12 Hotel Pet Peeves: Simple Steps to Ruin My Stay

Hotels succeed by helping their guests succeed. Fail at these simple tasks, pet peeves, and you’ll lose the loyalty of your business travelers.

Wonder why a property with great facilities and a competitive room rate in a good location isn’t getting the level of midweek repeat business it might expect and it may come down to something simple.

Mandatory Resort Fees

Hotels taking part of the room rate out and burying it in fine print is fraud. Consumer and the government get up in arms and regulate over airfare displays when already those are pretty clear and clean, it’s hotels where the worst behavior happens.

These are not optional charges, so they are part of the room rate. Not including them in the room rate is disingenuous. In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission warned hotel chains that mandatory resort fees may be illegal. Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas were sued over their resort fees. Some Florida properties no longer charge resort fees as a result of a settlement with that state’s attorney general.

Here’s the most absurd resort fee I’ve ever seen.

Billing Your Credit Card For Additional Charges After Checkout

When a hotel decides to charge you for something that wasn’t on your folio when you checked out, by just billing your credit card, they should have to email to let you know they are doing it and identify the item(s).

By all means, you should pay what you owe, but a huge pet peeve is additional (usually small) charges showing up on my credit card statement days later. If I didn’t comb through my statements I wouldn’t even know they had done this. And then I have to get in touch with the property to find out what this additional charge is even for.

If a hotel’s systems and processes are too poor to identify charges before checkout, they should at the very least proactively reach out to the customer to explain they’re hitting the card for more charges and send a statement detailing those charges. Don’t leave it to the customer to notice they’ve been hit, and then have to do research to understand why.

Six weeks ago a hotel billed me for the cash portion of a cash and points award five months after my stay. They reached out to let me know.

Each time I stay at the Hyatt Crystal City they tell me in-room bottled water is complementary for Diamond members and then they bill my credit card for it after I’ve checked out. They’re happy to remove the charge when called on it. But since it doesn’t make the final folio, it requires followup — which is more costly in my time and theirs than the actual charge itself.

Hidden Elite Benefits

Elite benefits shouldn’t be hidden and you shouldn’t have to ask to verify what they are or give a secret handshake.

Some hotels will treat guests, and especially elite members, better if they know what to ask for. Some Hyatt properties will let a Diamond member take breakfast via room service rather than in the restaurant but won’t actually say so. That’s been my experience over two recent stays at the Hyatt Herald Square.


Complimentary Diamond Room Service at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables

Either a front desk agent gives up the plot or you order it anyway expecting to pay and find it was taken off the bill. And then you need to ask each time you visit to make sure this unpublished benefit hasn’t changed. You read frequent flyer forums and blogs to discern the secret handshake.

Instead of, you know, just receiving a welcome letter outlining your benefits.

Although I suppose the plus side here is that when there are ‘secret’ benefits they’re actually cheaper for a hotel to provide since not everyone avails themselves. So it’s a tax on the poorly-informed, and redistribution towards the savvy frequent traveler.

Still, it would be so much easier if it were more straightforward.

Coffee is a Human Right

Hotels should have 24 hour coffee available and access to real milk and cream.

  • A business hotel needs to be able to provide coffee 24 hours a day.
  • There are lots of ways to do this: in-room machines, club lounge, lobby, and even room service.
  • The coffee needs to be drinkable, and that includes making it possible to get the real milk or creamer of your choice.

That’s just basics. Hotels without in-room coffee, and a lobby option, and that do not offer 24 hour room service are a complete and total #fail. Claiming to be an upscale or full service property, and aiming at business travelers, they’re completely missing the point.

I’ve been to too many properties where there’s no coffee before 6 a.m. That’s great, until:

  • You’re coming in from another time zone, and getting up at 4.
  • You have an early flight.
  • You need to get up early to work on a presentation.

Morning coffee can set the tone for the whole day, and entire stay.


