Tag: Hotel Pet PeevesView All Tags
Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Reservations / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy, Aditya Rajaram, has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. He's also shared what really happens behind the front desk. Now, he's giving us the lowdown on the most horrible offense a front desk can commit--assigning two different guests to the same room.
Hotel guests often think that the hotel's computer system are without error, but the truth is, not only can these systems malfunction, they can also fall victim to human error, typically by the front desk associate.
Hotel staff are trained to be very careful with the check-in process. This means checking the entire reservation screen to make sure we have the name/address and payment information right (and to write down the room number for the guest, not say it out loud.) Alas, mistakes are inevitably made and serious guest issues can arise.
The most serious offense made by a front desk associate is when two guests are checked into the same room. Below, I'll explain how this miscommunication could have happened and what the guest and the hotel should do when it does.
There's been a lot of talk about hotel fees here lately. We've run down the most annoying fees and we've even had our front desk man weigh in on how to argue your way out of those fees. But now, we've learned of another outrageous fee--for using your credit card. A pretty peeved reader writes in:
Profil Hotels operate the Copenhagen Plazaand on check out charge 5% for paying by credit card. You are not told on checkin that you'd be charged. Incidentally this is unquestionably the worst hotel I've ever stayed in.
We inquired of peeved reader if this was a foreign transaction fee, which is common for U.S. credit cards holders charged by their banks, but he told us that on the folio, it simply reads "Credit card fee." Grrr.
Hotel Fees / Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Tips / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. Now, he's got a few tips on getting around those pesky hotel fees that pop up from out of nowhere on your bill.
Hotels have been notorious for offering "convenient" products and services, then finding a way to tack on the extra charges to your hotel bill before you leave. According to a recent report, those fees will total up to $2.25 billion for hotels in the U.S. for this year alone.
While some fees and surcharges are unavoidable, i.e. the infamous Javits Convention Center tax in NYC and state and municipal taxes, there are other fees that aren't always clearly marked, like that daily newspaper charge that is actually optional or the pool towel fee that isn't listed anywhere except in small print at the bottom of a sign far away from the pool entrance.
Here are some ways to ensure you avoid these fees and if they are unfairly charged, how to get them removed:
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.