I love staying in hotels, I like the non-commitment of it. I love to explore the room, the features, the amenities, the hospitality, the view, the local surroundings, the fact that for once I’m not the one doing the cleaning. But some things do irritate me and here is a quick list.
- No free wifi. Or no wifi in your room but only in common parts (this is so frequent). Wifi is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Difficult wifi where you need a million logins and passwords to get into it in the first place (we aren’t all paedos) and then jumps out if you pause for a minute.
- No bottle of water next to the bed. So many hotels don’t. People get thirsty in the night.
- Early breakfast hours. As a freelance, I don’t have to get up early at home why would I want to do that in a hotel when I’m ostensibly supposed to be having a holiday or at least a nice time. Stressful.
- Crap breakfasts: unimaginative muesli. Discount yoghurts. Cooked breakfasts. Sunny Delight rather than proper orange juice. They always assume everyone wants a full English cooked breakfast. No. I don’t want to eat a big fatty meal at that time of morning. Small cups. I like big cups, mugs. And the worst: no marmite. There is never any marmite. Pretty much never.
- Awful vending machines. If you are going to have a vending machine then stock good stuff. I actually think fizzy drinks like coke should only used on special occasions, the odd night out or on holiday. (It’s incredible to think that some people drink sodas several times a day: this would also be on my list of why young people have bad teeth. None of them drink tea anymore. Badly brought up.)
- Over-fussy bedcovers. So depressing. They are probably chosen to hide the dirt. The bedcovers in Alaskan hotels were particularly grim. You’d want folky patchwork covers or bear skins or something, but you got old lady nasty fabrics.
- Noisy air-conditioners. Air-conditioners that you can’t figure out how to make work.
- Noisy fridges. I just pull the plug out.
- NO conditioner. Anyone would think the world was run by men. Women often have long hair. When you have long hair and you shampoo it, it becomes a tightly-knit fuzz around your scalp. You need conditioner to untangle it, if you try to do it with a comb or brush you tear it. Conditioner is a medical necessity. Oh yeah, and if you were thinking 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner was sufficient, think again. It’s not. It’s crap at both shampooing and particularly at conditioning. Again I’ve noticed that’s a short hair/man thing.
- Bathroom mirrors placed too high. Anyone would think builders are all men. A mirror where I can only see the top/dome of my head is no good to me.
- Too high showers. Anyone would think the world is designed by tall people (i.e. men). If I stand in a tall shower, by the time the water gets to my body it is a but a thin mist-like spray.
- Hairs in the bath or sink. Yuck. They are so often left there by the cleaning staff.
- Terrible dining. Most of the worst and overpriced restaurants in the world are attached to hotels. Often you get that corporate businessmen’s dining: mock Michelin star crap. It’s nice however when the hotel restaurant agrees to serve you pudding in bed as recently happened to me.
- A fixed TV in the corner that is miles away from your bed. I mean c’mon. One of the luxuries of staying in a hotel is TV in bed.
- Good in-room snacks that aren’t too expensive. The Ace hotel in Portland had great snacks: artisanal nachos, great salsa, a boutique chocolate bar, some home-made peanut butter cups.
- No tea facilities, particularly in foreign hotels. In America you sometimes get coffee facilities (but often unworkable). And too few milks. Or even, as in America, no milk. If they know the guest is British, they should put tea and milk in the room.
- Freezing swimming pools. I stayed in a Cape Town hotel this year where they had an outside pool which was literally ice cold, even though the weather was good. Torture. Plus they had loads of horrible splashy kids threatening to splash you with said ice-cold water. An ordeal.
- Being treated as if I don’t exist just because I’m a woman travelling on my own. This doesn’t frequently happen but it does often enough to mention it here. Standing at reception and being ignored because they think you are the little woman behind the suited-up man standing there. So even if there is more staff, they ignore you.
What drives you crazy about hotels? What do you like to see in a hotel?