The coffee bar at the Hilton New York JFK.. more than once I’ve shown up half an hour after opening to find no one working, this time I got lucky!

I once stayed at the W San Diego and rang up the “Whatever Whenever” line at 5 a.m. They were supposed to be able to get Whatever you want Whenever you want it. I wanted coffee at 5 a.m.. They told me no, coffee isn’t available until 6.

If there’s a coffee shop or coffee stand in the lobby, it needs to be open at its posted time. If the coffee shop opens at 6 then gosh darnit it should be staffed at 6… not 6:15 or 6:30.


The Coffee Stand in the Lobby of the Hyatt Herald Square Opened 30 Minutes Late Last Week, So I Went to Starbucks

A Hotel is For Sleeping

Walls should be thick enough not to hear your neighbor, or the elevator. And connecting rooms are for families traveling together. Please don’t assign one to me.

Natural light is great, but not when a guest is trying to sleep. A room should be able to get light, but also keep out the light.

And do not disturb means… do not disturb. If I’ve got do not disturb on, housekeeping shouldn’t knock on the door. Don’t call me an hour after arrival, either, to see how I like the room? If there was a problem, I’d have let you know. And if I’m off an overnight flight, I may be trying to take a quick nap so I can power through to dinner and adjust to the local time quickly.

Valet Parking Purgatory

A hotel should help get you on your way. If they can’t get your car out of mandatory valet parking within 15 minutes they shouldn’t charge.


Hyatt Regency Houston Downtown

Or better yet: a hotel can usually project its occupancy levels, and is aware of the conferences and events it is hosting. Staff appropriately relative to occupancy.

Only One Soap in the Bathroom

When I get into a hotel room, usually the first thing I do is wash my hands. I’ve been traveling.

That means unwrapping the soap. It goes into the soap dish beside the sink.

So in the morning I get into the shower and find there’s no soap and I have to get out of the shower and put the soap from the soap dish beside the sink into the shower? That’s an early morning fail.

An Executive Floor Room Is Not an Upgrade

Over the years the surest way to know I haven’t been upgraded is when I’ve received a sticky note on a key folio that says “You’ve been upgraded!”

If they have to tell me my room is an upgrade, if it’s not something I’m going to notice myself, then it isn’t an upgrade. And if they have to outsource it to a written note, because the front desk agent either won’t notice the room I have is better than standard or is going to be too bashful to tell me my room over the HVAC is an upgrade, then it isn’t one.

A simple corollary is that an executive floor room is not an upgrade. Executive floor benefits are. But especially if you’re entitled to those anyway, the room itself is rarely any different than one on another floor. Telling guests that it’s an upgrade doesn’t make it one.

If you aren’t going to upgrade me, I understand. Play by the rules, hotels sell out, or have too many elites and I accept that. But don’t lie to me and tell me my room that’s just like the others is special just for me because of my status.

Unreliable Airport Shuttles

An airport hotel needs to be able to reliably get you to and from the airport.

The whole point of staying near the airport is to get into bed as quickly as possible once you land, and to be able to sleep in the next morning and leave the hotel later than you’d have to if you were staying downtown.

If you have to wait half an hour for an airport shuttle, or you can’t rely on the time the shuttle will leave the hotel and therefore have to present yourself downstairs early to make sure you get a seat or don’t miss it, you give up that time advantage.


    The Shuttle End Times Came at the Sheraton Gateway LAX — These Were the People Who Were Left Behind.

And you’ve wound up trading a nicer place in a better location for a nondescript airport property — without the countervailing benefit of proximity (timeliness).

Not Enough Outlets

“This room has too many outlets” said no hotel guest, ever.

Older hotels often have no or very few outlets, and those that are available are badly placed. They’re in use for lamps, they’re behind the bed, or blocked by a large desk.

If a room is meant to accommodate two people then assume that both people need to charge a laptop, a phone, maybe a tablet or a wireless internet device, and an external battery.

