Traveling as much as I do, I am always frustrated at the little things that drive me mad in hotels, otherwise known as my Hotel Pet Peeves.
Recently, in the Flyertalk.com 2014 Pet Peeves Survey, people ranked the stuff that really bothered them. I have only one word to say, “Hallelujah”.
Wireless internet is always a rip-off and hotels have tricks to get you to sign up for their most expensive package. The least expensive package is so horribly slow that you are almost forced to opt for the other one. Honestly, what excuse is there for charging for wireless in this day and age? The irony is that if you’re staying at a low-budget hotel such as the Red Roof Inn, it’s free, but if you are staying at the five-star Minerva Hotel in the center of Rome, it costs you 30 Euros a day. So, if I pay $30 for my room, I get wireless for free, but if I want to pay $600 a night for a room, I have to pay for wireless. Go figure.
The other complaint that ranked up there was the accessibility of electrical outlets. Hotels simply have not caught on to the fact that we all need to charge our phones at night. Sometimes it can take 10 minutes to find the outlet you need and most of the time I end up unplugging a lamp so that I can put my phone charger in. No problem at the Red Roof Inn incidentally.
A personal pet peeve of mine is the system of lighting which is very specifically a challenge in places like Spain and Italy. You press a switch and a light goes on that you had no idea would turn on but the light that you do want on is on a mystery switch somewhere that is hard to find. One time, a mate of mine staying at a hotel in Spain got so tired of looking for the light switch to turn off the lights that he simply pulled the card out that controlled the main circuit for the room. Incidentally, that is another pet peeve of mine. Why don’t American hotels have an energy saver switch? In other words, your room card controls a main circuit that turns the lights on and off. It should be standard fare.
In addition, what is the story of the hair dryer? They pop up in the most mysterious places but never in the place that you want. Sometimes they are in the closet with the ironing board and sometimes they are in some drawer that you would never guess. Also, what about the coat hangers? Do they really think I am going to steal them? Do they really not trust me? The answer is no which is why we have to deal most of the time with the permanently attached coat hangers. Red Roof Inn does not have those. Why do hotels still have alarm clocks by the bed? I have never figured out how to work them and if you ever try then there is a good chance you will miss your flight because you screwed up or you will be awakened by 4 AM by a music station you have never heard of. Now we have phones for that…after all we do not use them to make phone calls anymore.
Lastly, a piece of advice. The lines at the front desk for checkout are always too long. So I just discreetly leave and wait for my credit card bill to show up. How do I let the cleaning lady know that I am gone? I leave the door open. It always works. If somebody needs to use my room for a while before the drop-dead checkout time…good for them.