What Makes a Great Hotel Room, and How Can They Ruin It?

God Save the Points asks what makes a great hotel room. His list includes well-located power ports; plenty of bottled water; fast wifi; motion-sensing night lights; luggage space; amenity kit; and working quiet air conditioning.

I’ve given a lot of thought to what makes a hotel great, and how simple design flaws can ruin a property. More often though great physical properties can be ruined by poor service execution or short-sighted cost cuts.

Hoteliers: ever 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? 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. We get up in arms 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.

Yet mandatory add-on fees have been spreading to city locations. The idea of the free $50 a night long distance call and access to the hotel gym is no longer limited to resort hotels.

Billing Guest Credit Cards 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.

A Hyatt property once billed me for the cash portion of a cash and points award five months after my stay.

At another Hyatt they always they tell me in-room bottled water is complementary for top tier elite 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.

How am I supposed to submit an expense report for a charge I don’t know about? Why make me spend more time tracking down these charges than the charges are worth? And why put me in the awkward position of submitting expenses for an old, closed-out trip?

Lack of Coffee

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 what was then 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 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.

Upgrades That Aren’t

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 a hotel has 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 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 at a hotel where it’s a benefit.

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.

Last fall not only didn’t my key work at the Hyatt Regency Dallas but my belongings had been taken, too.

The Light That Won’t Turn Off at Bedtime

At midnight at the Hyatt Herald Square 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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  1. Last week I stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott, on a “bed and breakfast” rate, since breakfast isn’t normally included. They gave me paper vouchers to turn in each morning, which I did without a problem. Of course, on the final bill, half the breakfasts were charged to the room. I went by the front desk to check out, and they quickly and easily removed the charges, but I shouldn’t have to do that! In addition, for the last two days the restaurant had only half the normal menu items, after a large group ate there. Breakfast doesn’t mean much if you can’t provide the items on your menu.

  2. Great water pressure in the shower, with a removable spray head…
    I can’t stand waking up, and taking a shower that has all the water pressure of someone wringing a wet rag over my head…ugh!

    I want to worry that I might be scarring myself somehow if I am not careful…I want the option for possibly power washing the tile floor if it came down to it.

    I just like great water pressure to help me wake up!

  3. Giving free breakfast but applying it only to 2 people and, in particular, excluding the kids in my family. If I’ve reached platinum, globalist or whatever equivalent that gains me a breakfast benefit, the least the hotel can do is provide free breakfast for me, my wife and my kids. Not doing so basically says ‘we like you, but not your family’, which conveys ‘you’re not out for my happiness’ which is a singularly dumb approach if you want me to be loyal. It amazes me that the programs say 2 people max and leave it to the hotel to do the right thing (thankfully, most do) and go beyond 2 people to extend free breakfast for my kids.

  4. Gary,

    You say, “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.”

    And that is exactly the way they want you to feel. How many people to you suppose they bill ‘erroneously’ for a small amount knowing people will not take the time or hassle to correct the charge?……..easy extra profit!

  5. Biggest peeve is when the air conditioning vent blows directly on you while in bed. You can’t escape that chill (or heat in Winter) and it can be very uncomfortable — often leading you to wake up with a cramp from having cold air in one spot all night, or in Winter, with a bloody nose from all that warm, dry air.

    And I second the point about noise at night. Hotels should invest in better soundproofing and that would eliminate 90% of my calls down to the front desk at 1am.

    Finally, I hate when the clock shows the wrong time — and worse, when there is no easy way to change it. Why don’t all hotel room alarm clocks have the same feature my clock at home has, which is that it picks up some kind of government signal that gives the current time. Even if you unplug that clock for an hour and then plug it back in, it will quickly figure out the current time (and date).

  6. excellent….and obviously compiled after suffering through a lot of poorly-designed hotel rooms. May I add some?

    No bathroom nightlights. Stumbling around an unfamiliar room at night is no fun, and turning on the sunlight-bright bathroom lights is not acceptable.

    Poor HVAC. Vents that blow directly over beds, a/c controls that won’t adjust. Hell, HVAC that you can’t turn off if you want to!

    Poorly-vented bathrooms where it takes 20 minutes for the mirrors to clear after a shower.

    Bathroom doors that really don’t close (or in some cases don’t even exist). Not an issue if you’re staying alone, but….

    DUVETS! IMHO the stupidest European bedding invention (and import to the US) ever. There is no way to get comfortable unless the room temp is below 60 degrees or something. Bring back light and medium blankets, with top sheets on beds!

    Noisy doors that slam shut no matter what.

