Few items are as loved and initially misunderstood by some visitors to Thailand as the ubiquitous toilet hose that appears in many of the kingdom’s hotel rooms. Hanging quietly near the toilet, they’re similar to hoses in western kitchen sinks, and these handy devices make cleaning up after doing one’s business a breeze. A couple squirts and you’re drying off with some paper, rather than cleaning with a lot.
People who have never had such cleaning hoses at their disposal prior to a visit are often a bit standoffish at first, but after a couple squirts/tries, are usually fans for life. So how do guests react to these unfamiliar accessories and how do hoteliers feel about them?
Pierre-Yves Loriers, originally from France, has lived in Thailand for 14 years, and is the owner of Krabi Riviera Co. Ltd., a company that specializes in building and managing holiday villas. He’s a big fan of toilet hoses for many reasons and puts them in all his properties.“Bidets are popular in Europe and a spray hose is a must have in SE Asia. Architects should plan for toilet hoses in every bathroom in Southeast Asia.” “They are convenient, hygienic and they save our planet – think of all the trees you can save!”
It’s this reduction in toilet paper use that seems to appeal most to hoteliers. Alan Thomas, originally from the UK, is the Managing Director at the Evason Hua Hin, and is enthusiastic about the benefits of the hose. “They’re extremely practical and the use of toilet paper and flushing it away causes problems as many sewage systems are unable to cope with this solid waste. The hose provides a practical and hygienic solution and reduces the need to use toilet paper.”
With 60% of Evason’s business being domestic travelers, getting toilet hoses in rooms was a must according to Thomas, “We have really only added these as a feature three years ago and have had no operational issues to date.” “They were installed as a response to customer demand and operational problems have been reduced since there are less blockages caused due to toilet paper blocking the drainage system, so they are definitely a benefit.”
Another advantage according to Sukamal Mondal, General Manager of Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok and Ekamai Gardens in Bangkok, is religious. “With some religions people cannot pray until they havecleaned themselves properly after using the toilet. Hoses provide this.” “We don’t promote our hotel by mentioning this, but it definitely has benefits. A few guestswho are especially religious have sent an email checking whether we have toilet hoses prior to booking.”
So how do the uninitiated react to these mysterious hoses? Mondal says it’s usually not an issue, “Honestly, with many westerners travelling extensively in Asia nowadays they don’t react negatively.” “They quickly realize the toilet hose helps ensure hygiene and cleanliness.”
Loriers backs-up Mondal’s experiences, “Most guests end up loving them.” “At first they often don’t know what it’s for, ask our staff, give it a try, and are won over.” “I simply can’t imagine not having them in my properties for so many reasons: hygiene, convenience, and of course less toilet paper being used which greatly reduces incidents of blocked pipes. Having them is a no-brainer.”
Loriers took to the hose so much so that he took them back to his native country, “I actually installed them in my house in Paris after coming back from my first trip to Thailand.” “I’m not the only one. We’ve had a number of guests who have asked us to mail them a couple hoses after they returned home. They just make sense.”.