There needs to be outlets available at the desk, and also by the bedside. Many people want their phones beside the bed. I only want mine there when there’s no easily visible alarm clock.

So there need to be multiple outlets, in multiple places, conveniently located.

You Have Late Checkout, But Keys Stop Working at Noon

I know not everyone has had perfect experiences with Starwood’s guaranteed 4pm late checkout for elites (outside of resort or convention hotels where it’s subject to availability) but it’s never been denied to me.

I especially value Hyatt properties where I find I’m nearly universally proactively offered late checkout when I’m checking in.

Clearly it’s part of their procedure. So when a guest says, “yes I’d appreciate a 4pm checkout” they should code the keys for a 4pm late checkout.

I’ll usually remind them to do this. But I don’t always. And every time I fail to offer the reminder I’ll go back to my room on my day of checkout at, say, 2pm and find that my key doesn’t work. So I have to go down to the front desk, where they’ll make me a new key, and then it’s back up to the wrong. This one doesn’t seen to be that hard to get right.

The Light That Won’t Turn Off at Bedtime

At midnight on a recent stay I wanted to go to bed, so I went about turning off the lights in my room. Only I could not figure out how the light on one side of the bed turned off.

There was a simple light switch on the other side. Easy. You’d think the lamp on the other side of the bed would work the same way. But it didn’t.

I walked around the room looking for light switches, and couldn’t find one that would turn it off.

There were two switches beneath the light, next to power outlets.

I tried each of them, and neither turned off the light. My first thought then was that the switches must control the outlets. Since they didn’t turn off the light. Flip the switch on the right, the light was still on. Flip the switch on the left, the light was still on.

It took me 15 minutes to figure out that you have to flip both switches in order to turn it off.

The last thing I wanted to do was deal with getting help from the hotel at midnight. Wait for help from the hotel at midnight. To turn off a light in my room. But I knew I’d need to, because as much as a part of me was wondering if I could just fall asleep like that, I knew it was a bad idea. I’d fall asleep, but then I’d be up in an hour. And sleep off and on through the night.

Hotel room design must be intuitive. Turning lights on and off in your home is iterative. Since you turn the same lights on and off over and over you train yourself in a way that it’s second nature. But each light in a hotel room is used once or a handful of times by a person approaching it for the very first time — every single day or every few days. Everything in a room needs to be intuitive.

What Are Your Pet Peeves? What Have I Left Off the List?

Are my pet peeves peculiar to me? What are the basic things hotels get wrong that keep you away from repeat stays? What are your must haves and pet peeves you’d like to fix?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. You nailed it with this one. I think you covered most of my pet peeves.

    I’m sure I can think of a few more- off the top of my head:

    Managerial staff snagging housekeeping tips.
    If I leave a tip for the hardworking housekeeper who services my room it really irritates me to
    see a manager make the rounds picking up those tips. (For the record- I’ve only seen this in Europe not the US)

    Radio clock alarms left on to startle me at unexpected times. Housekeeping should always check this so I don’t have to remember to. It’s awful to be sleeping in and have the prior guest’s
    6 am alarm awaken me.

    Sensors in the honor bars.
    I shouldn’t be charged for slightly moving something in the honor bar. Those things are notorious for false charges.

    The demise of print newspapers. I know, I know, print is dead. But a digital newspaper is no substitute for the real thing when I’m on vacation.

  2. Generally a good list. Some of these are pretty minor in my opinion, but it’s all relative. I don’t know that I think coffee has to be provided 24/7, but if there is a scheduled opening time, that should be followed.

  3. Other Pet peeves of mine include the hotel using all my bathroom counter space for the coffee pot and all its paraphernalia. A women needs her counter space! Plus, I do not want to drink or eat anything in the bathroom. Put that stuff outside of the bathroom.

