What’s Your Biggest Hotel Pet Peeve?

When writing about the Charleston Place Hotel, I could nearly feel the month-old aching of my shin.

My biggest hotel pet peeve is a bed frame that extends out significantly past the mattress.

It’s one thing to have this at home, you know it’s there, you’re used to it. But when you’re not expecting it?

Well, I walked into it. I bled. And.. I walked into it again hours later. No hotel should have bedframes like this.

Oh, there are plenty of things that irk me in a hotel, I have a whole list of hotel must-haves. But this is my biggest pet peeve.

What is your biggest hotel pet peeve?

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. I can sympathize. Hate it when that happens.

    My biggest peeve by far is noisy disturbance.

  2. Hair that isn’t mine. On the sheets, in the shower, etc. That’s just not a good sign.

    Also not being able to change the temp on the AC. And noisy AC. I could go on. 🙂

  3. Amen, Gary! And, dare I even speak ill of the place, the worst offender in recent memory? The bed frame of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, camouflaged against the similarly-green carpeting, left me writhing on the floor!

  4. The one “sin” I find close to unforgivable is poor service: whether at check-in, or when ordering room service. or something from housekeeping. Bad design can often be corrected — but bad service seldom is. It’s usually part of the DNA.

  5. A 1/2 inch gap at the bottom of the door that let’s light and sound in. That at least can be mitigated with a towel. There is no cure for non sound proof walls and doors.

  6. Pet Peeves- (in order of annoyance)

    1) Smokers bending non-smoking rules – especially next door on connecting rooms. No, those doors are not airtight.

    2) The “have to sleep with the TV blaring History channel” neighbour. I really do not want to be listening to the repeat of Pawn Stars at 3AM

    3) The “i have not had my sinuses checked” snoring through the walls neighbour.

    Any 3 of these, or combination thereof, enough for me to demand a room/floor change.

  7. MGM Grand in Vegas has beds like this. Gashed both of my shins. Scars remain for 2 years ago. Now when I go back, I remember to watch my step

  8. Giving you a new ‘box’ of soap, and taking away the old one. Requiring you to struggle to get into the new box on your second day.

    Bathroom doors that open INTO a small bathroom, rather than out into a hallway that is perpetually empty. (Hilton Garden Inn figured this one out.)

    Air Con/Heating units that are so darn loud that you have to continually adjust the TV volume because it is either drowned out or obnoxiously loud.

    I know — all first world problems.

  9. My pet peeve is loud people. Seriously. Would you carry on a conversation next to anyone’s bedroom door with anything but a whisper? I never understood why people think it’s ok to hoop and hollar at 1am (or 1pm for that matter) in the hallway of a hotel.

  10. Too many to list…

    – People letting the door slam closed behind them instead of closing them gently…at all hours of the night and early morning.

    – housekeeping ‘short sheeting’ the bottom sheet, so your feet are touching the mattress pad directly

    – no plastic cups in the room, and being forced to drink out of the probably filthy glass ones

    – lack of accessible power outlets near the desk and nightstand

    Many more, but those are a few of my top annoyances

  11. Housekeeping knocking on my door every half hour beginning at 8am. Especially annoying when I have requested a late check out.

  12. Not enough power outlets. Newer hotels should have them by the desk, bed, and scattered around the room. I shouldn’t have to move a piece of furniture & unplug a lamp to plug my strip in.

  13. I’ve never drawn blood, but I’ve run into many “extended” bed frames over the years. It doesn’t seem to happen much at chain hotels, though. I guess they’ve figured it out. 🙂

  14. 1.Noise
    2.People letting doors slam
    3.Poor or noisy HVAC
    4.Shower heads that are way too low
    5.Lack of power outlets
    6.Lights under door or through window shades that won’t close properly
    7.TVs that have slow to change channels or poor remotes
    8.Fitness rooms that aren’t open 24 hours
    9.Breakfast that starts after 6am (I need to leave early many times)

  15. Dangerously slick bathtubs. So many hotels do not have a non skid surface on the tub bottom, making for a dangerous exit from the shower. This was especially noted recently in France, at the Radisson Blu Metropolitan. Very high tub side, slick bottom, no grab bar.

  16. 1. Poor lighting
    2. No plugs at/near the bed
    3. When you get enough coffee to make 1 or 2 CUPs. Not pots

  17. Really low coffee tables that I forget are there early in the morning. Dick van Dyke makes that look more graceful than it is in reality…

  18. 1. Expensive &/or slow internet
    2. Plugs that are inconveniently placed or not enough of them.
    3. Over-eager bellhops in certain countries
    4. Breakfasts that start too late – I tend to be an early bird.
    5. Slippery tiles in the bathroom
    6. Bathrooms with glass walls – whoever came up with THAT one?

  19. Lack of power outlets near the bed, and having to move a nightstand (or worse yet, the whole mattress) to unplug the lamp (so now there’s no light by the bed!) to plug in my phone or whatever. (I don’t trust hotel alarm clocks, I want to use my phone!)

  20. All of the above.
    Also, windows that don’t open so there’s no way to air out the vile air freshener scent they use to mask the previous guest’s odors.

