Tag: Hotel Pet PeevesView All Tags
Every so often, the mainstream media gets fired up about hidden hotel fees. This usually happens when it's revealed how much hotels are making off these miscellaneous yet maddening fees. This year it will be about $2.25 billion, according to a new NYU report.
Us, being both regular hotel guests and hotel trend watchers, have become somewhat accustomed, but no less outraged, to the random fees that pop up during a hotel stay.
Back in 2010 we detailed 10 Most Ridiculous Hotel Fees, included the heinous WiFi charges, the confusing room service charges and the annoying resort fees.
The next year, we followed that up with 5 Hotels That Are Acting Like Airlines with Extra Fees and made it clear we did not like the fees for making a reservation over the phone, nor the early check-in fee and certainly not the baggage storage fee.
Just last year, we uncovered more hidden fees, including the fee for the bottled water on the night stand, the towel at the pool and the safe in the closet. And soon after that, we were blindsided by a random newspaper charge. #GRR. Most recently, we uncovered another sinister type of fee creeping around London, the minimum spend fee during peak hours at the bar.
But hotels want to make money, so fees for things you would expect to be free have long been how they do business. The only way to avoid these fees is to assume that everything you use inside your hotel room, save for the water, towels, and toiletries, will cost extra. Study the little notes placed around the room by the hotel, whether it be the mini-bar menu, or the note about WiFi placed on the desk, to see if there is a charge and how much it will be.
And of course, if a fee pops up unexpectedly on your bill, head right down to the front desk to dispute it. Just make sure you know how to effectively complain to them.
[Photo: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]
Valentine's Day is a mere three weeks away and hotels--from luxury to boutique--are nearly tripping over themselves in attempt to win your money for the night with "romantic" themed packages. Yet no matter the hotel, the location or the star-rating, we keep seeing the same amenities in these Love Your Lover packages...over and over.
If you're about to book a hotel for Valentine's Day, here are 5 Predictable Amenites The Hotel Will Offer.
1. Chocolate. Whether it's a box of fancy chocolates or chocolate-covered strawberries, hotels will have this sweet stuff on hand. Just don't eat them in the bed. That could get...interesting. (And what will housekeeping think?)
2. Bubbly. Luxury hotels will have actual champagne from France while the rest may have bubbles from Napa. Either way, you'll be swigging some of this when you check-in. Bur remember, one glass, only!
Everyone knows that your New Year's Resolutions don't actually start until Monday so if you're a hotel and you are still wondering what you can change about yourself in 2014, we've got a few resolutions for you to choose from. We know, we're too kind! But also, we'll be checking on you to make sure you're sticking to these. No need to thank us for our kindness! We do it out of the goodness of our heart. XOXOXO.
1. Free WiFi at Luxury Hotels: The budget and boutique brands have done an excellent job with making WiFi a part of the hotel experience. Luxury hotels, however, are still nickel and diming their guests for this amenity and it's clearly a money grab.
2. Real Savings in All Those Packaged "Deals": We'll talk more about this tomorrow but hotel packages are going to need to start offering actual dollar bill savings in their deals. We won't be swayed by a complimentary cocktail anymore.
3. Reasonable Minibar Prices: We touched on this topic this morning but the promise of a $3 beer has us hoping that hotels really make a change when it comes to the minibar.
First, when we check in to a hotel and are handed our key card, we do not want our room number to be announced at full volume to us and simultaneously anyone else standing at reception or hanging around in the lobby. Best case scenario it is unnecessary, as we’d expect to find it on the little card holder, worst case scenario it is just unsafe.
Let's be honest, luxury hotels are pretty great. You are well taken care of, always addressed with a professional, caring attitude and usually, there is some fantastic food involved.
After experiencing the level of service and amenities that five-star brands like Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons have set the bar on, one can become rather, well, jaded. Perhaps even, dare we say, expectant of certain details we have grown used to having while traveling.
So here's a look at what may come as a
shock disappointment to everyone out there that has grown far too accustomed to the lavish life. Just a few things that (whether you want to admit it or not), you will be sorely upset about should you accidentally book less-than-stellar accommodations.
We've walked in on some shady situations over the course of our hotel-staying careers, including beds that appear to have been "utilized" prior to our arrival. You could drive yourself crazy thinking about all the things that might have -- or worse, definitely have -- taken place in the room you are about to occupy.
That image firmly in place and acknowledged, we must admit that we're not very paranoid about room cleanliness. We pretty much trust the eye test, that the floors have been reasonably cleaned and the bathroom sterilized. But we've met our fair share of people who don't hesitate to cover the toilet with paper before sitting down, or who shake out all the sheets before slipping into bed. And that comforter has been known to raise a few eyebrows, without question.