    Additionally, I get very upset when children are allowed to run up and down the hallways screaming or when people congregate in the hallway to talk. A hotel should be considered a quiet place. You never know the schedule of the person you are disturbing. That could be your pilot for your next flight and they might be trying to sleep so that they can do their job without falling asleep!

    It is a mystery how some hotels find the most complicated alarm clocks that you can never seem to figure out. As a result, I always travel with a small travel alarm. Just one more thing I would prefer to leave at home.

  4. I stayed at the Sheraton LAX 3 weeks ago. As you may already know, they now have an arrangement with Joe’s Airport Parking, and the Joe’s vans have “Sheraton LAX” signs and shuttle you to and from the terminals. Seemed to run about every 10-15 minutes, which is much better than the 45+ minute wait I endured for the Hilton LAX shuttle last summer. If you don’t mind the awkward ride with folks that are there to pick up a rental car and who wonder why the van is stopping at your hotel first… On the positive side, I loved the huge LAX departure and arrival monitors in the lobby and the breakfast (and service) was above average, despite ongoing some hallway construction.

    Additional Pet Peeves:

    1. Hotel clerks that announce my room number rather than whispering it or discreetly pointing to the number as written on the room card holder.

    2. Not enough “large” bath towels. Many business travelers are going to check in, shower, go to dinner and shower again in the morning. Only leaving 1 or 2 large bath towels is annoying and I always have to hunt down the housekeeping cart or call housekeeping for more.

    3. How about NO hotel valet? I stayed in a Doubletree, a (relatively new) Sheraton and a Marriott in an affluent midwest suburb in 2015 and none of them have valet service. Yet their rack rates are frequently well over $200. Totally ridiculous.

    4. Charging for in-room bottled water. I don’t need VOSS folks. Please go to Costco, provide a couple of cheap complimentary bottles of water that cost you 15 cents a piece and let’s move on.

    5. When housekeeping doesn’t take 30 seconds to make sure the prior guest did not leave the alarm on.

    6. Dead TV remote control batteries (see 5).

  5. Agree with all these pet peeves. Small details but they feel like a pebble in your shoe and affects your entire stay. I will add to the list – some hotels (even 4-5 star ones) , at this day and age still do not have complimentary wifi (especially in Australia), and adding to the lack of power outlets – some rooms have all outlets in just one area, and none of them by the bedside table/s. And breakfast hours that end too early – like 930 or 10am, assuming that all guests have early start to their days.

  6. Rewiring a hotel room for more outlets can cost hundred of dollars. But a power strip costs about five bucks. It baffles me that more outlet-deficient hotels don’t go ith the simple quick cheap solution.

  7. Great list – the “how’s the room” phone call is very high on my list. It’s not customer service, it’s customer annoyance. What’s the point, other than to disturb me?

    Another one I’d add is, if I move a piece of furniture (desk lamp, arm chair, the silly bench thing some hotels put at the foot of the bed), or unplug the alarm clock, don’t move it back until after I’ve checked out. I moved it for a reason…

    Also – alarm clocks that are too bright. It’s a clock…not a searchlight.

  8. When they call you to see if everything is ok because the DND sign is on your door….drives me crazy.

  9. 1. I prepaid for 3 nights at a Belmont (Wyndham). Checking in, they needed to see the CC for verification. OK, no problem. Until 3 days later and I couldn’t fill my gas tank because they put a hold for double the room rate times 3 nights on my card!!!! If you’re going to put a hold on, and especially if I’ve prepaid, tell me!!! Thankfully I had secondary funds. Wyndham lost a customer for life on that one – due to corporate’s customer service.

    2. Outlets. Just give me more! A Quality Inn recently had 1 single two prong outlet available.

    3. Key Cards. At the same Quality, I was staying alone. They gave me two cards in the folio, but only activated one. I had to run to my car, and ended up walking the perimeter of the building after dark to get back to the front desk as I blindly selected the unkeyed card to take with me to my car.

