I’ve spent a lot of time debating on whether or not to trust the hotel iron. I’ve been in hundreds of hotel rooms, from absolute shite to utter delight, and almost everyone one of them had an iron… to some level of usability! And chances are, even the rooms which don’t have an iron would have one available for you to use at the front desk. So keeping with the ‘lighter suitcases are better suitcases” theme, I wouldn’t recommend worrying about bringing your own wrinkler-remover device while you travel. That being said (and possibly completely contradictory!) a small personal steamer doesn’t take up much room or weight as well as a flat iron used for you hair can sure come in handy for smaller jobs like shirts collars (as mentioned in my book).
OK but on to the real debate, can you trust, The Hotel Iron? In my opinion it depends on a few things. First of all, what you are ironing?
Is it expensive, and would you be extremely angry if it was ruined? If yes, chances are you’re not staying in a seedy motel and therefore 87.2% (rough estimate) of the irons you will encounter should keep you calm.
light in color? If yes, test the iron first on something else white, like a hotel bath towel. I have encountered dark dyes and residue stuck onto an iron before and didn’t realize it until it was heated up and ready-to-go… and when I say ready-to-go I mean ready to go and stain my white shirt. Beware. Also beware if the hotel you are staying in has dark towels instead of clean white ones… *side note, brown towels scare me the most.
Delicate fabric? Well you know best how to look after this type of clothing, so it should come as common sense when using the hotel iron… use your best judgment!
In closing, most hotel iron’s should work just fine and do the trick BUT don’t just turn it on and assume that, test it out first. If it doesn’t look up to your standards call the front desk and ask if they have a newer one. Oh and this goes for the ironing boards as well!
Happy travels and best of ironing luck to you.