  7. Another one is charging for self-parking when the hotel is in the middle of nowhere. I can understand it in a major city where the real estate for the lot is a huge cost, or where the price is the same as everywhere nearby, but charging a $10+ fee when parking across the street is free is as bad as the dreaded mandatory resort fee

  8. DND – Housekeeping will honor the sign on the door but then the spa will call me to offer a deal. The phone should be on dnd too!

  9. About two years ago, we were in a beautiful room in Berlin, but the cabinets were designed to hang above the desk. Time and time again, my husband and I hit our heads on those cabinets because you just couldn’t miss them when you stood up from the desk.

  10. I left Marriott because they stopped having real desks, dressers, etc. Most of the other stuff you mention are soft product issues. Bad beds, lack of drawers, no desk are far, far more important to me.

  11. I’ll add the automated LED strip lights under the desk and bedside table at the Hyatt Valencia (and I hear other Hyatts, though I have not seen it). Roll over in bed and the lights come on. No switch. Requires getting on your knees at midnight under the desk and taking it apart to find the power supply. Total fail. Email to Hyatt never even answered.

  12. You can add:
    1. Door closers that SLAM! Hotels still buy awful closers that make every entry and exit sound like a bomb. It is a rare hotel that has quiet door closers.
    2. No counter or storage space in the bathroom for your shaving kit/toiletries. Yeah, I know it’s a designer sink, but I really don’t want my shaving kit to fall into the sink if I don’t balance it on the 2 inches on the side of the bowl.
    3. Poor lighting in the bathroom.

  13. Some of these responses are great as well as the list resonates with me. Favorite response, no coke products. now that I am staying at Marriotts, I have to get my own Coke Zero to take to the room.
    Regarding parking, I stayed at the Westin Berlin recently, there for a week, we needed to be on the road by 7 am every day, the valet had our car parked and waiting for us at the front door every morning, it was great.

    Biggest frustration bad internet !!! Same Westin Berlin that had wonderful service had bad Internet, can not stay there again because of it.

  14. Even more insulting than the “resort fee” is the new “destination fee.” A Marriott in midtown Manhattan is not a “resort.” They couldn’t slap a resort fee on a downtown hotel with a straight face. Enter the “destination fee.”

    As far as I can tell, nobody even pretends a “destination fee” covers any particular benefit. It’s a fee “just because.” It’s nothing more a bold faced deception so that the lower rate shows up on a booking site.

  15. Man you hit the nail on the head with all these. I just kept reading along and nodding my head. Only one I don’t really care about is coffee as I typically prefer to go to a nearby coffee shop. But all the rest are spot on for me. The fake incidental charges added after checkout is probably my biggest frustration (it is never for $100, it always seems to be for $6-12, just small enough that’s it’s not worth the time and energy to follow up). Noon key-card deactivation after being granted late checkout ranks #2 for me (last year at Westin Whistler I had to go down to front desk 3 times to get a working card – epic fail), followed by the lack of respect for “Do Not Disturb” sign.

  16. Motion sensing thermostats that don’t work at night.
    Breakfast that doesn’t start at 6am (or earlier for airport properties).
    Putting soap dispensers in shower (-2 for when they are always empty).
    Small, crappy TV’s
    Charging for Internet (it’s 2018 not 1990)
    Misc service fee’s like $3 for climate change, etc.
    +1 on the 24 hour fitness center access. Why limit the hours.
    Dirty showers / poor housekeeping
    Curtains that won’t stay closed while pointing mega bright exterior lighting at the rooms
    Allowing the local trash service to pickup, rattle and slam dumpsters down before 6am
    Lack of decent TV channels
    Forcing us to watch CNN 24/7 in the lobby
    Paying to park in general. I’ll make an exception for valet services but anything over $10 is too much (I’m talking to you Westin San Fran.)

  17. A dirty room and poorly made bed. Recently had a real ick factor with a Hyatt stay. Another Hyatt bed without bottom sheet tucked in. The housekeeping manager came in to “remake” the bed about the time I wanted to crawl into it and when she finished it looked the same as the first attempt.

  18. An overused bed that sags noticeably. we’ve had this happen a number of times in properties you would never expect, like a St regis. We’ve had to change rooms at least four times and have to change mattresses twice.

  19. Okay, you seem to have a coffee problem that might need some intervention, but otherwise, I am with you, especially about the little card that tells me I have been upgraded. Most egregious example was Le Meridien Pyramids in Cairo. After it took them 45 minutes to check me in, they gave me the card to say I had been upgraded in both our key sleeves. My upgrade was from the suite I had booked to the suite I had booked. My other upgrade was from the suite I had booked to a regular room.