  21. The Hilton Garden Inn that decided that “hypoallergenic” meant that only water (no soap or disinfectant) should be used to clean the room

  22. I’ve stayed in a few with kinda low shower heads…I’m average height and when you gotta crouch to wash the shampoo out of your hair…not cool. And we had one with the gap between the doorframe, and at the front by the busy road…the noise was bad…

  23. Fire alarms going off in the middle of the night because there are drunk college a-holes staying at the hotel. I actually had three of these in three different cities in a one month period a few years ago – IIRC all three were Marriott Courtyard hotels.

  24. The difficulty of getting housekeeping to clean rooms sometime in the afternoon when you don’t leave the room until 11 am or noon.

  25. My biggest hotel pet peeve is a noisy heater/air conditioner, and worse is finding out that it is noisy when I turn the lights out for a snooze!

  26. My biggest hotel pet peeve is sheets that don’t fit the bed. Especially when they aren’t even long enough to tuck under on the sides, so sometimes when you wake up your face is on a bare mattress. Yuck.

  27. When you travel on a long trip, and you need to send out laundry, obviously you need a minimum two-night stay at most properties in order to send out laundry and have time to get it back before you can move on to the next hotel. Sometimes you’ll even need a three-day stay if over a weekend when laundry service is not available. Obviously the laundry has to be at the front desk no later than 9:00 am at most properties if you want it back the same day. So, to get up early, collect all the dirty laundry, put it in the bag, fill out the slip, and then ask the front desk to come collect it your door while you shower and get ready for your day, THAT is how it’s supposed to work. And it often does, unless you’ve already send laundry out previously during this particular stay. For whatever reason, and this is not limited just to Marriott, I’ve noticed at other hotel chains as well, when they reset the room after you check out, that laundry bag and slept are almost always replaced. But, if you send out laundry more than once during your stay, that laundry bag and slip are almost never replaced creating a problem when you’re in a hurry in the morning. It is extraordinarily annoying when you go to the closet to get a laundry bag and slip to fill out, only to find that none are there. You wind up having to call the front desk and ask them to send somebody up, which creates a delay, since you are sitting there held hostage, waiting for them to deliver the slip and bag, but you can’t get in the shower for fear that they will come and you won’t hear the knock. Moreover, sending a bellman up isn’t always possible at seven or eight in the morning when the front desk is at it’s busiest.

    My second biggest pet peeve, (besides people who tell you their pet peeves) also has to do laundry. I do not travel like many of you with a garment bag. I travel with a small leather duffel bag. Therefore having shirts on hangers doesn’t work for me, and I pay extra to have them folded and bagged so they can be packed neatly in my duffel. I always select the option on the slip when I fill it out to have my shirts folded and not on hangers, but I estimate that 65% of the time they come back on hangers and not folded. I don’t know why the drycleaner vendors can’t read their own forms well, but this problem is widespread and super annoying. I have adopted a strict policy whereby I refuse to pay for dry cleaning if they can’t follow directions. So far, every hotel has backed me, because it doesn’t cost them (they pass the cost on to their vendor) and my case is strong and theirs is weak. Nonetheless it is still time-consuming to have to argue with the front desk to get the laundry fees removed from the bill, and it’s annoying to also have to remove shirts from hangers and fold them yourself so I you can pack. I don’t have time for this. That’s why pay others to do it for me. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one with this problem? Maybe most people don’t take long trips like I do. But I’m gone 50 weeks a year, a third of those are multiweek trips and I travel very light which means I have no choice but to send laundry out frequently. Obviously if enough people found this annoying, hotels would learn to replace their bags and slips daily and not just when a room is reset. That’s what leads me to think I must be in a small minority. Thank you for letting me vent. I feel better already.

  28. @Firestop Pacific – I have only been to one hotel that replenished laundry bags/forms and it was in Accra, Ghana (of all places).

    1. Doors that slam / people who slam doors. Few hotels are designed to have a non-slamming door. Even fewer guests remember what their mother told them about slamming doors.
    2. Food trays left in the hall for an extended period. Why don’t people call to have them picked up?
    3. Smokers. Period. Sorry if I have offended you, but your smoke travels through the ventilation systems and into my room, sometimes travelling multiple floors before it makes my room smell like an ash tray.
    3. No real late check out accommodation. When I am overseas, I often work most of the last day of my trip and fly out at night. Some hotels will give you a 5 PM checkout, which usually works, others will not. It’s a big deal when you are packing up equipment and need to get ready for a 20+ hour trip home.

  29. Stayed at a Hilton Double Tree and the cleaning staff came by around 9am knocking on my door to find out at what time I would be checking out.

    Another time at a Hilton Garden Inn the same thing occurred, felt like they wanted me out ASAP…

  30. There was a chair located a couple feet from the head of the bed and angled approximately 45 degrees. Wooden legs on the chair, nice and sturdy. At 2am I got a call from Mother Nature and proceeded toward the necessary room. What does my right foot slam into upon exiting the bed? Yes, it was bad. The nails were either partially or totally ripped off from 3 toes. Pain out the wazoo. What was the hotel willing to do? Not a damn thing. Oh sure, I could have gone to a clinic and yes they gave me a couple Advil, but zero compensation.

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