Steve’s annual top 10 hotel pet peeves –

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As you know I travel a lot. During my travels, I stay in a lot of different hotel rooms and I am able to notice a lot of things that are good, bad and ugly about hotels. Every year I update my annual list of top 10 hotel pet peeves. I hope you enjoy it; let me know what I have left out.

Hotel pet peeve #1 – Resort fees

Seems like every hotel today charges you a resort fee of $15 to $35 per day for access to the workout room, to receive a paper, and swim in the pool. Give me a break. This is simply just one way for hotels to hide additional fees so they don’t show up online. One of the Core Values of Executive Travel is “Make Mom Proud”. Hotels charging resort fees would not pass the “Make Mom Proud”- test.

Hotel pet peeve #2 – Drapes that don’t close all the way

How come I always find a room where the drapes do not always close all the way so one light in the McDonald’s parking lot across the street is always shining in my eyes all night long? Speaking of drapes, they also need to keep it simple. I stayed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas once and they had automated drapes that opened and closed by remote control on the wall. The problem is it took me two days with the lighting from the strip to help me locate the button on the wall. Pro tip: Carry a clothes pin or safety pin when traveling to keep the drapes closed.

Hotel pet peeve #3 – Alarm clocks with 500 buttons

The hotels just do not get it. The average person does not want to spend 30 minutes learning how to program their alarm clock so they are awakened by the sound of a babbling brook followed by the chirping of the bluebirds in the morning. They want a simple alarm clock that is easy to set and even easier to turn off. I can’t tell you the number of times I could not figure out how to shut off the bloody alarm clock. Keep it simple and make everyone happy. Luckily, in this day and age, every cell phone has an alarm clock. I have gotten so frustrated with the hotel alarm clocks I now just simply use my cell phone as my alarm. I can always count on it.

Hotel pet peeve #4 – Telephones with 500 buttons

I want phones with zero buttons. When I pick up the phone I want to talk to a live person at the front desk. I do not want 500 buttons to push for everything from Concierge to the spa. Once again when you are in bed and need glasses to read, the last thing you need is more buttons. “Keep it simple Stupid” is my new mantra. Sometimes it is easier for me to grab my iPhone and ask Siri to call the hotel front desk than using the hotel phone beside my bed.

Hotel pet peeve #5 – Programmable thermostats

Once again I want a simple thermostat (that works) to tell you it is 74 degrees in BIG LETTERS and has one button to make the temperature warmer and one button to make the temperature cooler. I also want the temperature display to be backlit so it can be read at night. Is that too much to ask?

Hotel pet peeve #6 – Housekeeping early wake up

Sometimes when I travel I figure it’s my one time a year to sleep in. I go to bed dreaming of sleeping in just like in the old days. Then I am awakened by the dreaded knock on the door at 8:01 and those sweet words, “Housekeeping”. If check out is 11 AM please don’t bother me until 10:59 AM.

Hotel pet peeve #7 – One electrical plug-in

This is almost a universal problem for every hotel. Today’s business traveler can have 2-4 devices that require recharging at night. A cell phone, iPad, notebook, laptop, and others. Why do hotels only have one plug-in at the desk? Also, I need a plug by my bed so I can charge my iPhone when I sleep and have access to it for calls and alarms. Why don’t hotels buy a 4-socket electrical extension bar at their local True Value hardware store and make all their customers happy?

Hotel pet peeve #8 – Charging for Wi-Fi

It still burns me that some of the best hotels charge $10-$15 per day for internet access in the room. If McDonald’s can provide free Wi-Fi so can Marriott.

Hotel pet peeve #9 – Using a key card in the slot to turn on electricity to a room

Many energy friendly hotels now require that you take your hotel room card and put it into a receptacle inside the door to turn on the electricity in the room, thus saving energy when you are out of the room. This works great until you need to charge your laptop while you are away and all the electricity is turned off when you leave the room. This is why I get two keys. One for the slot and one to use to unlock the door.

Hotel pet peeve #10 – Hotel shampoo bottles with letters too small to read without glasses

Just about 5 years ago I had great eyesight. Today I have to have reading glasses to read almost anything. How come they make the shampoo bottles so hard to read that you almost have to wear glasses into the shower? I usually find that many hotels have body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion bottles. Without my glasses, I could be using body lotion for conditioner and body wash for shampoo. All they need to do is put in big letters on the bottle, SHAMPOO.

Hotel pet peeve #11 – (Sorry I must add one more) – Hotel room key cards that don’t work

I don’t know how many times I have walked up to my hotel room and put the key card into the slot only to see the dreaded red light, instead of the beautiful green light. This of course only happens when you have two full bags of luggage and you are the last room down the hallway on the 21st floor at 1:00 AM in the morning, and after your flight has been delayed and you waited 60 minutes for your bags to arrive at the luggage carrousel. Surely, if we can get a spacecraft to Jupiter and Pluto, we can find an easier way to unlock a hotel room door. Why not use your phone?

Plus, here is a summary of all the rest of mine and many of your hotel pet peeves that you have shared with me in past years. Please let me know what you think: 

  • No airport shuttles.
  • One-ply toilet paper.
  • Early check out times.
  • Rooms not ready when you check in.
  • Air conditioning/heating units that sound like jets taking off when they turn on.
  • Sheets tucked in so tight on the bed you can’t pull them out.
  • One-ply toilet paper.
  • Getting charged for having a safe in your room whether you use it or not.
  • Light bulbs with such low wattage that you have to bring along a flashlight to read anything.
  • One-ply toilet paper.
  • Bad water pressure.
  • Shower heads that are 4-feet tall with the water hitting your belly button.
  • Walls so thin you hear everything about your neighbors.
  • Expensive mini bars.
  • Small towels, hard towels, scratchy towels, thin towels, not enough towels.
  • Outrageous parking fees. Once in San Francisco, I paid more for parking than I did for the room.
  • And lastly, one-ply toilet paper.



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