  20. Airport hotels that start a shuttle service at 4am, but no room service or other breakfast until 6.30am+. Not only is it frustrating for the customers, but it’s lost revenue for the hotel. There are obviously folks up using the shuttle and who likely want something (even if real limited) to simply have the willpower to stagger to make that 4.40am shuttle

  21. One thing I think no one has mentioned is clocks that cannot be seen while lying in bed. They always face straight ahead on the night stand. That means rolling over in a huge king-size bed and twisting the clock to get a look at the time. I don’t sleep with my phone.

    I’ll second the issue of light switches. Some hotels have great lighting schemes and even remotely controlled blackout and semi-blackout shades. But then there is one or more bank(s) of switches to control them. Figuring out what goes with what is frustrating.

    Resort fees are a rip off. Now that Marriott is requiring $20,000 in spend for ambassador and Your24 (not that I’ll ever reach that total), not counting resort fees in spend (what Starwood did for points accumulation) would be ridiculous.

    Another pet peeve is hotels that rent out the pool for parties. The parties create noise and can lead to congestion on elevators.

  22. @ Gary — Hotel rooms that aren’t suites with free minibars and free club access. The horror.

  23. Housekeeping staff that don’t check to make sure the alarm set by the previous guest has been turned off. Yes, I can do this myself, but when I forget to it’s very unpleasant to be awakened at 3am on a Saturday morning because the previous guest had to make a 6am flight on the Friday morning. Related (though it only happens twice each year…): not adjusting the clocks for DST. If I don’ t notice this when entering the room, I can end up starting the next day an hour late. As another post said, why not just have the clocks that autoset?

    More generally, staff with an attitude. Hospitality is a service business, many customers/guests will be tired, jet-lagged, maybe a bit disoriented, why not treat them with some simple kindness rather than acting like you’re doing them the favor of letting them rent a room at your fabulous personal mansion?

    The single best welcome I ever received was at 2am at the Hilton Garden Inn in Astana, Kazakshtan after flying from New York via Frankfurt. The front desk was exceptionally friendly and welcoming, the upgrade was “real”, I was offered (limited) food and beverage, and I was in my room and asleep within 15 minutes of arriving. The service throughout my week’s stay consistently met this same standard of hospitality. They should offer classes to their counterparts in the USA and certain parts of Europe.

  24. Another AC issue I find at most hotels: The under-window units that almost always blow right on you from less than a foot away while you are trying use the desk! You either freeze, or bake if you can’t find some way to divert the airflow.

  25. Especially at an airport hotel, I have a real issue when a hotel either does not give a wake up call as requested or what happened at one airport hotel at LHR where the phone in the room did not even work to call the front desk to get a wake-up call.

    I travel with a phone, but when I have a flight to catch, I like having an extra backup alarm, and it has frustrated me to learn that I cannot always count on the wake-up call.

  26. Wow, most of my pet peeves have been adequately addressed so I won’t be redundant. The one that was missed is, in light of the popularity of Pet Friendly hotels, the properties should 1. Give prominent notice of that on booking sites and 2. Establish Pet Free rooms or even better, Pet Free floors, much the way they used to address smoking. I am deathly allergic to cats and very allergic to dogs so it takes phone calls to the property to clarify and be safe

  27. great points…also a shower with a shower head that lets water come out of it!!! not just a trickle or semi-hot!!

  28. All of these have annoyed me in 2018:

    1. Toiletries that don’t include hair conditioner.
    2. When the in-room mini fridge is not plugged in.
    3. When the in-room mini fridge makes a weird rattling noise.
    4. Having to wander through 5 or 6 screens to find live TV.
    5. When breakfast ends at 9am.
    6. Executive lounges that charge for lower quality wine than can be bought at the lobby bar.
    7. Horribly weak hair dryers attached to the wall that only work when you press down on an inconveniently located button.
    8. When you check in on the app and still have to stand in a long line just to pick up your key.

    One thing I’ve noticed the last few years is hotels getting rid of the in-room info book. What time is check out? Damned if I know… Where is the ice machine? What are the hours for breakfast? And then you try to call “guest services” only to be connected to the front desk who doesn’t pick up because they are busy checking people in.