  10. Totally agree with the too early breakfast hours- I’m on vacation- I don’t want to have to rush down for breakfast. I think anything before 11 is ridiculous.

  11. Turning off that last light (or not) is so common. I have resorted to simply removing my key card from the activation slot just inside the door which shuts down everything. Not ideal if you want to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, or really prefer to keep the a/c humming.
    Most recently, my stay at the Hilton Mark Centre in Alexandria/Washington, amazingly, and pleasingly, avoided this hassle. Switches were where you expected them to be, just like home~ kudos to Hilton!

  12. Grant, you wrote:

    3. How about NO hotel valet? I stayed in a Doubletree, a (relatively new) Sheraton and a Marriott in an affluent midwest suburb in 2015 and none of them have valet service. Yet their rack rates are frequently well over $200. Totally ridiculous.

    You think that’s ridiculous? How about no parking at all? Just last month, I stayed in the Radisson Blu 1919 in Reykjavik, where the best rate this time of year is above $400, and my only option was metered parking on the street. “What if there are no spots available?” I asked. “You’d just have to park further away” was the answer.

  13. Not getting my newspaper order right. After they ask at checkin which paper I want…i want the local paper. They always give me the WSJ.

  14. No place to hang up your workout clothing other than that stupid string thing in the shower. You would think a modern hotel would have a few extra hooks in the bathroom.

  15. 1. The weak Wifi that doesn’t reach above the second floor. 2. Noise, not just from inside but from the street. 3. Bad air quality – stinky rooms, too hot or too cold. 4. No mini bar.

    I stay in hotels in Europe and the above issues are common there. My list of complaints is similar to Gary’s for hotels in the USA.

  16. Doors that slam. This is 2016 we can do better.
    Fitness centers that aren’t open 24 hours.
    Breakfast that doesn’t start until 6:30 or 7am. Even worse at airport hotels. Kudos to the HIX near DTW that hosts tons of air crews and starts breakfast very early, not to mention a good shuttle.
    Noisy refrigerators.
    Super bright LED lights on microwaves, TV’s, smoke detectors, etc.
    Shower heads that are too short.
    Super load elevator signals “DING !” on guest room floors.
    Thermostats with motion sensors.
    Super small glass shower walls in European showers.
    Remotes with bad batteries or that don’t work.
    Paying to park, period. For example the Westin in the financial district of San Francisco. It’s like $70 or something like that.
    I could go on but most are first world problems.

  17. Great list, Grant. Concur with Gary’s list too except on the coffee.

    Water is 10x more important than coffee as I like a bottle by my bed and don’t trust the “clean” glasses. Personally I never use in room coffee makers but have a strong preference for a starbucks in the lobby.

    If you ask me, a strong wifi signal is probably the most important feature, after a good firm bed and a quiet room.

    As for alarm clocks – can’t they just eliminate them? Doesn’t everyone keep a mobile phone charging on the nightstand? Clocks are 10x more likely to ring in error than a wakeup call.

  18. Oh yeah~ forgot to mention ‘clean’ glasses! How often do you see trays of clean glasses on the housekeeping trolley destined for guest rooms? Answer: NEVER! Glasses get a rinse in the sink and a wipeout with some handy rag or towel. Great way to transmit what the last guest had, like a cold-sore (herpes simplex virus). Uh huh……. Better to pack 2 dozen paper cups, even if they were made in China.

  19. A bed that is so short that I cannot sleep uncurled or my feet get scrunched up. I’m talking to you Sheraton Bogota Airport hotel. And they had the nerve to consider that room an upgrade.

    Along the same lines, shower heads that are too low which unfortunately is not uncommon in mid-and low-priced Asian hotels.

    Most disturbingly is finding someone sleeping in the bed when I open the door which happened once. That was scary for me but I imagine much scarier for the person who was in the bed.

