5 of My Biggest Hotel Pet Peeves

Sheraton Mission Valley hotel lobby

Sheraton Mission Valley hotel lobby

I’m all about making the destination a priority on my trips, taking in the culture, and making the most of my time there. However, I do love a good hotel, even if I don’t spend all of my time there. I think there’s something very comforting in knowing you’ve got a gorgeous, clean room to return to after a day of sight seeing. While hotels can provide comfort, convenience, and safety in a strange city, there are a few superficial things that bug me about them. Here are five of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to hotels:

1. Revolving doors.  They may look high tech and eliminate the need for a doorman (or do they?), but they’re annoying and impractical for many reasons. It’s like somebody thought, “Let’s reinvent the wheel and make it square.” It looks cool but makes a simple thing more complicated, thus defeating the purpose it was created for. People get stuck walking through them all the time and sometimes you have to wait longer than it would take you to walk through a regular door until another slot opens up for you to jump in.

And did I mention getting through one with multiple bags is a pain in the a**? How about we make walking into a building simple again and everyone just learn to open their own doors.

2. Trash can with no plastic bag. I can’t get myself to throw an empty frappuccino cup into the trash (never mind that there’s often no recycling bin). Even if cleaning it isn’t my responsibility, I don’t like the idea of dumping my trash in a bin that doesn’t have a plastic bag. Plus, it makes me think of the germs that must be present because other people’s trash has been in the same bin. It may be the hotel being environmentally friendly, but in that case, have a communal trash can down the hall that everyone can use. Maybe I’m being neurotic, but it’s the small things that annoy me.

3. Not enough power outlets. I recently stayed in a Balcony Suite at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, which didn’t have a single working power outlet in the living room. There were two coffee machines, yet no place to plug them in. Even the bedroom had just two outlets tucked away in a far-off corner with no place for an appliance, let alone your cell phone. This tends to be the case with older hotels or ones that aren’t targeted towards business travelers. Splurge on an extra outlet or rearrange the furniture.

4. Slow in-room wifi. Maybe this is meant to drive people out of their rooms and into the lobby, where they’ll hopefully spend money at the restaurant or bar. If you’re going to offer in-room wifi, make it faster than the wifi in the lobby, especially if I’m being charged for it. Also, don’t give me two or more wifi speeds to choose from. Average out the price and charge everyone the same thing for the highest speed.

5. Monotony. While consistency is a key part of the chain hotel business model, it would be nice if hotels switched it up a bit in terms of decor. I think Club Carlson does a nice job at this. This is especially annoying when the hotel’s decor is mundane to begin with. There’s something depressing about walking into a hotel room in a different country and feeling like you’re in a hotel in the suburbs of your hometown.

Also, I don’t want to eat the same dishes everywhere I go. Switch it up and offer regional specialties at your on-site restaurants. Even breakfast seems mundane when the restaurant menus look identical.

These are just a few of my pet peeves. Popcorn ceilings, badly done renovations (which are particularly noticeable in the bathroom for some reason), stained carpets, and dusty furniture are a few others that I personally think are better suited to prisons than places where people pay to sleep.

Rant over. What are some of your hotel pet peeves?

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12 thoughts on “5 of My Biggest Hotel Pet Peeves

  1. biggest hotel pet peeves:

    answering ‘just one’ to ‘how many keys would you like’, then making way up the elevator and down a long hall, bags in tow, to find the one door key doesn’t open the door.

    finding the local tap water has strong undesirable smell or taste and the bottle of water in the room is labeled with an exorbitant price tag.

    too thin walls and noisy neighbors.

    • RE the key thing – so annoying! Or when they send you to the Club Lounge for check-in, but forget to give you a key to go up the elevator.

    • I stayed at a hotel that was having a karate convention w/ kids everywhere and the walls were paper thin. As you can imagine, it was anything but quiet.

  2. Ditto the power outlets complaint, though I’ll add one–lately I’ve seen a number of hotels where they’ve conveniently placed a number of power outlets near the bed or near the work desk but then plugged a bunch of stuff (phone, desk light, etc) into those same outlets meaning there are none left for the customer. Really?

    Or how about the every light switch in the room is different problem–flip switches, toggles, rotating knobs, pull chains, a foot switch for one of the desk lamps, one with no switch at all controlled by a wall switch, etc. Stick to either VISIBLE switches (not under the lamp shade) or all the same general approach.

    Or how about all the dead light bulbs? I’ve got two sitting on the table next to me waiting for the next room service to be replaced.

    Or ice makers that are broken in rooms with full size fridges, like Hyatt House? I must be the only person that ever reports these when they don’t work.

    Crazy hot tap water? Hot enough that you’d think people would get burned?

    Crazy room service pricing–$3.00 delivery fee, automatic 21% gratuity (including on the delivery fee) plus tax etc turns that $25 steak into $59 or more. Yikes! How often is a room service steak worth $59?

    • I’ve had that happen to me recently RE the outlets that were all in use. I’m kind of glad hotels are getting rid of room service in favor of in-house markets where you can pick up food.

  3. Funny how you want to recycle but not save energy by using revolving doors. Where they are a must is in places that are very cold or very hot. They aren’t to look cool but save the hvac.

    Ditto the power outlets issue.

    Mine are motion sensing lights and thermostats that don’t work right. Less than 24 hour fitness rooms and water softners that are turned up too high and you can’t wash the soap off or drink the water.

  4. Ditto on the trash can without a bag and the power outlets.

    As a 6’2″ guy, I can’t stand when the shower head only comes to my chest.

    My biggest pet peeve, not recognizing my hotel status. Why do I have a profile that lists my preferences if you aren’t going to acknowledge them? I understand if you don’t have my room preference available, but PLEASE acknowledge it.

    • Yeah, I’ve had more than one stay where my benefits (i.e. how to access the complimentary wifi, whether I wanted points or an amenity) weren’t mentioned. And when I chose the points, they didn’t post to my account.

  5. Hotels that won’t allow 2 adults and 3 children in one room, even if you’re trying to book a 1200 sq ft suite at a “family” all inclusive resort. I’m looking at you, Hyatt. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

    “Actually sir, we can book you a king suite ($600/night), with a connecting double suite ($500/night)!” Yeah lady, that’s not going to happen.

  6. Keys that never work.
    Non smoking rooms that smell like smoke.
    Paying for WiFi
    When the hotel isn’t busy, but you STILL get the room next to the elevator.
    Oh, and when you get there at 3PM and you STILL can’t check in.
    Lobby area is freakishly hot, so as you arrive you are sweating while waiting to check in.
    Overpriced restaurants on the property.
    Gym rooms that are hot. Seriously, how am I supposed to get a run in when it is 80 degrees in there when i start running.
    Lousy bartenders.
    The list goes ON.

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