Hotel elevators (lifts)

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  alainboy56 11 Jul 2018
at 03:47

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  • Tom Otley

    I am frequently frustrated by elevators (lifts).

    At busy times, they are delayed, and at quiet times, their chime as they arrive can echo down the corridor past the room where I am trying to sleep.

    As buildings get taller, they are are also confusing as they are organised into banks accessing certain sets of floors, so I get in and discover I have been whisked past my floor and up to 16-29 because I wasn’t paying attention when I got in.

    So I read this with interest

    New elevator design could disrupt city infrastructure

    A new elevator concept uses magnets and a rollercoaster-style rail design to enable greater degrees of freedom for transporting people, and more, around skyscrapers and across cities.

    “With SkyPod, the cars could travel along the outsides of buildings, curving around all manner of shapes, and also travel horizontally between different zones.”

    I think I may have to get used to the prospect of further confusion.

    SkyPod – PLP rethinks the elevator as a vertical Maglev from PLP Architecture on Vimeo.


    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    1 – ask for a room away from the elevator bank

    2 – pay attention to which elevator you step in to

    Sorted and not exactly rocket science for a frequent traveller.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    How about elevator etiquette?

    Eye contact with strangers?
    Nod of head or utterance (morning etc)?
    Gaze at your toes?
    Humm quietly?
    Comment about how many floors it stops at?
    Breaking wind on exit?



    I intensely dislike getting into lifts with other people, so I usually use staircases where practical. I try to stay in hotels that aren’t massive multifloor blocks.

    I’ve often found that walking is faster than using the lifts anyway, particularly at times of high demand.


    Hi Tom,

    Totally agree with you on the frustrating wait for elevators/lifts.

    I’ve stayed at a few tall properties – Marriott Boston Copley and Courtyard Kuwait come to mind – where they have installed newer lift technology. Instead of calling the lift and then selecting the floor once in the car (the only buttons inside are open/close/alarm), you select your destination floor in the lift lobby and a computerised system directs you to a specific elevator. Sometimes you still have to wait but the computer system seems to optimise the use of the elevators. So, if you do have to wait a little while I find when the elevator does arrive it will then be non stop to my destination floor (or with no more than one or two stops which are indicated when you board).

    My personal elevator pet peeves (which are overcome by the above system):
    – being on floor 30, getting in the elevator and having ten stops on the way down.
    – stupid people that think they will get an elevator quicker by pressing both the ‘up’ and ‘down’ call buttons regardless of their direction.
    – being on a lower floor and the elevators constantly being full when they reach that floor on the way down.

    The hotel we used to stay in in NYC was a very tall but very slim building that physically could only fit two elevators. I became accustomed to opening my hotel room door, holding it open with my bag, calling the lift then sitting down on the bed having a cup of tea until I would hear the ‘bing’ as the elevators could take so long.

    Tom Otley


    There’s nothing worse than waiting a long time for an elevator to take you to the ground floor, then realising halfway down you’ve left something in your room.

    I remember many years ago staying at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square and the hotel manager demonstrating the new lift calling system which is more common now where you simply press the floor you want to go to and then a electronic sign tells you which lift will take you there. This sort of thing




    I was raised with focus on friendlyness, therefore a simple good morning/afteroon/evening when entering and a good bye when leaving the elevator for me personally
    is a must. But apart from that I remain quiet. I am not searching for eye contact, when it happens though a soft smile will be fine. But that`s just my two pence and I am far away from wanting to establish any common rules


    Newer hotels are good design with elevator shafts are away from rooms or service rooms like electrical rooms are next to elevator. But some hotels are badly designed and there are rooms next to elevator shaft.
    One can hear elevators going up and down from these rooms especially in night when the other noise level is low.
    I get occasionally these type of room (due to lower contractual rate) but I make it a point to talk to the manager for change. Almost all time I was able to change at least on the next day. Of course hotel loyalty membership helps.
    My pet peeves for the elevator that nowadays most hotels needs room entry card to be slotted before floor stop could be activated. Cannot understand the rationale. Why some guest would like to go to other floor. If this is to keep out unwanted people, then it is not effective-a determined guy can go to any floor.


    Here’s a more detailed and technical video of this idea. Fascinating.

    However, this is an updated version of an old idea. I remember these circular lifts which went continuously round and round in the old PPT building in The Hague. They didn’t stop and had no doors, you just stepped in and out at your floor. Probably now banned due to health and safety.


    My pet peeve are the floor buttons inside the lift, where the hell are they? I am registered blind and every hotel seems to think it is great idea to have poorly lit lifts with silver buttons with ingraved numbers on grey background thus making them impossible to find. I could starve to death in a lift trying to find the damn things. I much prefer the stairs.


    It may be law, but in Spain I’ve noticed that most lift buttons have braille numbers on them. I might be more conscious of it there as my MiL is partially sighted and has to rely on touch and Braille.

    Tom Otley

    Something like this…


    Brilliant subject Tom…..

    Not sure if its correct etiquette or just manners , but I almost always acknowledge my fellow passengers without fully engaging them with small talk.

    My biggest pet hate of all …. people who squeeze into an already crowded elevator to ascend or descend one or two floors only . Or in the same vain, the same sort of folk who insist on hogging the door space, even though they might be travelling all the way to the top. Usually compounded by the fact , they’re accompanied by their Sherpa’s and a ton of baggage selfishly placed creating an obstacle course for you to navigate on your departure.

    and I’ve not even got to BO or the sneaky farts !! … yet !!

    Tom Otley

    I think it depends on where you are. I’ve found in the U.S, certainly once you get outside the U.S, people tend to say hello when they find themselves in this confined space.

    I remember getting into the lift after walking around Chicago’s Millennium Park one evening smoking a cigar I’d bought from Iwan Ries & Co, and a lady saying, as the doors closed, “Someone smells fantastic.”. Thankfully, she wasn’t being sarcastic!


    On the subject of greetings, on the continent almost everyone greets each other in the lift with a Bongiorno or whatever. Those that just grunt or say nothing are usually Brits I’ve found!

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