  20. Definitely agree with most all those. Especially the “calling an hour after I check in to see if it’s OK”

    And intuitive needs to apply to the bath/shower as well as the lights–there was one hotel that had to have a card that explained how to turn on the water/change to shower/use hot water (which was much appreciated, but annoying), there’ve been other hotels where it took me multiple minutes trying to figure out how to make it work, and to not scald or freeze.

  21. 1. No place (or no LOGICAL place) in bathroom to hang a travel toiletries bag.

    2. Hotels that have a clearly-designated Elite check-in lane – and then don’t use it and just help the next guest in the general line.

  22. Smelly rooms. Sometimes this is because the previous guest smoked in a non-smoking room. I’ve had rooms that smelled moldy. But most often it’s that the room reeks of scented “air freshener” that the maid sprayed everywhere (which bothers me both because I don’t like the smell and because I wonder what smell the maid was trying to cover up).

  23. 1). Noisy HVAC units, especially those “radiator all-in-one” type units near a window that cycle on and off all night. I try to never go back to hotels featuring such antiquities (Sheraton Pasadena is one). 2). HVAC that is set to stop providing heating or cooling as late at night. A classic European trick. 3). Broken interlock microswitches in outdoor sliding doors that interfere with AC if you don’t close the door JUST right. A classic tropical problem. 4). “prison pools” that are just there to claim they have one, but they get no sun, have few loungers, and no one is ever there. 5). Complimentary breakfast in an executive lounge that has no hot food, or no working coffee machine to make fresh Java or cappuccino, or insufficient seats because it’s really just a guest room with apples. Newspapers would be a nice touch, especially if they discourage you leaving with food and play only Fox News on TV. 5). A taxi mafia that steers people to favored drivers who fleece passengers.

  24. I agree your list is very inclusive of what I find to be annoying. Resort fees are total BS. High end hotels charging for wifi. One can stay at a cheap Hilton Garden Inn and get everything included, but stay at 5star hotel and the wifi is extra. Yes, that breakfast time that ends at 930 or 10? Hello, we are in freaking beach resort, why so early? Ah, I know why. So, guests who don’t make the free breakfast, have to pay for brunch. Clever? Not for me, because when hotel does this, I eat outside the hotel.

    My biggest peeve which has happened twice in the last 12 months. If I pay for an upgraded room, with a view or certain location, give me the god damned room I paid for! I have had this happen twice while checking into 2 different 5star hotels, late in the evening. And, when I question the front desk about it, they laugh and say I am in the room that I paid for. Or they say, sorry here’s your $50, we will upgrade you next time you stay here. Hello, I reserved and prepaid a room for late arrival, my room should have been blocked for me, it was paid for!!! Adding further insult, both times the hotel was still selling my room type. There is steam coming out of my ears just thinking about this.

  25. @Dany most times if your DND sign is on for more than 2 consecutive shifts, the hotel will call your room to check if youre alright. This is done because people have been known to pass away or get injured, or even have heart attacks.

  26. Aren’t resort fees also exempt from corporate discount codes etc. Also hate being charged when the hotel property is barely worth it.

  27. A great list of peeves, Gary, supplemented nicely buy your readers, most of which I share. I can add only a few and highlight some already pointed out by others:

    1. Anyone ever (staff or guests, but especially guests) getting an unauthorized key to your room that works. Privacy should be the one cardinal principle of hospitality that should *never* be breached. And, yes, that includes not honoring a promised late check-out. A New York Midtown Hilton housekeeping staff-member actually persuade a family member, who is naive and unfamiliar with hotel culture, to enter her room and start preparing it for the next guest while she was still occupying it before the checkout time!

    2. Mid-level, mid-to-high, and high price hotels should not offer only plastic cups for drinking, though sadly many do. They don’t have to be Irish crystal, but a simple real glass with a stem (or even without) should be the norm. It takes only a dishwasher to recycle them, and any breakage should be charged to the guest. I almost wish that hotels would advertise whether they provide glass or plastic drinking receptacles.

