter seems to be able to charge everything off her MacBook but with my HP laptop with 2 USB ports (external hard drive and mouse – sorry I am an oldie!) I’m stuck.
    Much praise for Hyatt having multi plug power sockets which do away with having to carry a bunch of adaptors around.