It's Monday, a perfect day to get our latest batch of hotel rants out of our system. While we talk regularly of things in hotels that annoy us like resort fees, WiFi charges, fugly carpeting, anti-views and dirty rooms, here are some random odds and ends in hotels that have us exasperated. We know, we know, this is #firstworldproblems all the way. But we suspect you have a few of your own to contribute. So get ranting in comments below!
1. When the shampoo and conditioner toiletries are placed on the sink, instead of in the shower. So we have to step out of the shower, soaking wet and slipping on the floor, grab the bottles and hop back in the shower (or tub.)
2. Phones with short cords. We're not even sure why a hotel room has a phone with cords anymore these days but even worse is when the cord is super short so that the entire thing falls to the ground if you pick up the phone while standing up. Ouch!
3. No full-length mirrors. If college kids can buy $10 mirrors to put on the back of their dorm room doors, hotels can find a way to work in a full-length mirror somewhere.
If you haven't seen it yet, the latest viral trend is Sh*t Girls Say from girls to black girls to white girls talking to black girls to girls talking to gay guys, girls talking to personal trainers and so on.
Since it's Friday, we thought we'd put together our own list of Sh*t Hotel Guests Say when staying in hotels. Sorry, you'll have to do without a visual of one of the HotelChatter guys in drag. But feel free to submit your own Sh*t Hotel Guests Say video!
The other week while staying at the Trump Soho, we found ourselves in need of contact lens solution. Since (shockingly) there was no Duane Reade directly in sight, we hit up the Concierge desk to see if they or housekeeping had any travel-sized bottles on hand.
Just our luck, they had run out. So we asked for directions to the nearest drugstore. The concierge gave us the easy-to-follow direction to the Hudson Square pharmacy about four blocks away and off we went, dry eyes stinging and all.
But when we got there, the drugstore was closed. Turns out the store doesn't open until 10am on Sundays and we were there at 9am.
So we walked back to the hotel nearly flinging our stingy contacts on the pavement, wondering why the concierge would direct us to a place that was closed?
This has actually happened to us twice before when asking a hotel's concierge for a lunch spot suggestion. And the same thing happened--we walked to the place, only to find it was closed.
Just in time for Halloween, here's a rather "scary" hotel design snafu--an exposed ironing board at the W Hotel French Quarter in New Orleans, sent into us by a reader. The photo was taken this past Sunday. The guest writes:
After paying more than $300/night for this W Hotel, we really expected a design experience way superior to what we actually got. The ironing board was just the perfect example of the design sensibility displayed by this property. I still cannot believe that this actually is a W Hotel. Never again.
The other week we tweeted about walking into a hotel room and being annoyed that the room was freezing cold which is something we often find in hotels. So we promptly turned off the fan, put on a sweater and watched the Twitter responses come in.
It turns out we might be a bunch of wussies. Several of you tweeted back that you love a cold room. Some even like it freezing cold! That we can understand if you're in the desert or a humid muggy city on a hot summer day. But a cool early fall afternoon in central California? Not necessary. We prefer the room to be room temperature please. Don't make us breakout our workout pants just to keep warm at night!
But rather have this conversation on Twitter where it will be impossible to track down six months from now, let's have an all-out forum here on HotelChatter.
Do you like your hotel room to be freezing cold or just room temperature when you walk in? Tell us your desired temperatures in comments below!
We gush about a lot of the good things we find in hotel rooms--toiletries, bathrobes, free WiFi, books--but today we're taking a moment to talk about what really grinds our gears (and sometimes causes injury) when it comes to hotel room design.
As usual, these are just a few things we've come across during our hotel stays but we always want to know what bothers or delights you so drop in your experiences in comments below.
1. Half Shower Doors: We've seen these on three hotel stays recently and our bums are getting sick of it. That's because with just half a shower door, one part of your body is always exposed to the colder air. No matter which way you turn around in the shower, someone's always getting left out. We'd prefer a flimsy shower curtain to these half-doors.
2. Desks and Nightstands with No Outlets Nearby: This is pretty self-explanatory but shame on hotels that feature tricked out desks stations with no outlets nearby. Same goes for nightstands. We'd like not to have to unplug the floor lamp just to charge our cellphone.
3. Gaps Between The Bed and The Wall: As our contributor JuliaB recently found out at the Jane Hotel, gaps between the bed and the wall mean gross things are probably lurking in those dicey spaces.