    3. Charging outlets in convenient locations, especially to the desk.

    4. Housekeeping should be instructed to turn off clock alarms and to erase voice-messages for prior guests. A few months ago, I was greeted upon check-in by a VM message from the front desk of a Marriott Residence Inn (without reference to guest names or dates) that the credit card on file had been charged for over $1200.

    5. Charges for internet. Come on, Starwood! Yes, I happen to get it free with status, but you’re living in the dark ages.

    6. Resort fees. I wonder whether the government agency for which I worked before retirement understood that the resort fees charged to them at a hole-in-the-wall “resort” in Podunk, Maryland, knew that these fees are illegal in the U.S.

  28. Gary, you nailed it with your list and the comments filled in the gaps. But I would put up with all of them if that’s what at it took to get rid of resort fees. Biggest scam in the travel industry.

  29. Thanks for a great list, agree with everything. Don’t hotel managers or chains or schools read stuff like this — most of these suggestions are no cost or low cost, and would cut the number of dissatisfied guests in half

    – Starwood hotels being designated a resort, for no apparent reason. Those hotels interpreting subject to availability for late check out to mean subject to them
    Not being inconvenienced in any possible way. Hotels considering brand standards to be maximums rather than minimums.

    – do not disturb signs that are hard to find. Anything that is hard to find. Zero not working for either the operator or front desk, with no other number clearly designated.
    Front desks or operators that do not pick up, are not reachable.

    – Numerous – electric lights for various gadgets through the room

    – all hotels — not instructing guests, especially group guests to keep their doors closed at all times. Chinese groups in particular tend to keep their doors fully open or at least ajar , their fun in the hallways is my not sleeping

    –a lot of big furniture in the room, I would rather have the space

    –insufficient elevators

    — wake up calls that are promised but not delivered

    — hotels that insist on checking the minibar at check out , but take up to 45 minutes to do so

    — hotels that are unwilling or unable to check the minibars and rooms before one leaves, so that there is no risk of a charge going on a credit card after one checks out

    — hotels that allow staff to come into ones room, despite requests that no one enter. Staff sometimes come in while I am in the room, sometimes knocking , sometimes not. They also often come in when I have requested at Check in as well as though the do not disturb sign that no one come in my room.

    Gary , is there a way to word the following : I want outside calls or visitors to be put through at any time, but I do not want staff to call or knock for any hotel purposes unless it is urgent and required?

  30. The guy in the room next door SNORING through the wall? The room.that abutts the elevator shaft hearing THAT thing run all night? Housekeeping that SLAMS each door open and closed each time they exit and enter room they are cleaning and the Hawaii 5 0 episode i hear through the wall my imsomniac neighbour is watching.

  31. 1. Squeaky doors. I always carry with me a travel size WD-40 to oil my door.
    2. Doors that you can hear shut half way down the hallway. You would think we could invent doors that you couldn’t hear open and shut.
    3. Elevators that ding at all times of the night.
    4. Out of control kids running up and down the hallway. Where’s the parents?
    5. Talking in the hallway after 11:00 p.m. Respect other people’s ability to sleep.
    6. Thin walls.

  32. Were the four pictures of the light switch truly needed? I’m beginning to think this generation couldn’t punch their way out of a paper bag.

  33. There’s two of them for me. One of which should clearly be a right, not a privilege.
    1. A hotel ensuring that my feather free request has been taken care of. Having a severe down allergy, nothing’s worse than waiting on hotel staff at midnight after you’ve travelled all day.
    2. Being a Marriott guy, only have Aquafina on Marriott properties. The water shouldn’t taste terrible like Aquafina, it should taste like nothing.

  34. Loud kids and chatty morons in the hallway, 2am fire alarms, mandatory resort fees, and DCC scams at checkout.

  35. Lines for elevators, or elevators always full.
    Bad Wifi.
    $60 valet parking. To add injury, this fee is usually not considered an hotel expense, so no points given.
    No automatic upgrades for elites, even when rooms are available, and having to discuss the issue.
    Poor breakfast choices at the included breakfast in clubs.