  29. Thermostats which do not allow the guest to select a temperature below 72 or 70. Sometimes even 65 is not cool enough. Engineering is always able to reset to lower temps, but why to I have to call them? Enough with the energy saving–I am paying big bucks for the room. Club lounges where breakfast does not extend until 10AM, and when the employees snatch the food away as guests are still serving themselves. Resort fees as they cover things I already receive as an elite or which I don’t want/need/use. Poor lighting. No make up mirrors. No directory advising as to restaurant, bar, pool, health club, ice machine hours and locations, check out time. Not answering calls to “O” or “at your service” within 5 rings. Housekeeping knocking on my door when I have late checkout…doesn’t the front desk notify them? The more you disturb me, the longer I will stay in my room! Not replenishing toiletries. TVs which are difficult to navigate; and which do not stay on the last channel they were on when shut off…they default back to viewing propaganda from the hotel.

  30. Here are a few of mine:

    A number of people have mentioned AC that blows directly on you while in bed. I’ve never experienced that, but I frequently run into AC that blows directly on you when sitting at the desk…and you can’t get away from it. At. least if you are in bed, you can pull the covers over you to block it.

    My other biggest complaint is desk that are located where you can’t see the TV while sitting at it. A prime example is Hyatt place, which gives you a desk, with great connections that allow you to plug your computer into the TV… but you can’t see the TV from the desk, so it is useless. I do really like what many of the Marriott properties do, giving you a desk on wheels that you can easily move to whatever spot in the room you want, so you can see the TV and get away from the AC blowing on you.

  31. Sadly I can relate to many of these. It also seems to be a new trend not to have a comfortable chair and desk combination in the room. Some of us have to work in the hotel room and some of the chains (looking at you Marriott) do have have desks/chairs in them anymore.

  32. I agree with most comments but one from DaninMCI strikes me as particularly unfair—CNN 24/7–because you can never satisfy everyone. You may prefer Faux News, I get it, but most people don’t.

  33. As a female traveler, 2 things which I would love to have, a shelf in the shower. (some of want to us our own shampoo and conditioner not the squeeze bottles) and towels, especially travelling internationally. Lack of hand towels are prevalent.

  34. Hotels where each room’s heating is disabled by a switch accessible only to maintentance – during summer every room is switched off and when you are the first winter guest you have to figure out what’s wrong and get maintenance to come and flick the switch, ugh.
    Hotels where every single room has a wafer-thin connecting door to the loud party in the next room
    Housekeeping’s dirty trick to get you moving in the morning of checkout day, calling at 8am “Are you checking out today sir” (I always unplug the hotel phone)
    Clunky cheap alarms clocks covered in buttons with labels in Chinese, none of which adjusts the time. Novotel especially seems t have bought a job-lot of ghastly clocks. And they’ll always go off randomly at 4am. (I always unplug the hotel alarm clocks an take the batteries out)

  35. Showers that don’t have a door or curtain always bother me to no end. The ones with half a pane of glass that fail to prevent water from getting all over the bathroom floor and make sure the cold air gets into the shower so you can never relax.

    Just put a door (with a good seal) or a curtain. It’s not that hard.

  36. I stayed at a Delta hotel in Canada, and needed to get on the road very early. I arrived at the lounge for breakfast at 0600 when they opened and nothing was ready – not even the milk and forget about the coffee. When I complained at the front desk her reply was basically “Eff you Americans”

  37. Bedding where the bottom sheet does not cover the mattress all the way at the foot
    When housekeeping is servicing a nearby room and they allow the door to slam shut loudly each time they enter and exit ( sometimes up to ten times or more per room), shaking the wall and completely disturbing Your rest

  38. Great article – hopefully hotels will take notice of these important make-or-break details.
    Here’s one – Offering a full-size coffee maker in a suite as a bonus, but… no filters, no re-usable filter-basket and to add insult to injury, leaving complimentary single-serve coffee-packets that obviously are too small to work in the machine provided, making tinted hot water. Yuk. Then suggesting to us when we called the front desk to ask for a simple coffee filter, that we go to the local Walmart to buy some for their machine for our 2 night stay! Nice!

  39. I agree with most all comments. Another A/C issue is when the A/C cannot be set for the fan to stay on! I prefer using this as white noise for better sleeping. When the A/C fan makes a lot of noise as it kicks on and off waking me many times during the night. The O’Hare Hilton has this issue.

    Some may like night lights. Not me! If the light goes on in the night it wakes me. If there is a night light, there better be a way to disable it. Otherwise, I waste a lot of time trying to find a way to cover it with a towel or face cloth.

    Many hotels now allow you to search for pet friendly hotels. I want to be able to search for hotels that do NOT allow pets. Even if they say they have specific rooms for pets, you might end up in the lounge sitting next to someone who is a pet lover and still end up with an allergic reaction.

    All hotels in the US should have totally smoke free rooms. And do not allow guests to smoke right outside the front door.

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