Things We Wish Hotels Didn’t Do…

What we love most about hotels is the way they ensure our wishes are fulfilled. But sometimes, hotels can mess up, or take hospitality a little too far. Frequent travellers disclose their hotel peeves to EXEC.

Hotel-guest-returning-cardkAfter a tiring journey, you are standing at the reception of the hotel, but the hotel tells you that the room has to be booked online or through the call centre.

You wait at the long check-in line only to have them tell you to fill forms and provide information you already gave when booking the room.

You go up to your room and switch on the computer to access emails from clients, only to have to ring the reception for the password.

When they tell you about the charges for Wi-Fi and broadband, your jaw drops wide open, and you wish you had remembered to bring your dongle.

Every time your computer goes to sleep, you have to type in the complicated password.

The cost to use the computer at the business centre for one hour is equal to the monthly fee you pay for unlimited Internet at home.

You want to use the computer for five minutes to send an email, but they still charge you for the whole hour.

The premium hotel charges you for the printout of one page.

The bellboy does not take no for an answer when you tell you will carry your own luggage, and looks expectedly for a tip once you reach the room.

To navigate through the on-screen menu of the TV to reach an actual TV channel is time-consuming and too complicated.

The listings of the TV channel numbers provided by the hotel are wrong, and by the time you surf through 120 channels, the programme you were looking for is over.

The TV remote control is hidden in a rack every day instead of leaving it where you want it – on the table or next to the bed.

The hotel didn’t warn you about the bad cellphone coverage, and you have to do acrobatics in the lobby to get a signal.

You have to call the reception to find out how to place a call.

When the bill arrives at the end of the stay, you realise it’d have been cheaper to tell the message in person.

The breakfast ends at 11:00 am on a Sunday.

The checkout time is noon, even on a Sunday.

Breakfast begins only at 8:00 am even on weekdays.

The duvet or top sheet is wrapped so tight over the corners of the mattress that you have to wrestle to get under them.

The housekeeping staff knocks at the door right when you are in the bathroom, and enters despite you shouting, “Come back later”.

Parking your car costs half as much as the stay at the hotel; so does valet parking.

The hotel’s website did not mention additional charges for parking or any mandatory resort fee.

There is no space for your stuff in the room, what with huge menus and adverts propped all over the place.

The safe is too small to store your laptop.

You find some strands of blond hair in the drawer, and you are a brunette.

The toilet paper has been folded into a triangle, and there is a sweet on the pillow. But the curtains have not been washed, and the carpet beneath the bed has not been vacuumed.

You pay extra for the poolside room only to find that the curtains have to be closed for window washing throughout the day.

The windows cannot be opened to let in some fresh air.

During winter, the window is left open so that the room is freezing cold when you get there.

You want a small meal for breakfast but the hotel has an overpriced breakfast buffet.

The hotel provides only a few sachets of coffee. Or worse, there is no coffee or tea machine in the room.

There are no complimentary bottles of water in the room.

If you are thirsty or hungry for a snack, there is no choice but to raid the mini bar.

Mini bar prices are twice or thrice the price of the same items delivered by room service. The knowledge that the product is available in the market for one-third the price does not help.

You are hungry enough to ask for room service, but the food is cold and unappetising.

You find cheap toiletries in the bathroom after paying through the nose for a premium room.

The hotel has stacked everything in the bathroom but there is no toothpaste. Also, there is shampoo, but no conditioner.

The electronic key cards don’t work, and you have to head down to the reception every time it happens.

Whenever you leave the room, you keep your laptop and iPod behind to charge. But the key card powers the room, and the batteries remain low.

The system to change the temperature of the room is too complicated. So, it is either too hot or too cold.

The towels in the bathroom are too small to even wrap around your head.

They ask you what newspaper you like, but then don’t deliver it.

The mood lighting in the room makes it hard for you to see the laptop screen, let alone prepare for tomorrow’s meeting.

You bang into the sharp corners of the furniture in the middle of the night.

The height of the chair is not set to that of the desk, and your back hurts after half an hour of work.

Every time you head to sleep, you have to get out and walk around the room to switch off the lights.

But then, it turns out the curtains do not keep out the light.

The walls do not keep out the noise.

Your sleep is disturbed by children who yell and run down the hallway because the desk clerk did not think of putting up the family in a room near the elevator.

The lift is very slow in coming, and you don’t know why. It is empty when it reaches your floor all the time.

You have some time to kill, and want to explore the city but the hotel employees do not know anything about the attractions in the area or nearby restaurants.

The employees have no idea about the hotel’s loyalty programmes, their tie-ups with frequent flyer clubs or other special offers.

Your points are not credited to your loyalty card.

Architects sometimes pay more attention to function over design. That is why it takes fifteen minutes to walk from the car to the hotel lobby.

You arrange the toiletries on the bathroom counter as per your convenience, and then the hotel housekeeping “straightens” it up.

Trays from the room service dinner last night are not cleared away.

There is no iron and ironing board in the room but a hairdryer you rarely need is available.

At hotels that don’t offer hairdryers, they do not provide sockets near the dressing table or mirror to plug your own device.

And the one socket in the room puts you literally in an awkward position.

You ring the room service, reception and housekeeping but no one answers.

You have asked for an early checkout to leave for a meeting but the hotel keeps you waiting while they check the mini bar.

Instead of the cab you asked to the airport, the hotel sends their expensive limo.

24/7 dining facilities translates to a dry sandwich and stale coffee at 2:00 am.

As soon as you sit down at the restaurant, the waiter rushes you for your order. You ask them to come back in a few minutes but they don’t turn up.

The hotel only offers a non-smoking room if you remember to ask. And even that reeks of smoke.

There are no full-length mirrors in the room for you to see if how you look before heading out for the important meeting.

You enquire about the special rate advertised but they say it is “only available between 3:15 and 3:25 on the second Tuesday in May for faxed booking originating from Kuala Lumpur”.

The housekeeping personnel wake you up before 9:00 am on the day you are not checking out.

You are in another country, and want newspapers delivered to the room. But the service personnel do not understand what you are saying.

You ask the chef to cook dinner with less oil and spices, but they tell you, “Sorry, the dinner is already cooked,” or, “It is the standard way of cooking here”.

The pillow is too hard and they don’t have any soft pillows to offer you. Or, the pillow is too soft that your head keeps slipping and they cannot offer harder ones.

The bed, which is already small, is strewn with fancy pillows that leave no space for you to lie down and stretch your legs.

You arrange for a meeting at the lobby only to realise it’s too noisy and offers no privacy.

You head to the gym to work out the heavy lunch you had only to find just a treadmill and poor ventilation.

The spa is actually just a small room with a sauna.

There is no changing room near the swimming pool, and you are not comfortable stripping down in public.

You left home on an early morning flight and reach the hotel at 10. But the hotel does not offer complimentary breakfast for that day.

You have booked a suite on the website but they tell you they have no record of the booking and the suite has been allotted, and you end up paying more for another suite.

The checkout line is long, and you have a plane to catch.

Sometimes, they keep asking you what you want, and you are too tired or distracted to smile back and say, “Thanks but no thanks”.

With inputs from Indranil Sinha, Rajat Bigghe, Lakshmi Vishwanathan, Maitreyee Mukherjee and Leena Ghosh

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