  36. Hotels that don’t have a directory or an up to date directory with extension numbers and the hours of outlets such as lounges, restaurants, gyms, etc. This is so basic, I can’t believe when they don’t have it.

    I should be able to TEXT the Valet to get my car and it should be waiting within 10-15 minutes!

  37. Just happened this weekend. Have the do not disturb sign on the door and housekeeping is knocking at the door 10 am to see if I checked out. And the when I don’t respond right away enters

  38. My #1 is doors that auto-slam. It drives me crazy when I’m made to endure the sound of guest room doors up and down the hall slamming at literally all hours of the day and night.

    Second Is hotels that don’t monitor access to their executive lounge. It’s aggravating to walk in the lounge for breakfast and finding the entire junior soccer team running amok and eating everything in sight.

    Also, toilets that flush super loud. I get it, we all want a toilet to function properly but the ear splitting noise some of these ‘power-flush’ units generate is really, really annoying. Is this a prison or a hotel??

  39. “Hotels taking part of the room rate out and burying it in fine print is fraud.”

    Thank you.

  40. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who is baffled by light switches! One of the first things I do in a hotel room is to try to turn off the lights. The next day the maid will turn them all back on again, and I will have forgotten how to turn off the less intuitive ones so it’s back to hunting again. I’ve been close to asking the front desk for help.

  41. Noisy refrigerators in the room. I will always unplug them.

    Too much light coming in from underneath the door. I’ve stayed in some rooms where its super bright.

    Rooms too close to the vending, ice machine or elevators (constant noise)

    Super slow elevators

  42. clock radios.

    they are already an abomination, performing neither of their two functions well. but they are particularly useless in hotels. what traveler knows the local radio stations? and trying to set an alarm is an exercise in futility and frustration. worse, there’s a good chance the prior guest tried to set the alarm, leading to static or some random radio blasting at 2am.

  43. One big one that I forgot to mention – bad lighting in the bathroom and the room. The lone 40 watt bulb for reading and the mood lighting in the bathroom is the absolute worse. I’m getting better at doing hair and makeup in the dark but frankly, it’s a skill I’d rather not have.

  44. I hate when hotels don’t add a top sheet. You either have no cover while sleeping or you have a full duvet. Sometimes it is just too hot for the duvet.

    And I completely agree about the wacky light switch combos. I have a graduate degree and I still couldn’t figure out the switches at our last hotel even though I was there for 5 days. Another pet peeve not having a working light for reading in bed.

    Thanks for the great list!

  45. Great list and comments. A few of mine:
    * for large rooms, just have a master switch to turn off all lights please. I was once upgrade to a suite in Vegas, but I landed around midnight. It took 20 minutes to find all the light switches…
    * if a room has a bathtub, it should be deep enough to take a bath
    * not enough elevators at peak times
    * gyms that are not open 24-7, especially at places that charge a resort fee (think Vegas hotels with very limited hours that often have a wait to get in when they open)
    * gyms with broken equipment and/or no space for non machine workouts (especially important in hotels with small rooms)

    I travel with a small 3 prong power strip and a 10′ extension cable to solve the power issues

  46. 1. Breakfast that ends early. Standard should be 11am and on weekend 12. My recent stay at the Grand Hyatt in NYC they removed everything at 1030, on a Saturday!!
    2. No water available anywhere for free, somehow I still occasionally see this.
    3. The ipod speakers with no bluetooth connection. Who even uses an ipod in 2016?
    4. Not knowing how to turn off all the lights
    5. Someone just mentioned this but it’s true, badly lit rooms, also happens quite a bit

    The call to check if everything is alright is annoying but has only happened a few times.

  47. Little identical bottles for shampoo, conditioner and body wash labeled in 4pt font, blue on purple.

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