London Hotels Insight provides up-to-date, independent advice for your perfect stay in London. We research guest feedback, meet management and identify hotels at the top of their game.
Top 8 hotel pet hates.
I’ve had a rant or two on London Hotels Insight about toast and other subjects and have even sounded off about my top 10 hotel rip-offs. This time, I thought I’d vent a bit more with eight of my biggest pet hates about staying in hotels. Not all of these will matter to everyone, but if any hoteliers see me coming I hope they take note…
- 1. Dual shower/bath mixer taps. When the hotel has left mixer taps on the shower setting causing my clothes to get drenched when I decide to run a bath, simply because I should have been suspicious enough and awake enough after an 8 hour flight to suss out that (with the shower head being right above the tap) I needed to strip before turning any taps on! And of course, there’s no label, so there’s a fifty-fifty chance that said lever is on – but then it might be off, in which case if I move it, I’ll be turning the shower on… A no-win situation : (
- 2. Unfathomable technology. When I need to RTFM to use the room it annoys the life out of me. Technology which is overly-complicated is a perpetual bugbear, particularly when it’s for something basic like air conditioning. I’ve stayed in a hotel where the radio was impossible to use and the alarm wouldn’t stay set. In others, I’ve had four different remotes and it took extensive trial and error to work out what each one was for! Remote controls are a particular favourite in this category – a lot of hoteliers seem to have an innate talent for selecting ones that are designed to be as unintuitive as possible.
- 3. Bathroom and dressing table mirrors with no nearby lighting. How do I get my contact lenses in or put my makeup on? Some hotels provide desks with no lights; fine if working on a laptop, but really bad news if I have any paperwork. Come on guys, put light where it counts!
- 4. Duvets that are too heavy. I’m probably one of the few Vikings left. I don’t turn the heating on ’till November, and the first thing I do in most hotel rooms is turn the heating down. At night, I end up overheated because most hotels give you a duvet that’s too thick. I do wish they’d consider two lightweight quilts instead; then I wouldn’t face the choice between freezing with just a sheet and roasting with a thick duvet!
- 5. Rooms with no natural daylight. Though I’ve never minded when a room is on an interior courtyard, or facing a blank wall, I do need to be able to see sky up there somewhere or I feel like a rat in a burrow. To my surprise though, it seems that many people don’t care about this at all – Tune Hotels, known for executing some of the cheapest hotels in London, told me that their basement rooms are usually the first to sell out because they’re a bit cheaper. Call me a spoilt aesthete, but I do think a patch of blue sky is one of those extras worth paying for!
- 6. Non-removable coathangers. I loathe these with a passion. It makes hanging your clothes so much more difficult; and if you’re short and the wardrobe is a tall one, you’re in big trouble! Coathangers aren’t that expensive and I’m sure people don’t pinch them that often. On the other hand, I adore hotels with good solid wooden coathangers – if I’ve taken a nice silk or angora knitwear dress to a 5 star hotel, I really don’t want to end up putting it on a cheap wire hanger.
- 7. Long check-in. Running through a long process when I’ve just got off a flight: I’m tired, not paying attention and really need my bed. Skip the description of the gym, the TV options, the 4 different restaurants and cocktail bar, and just swipe my credit card, ask me when I want breakfast and let me catch up with my Zs! The time to get clued up on guest preferences is before the stay as the luxury London hotels run by Red Carnation understand (sending a questionnaire before you arrive).
- 8. Hotels that fail to disclose WiFi charges before you book. This is a real scam in my view because most websites for luxury hotels will say something like “all our rooms are fully equipped with hi-speed broadband” or similar which clearly implies that this is included in the rate. Some London hotels are even sneakier because they will claim to have free WiFi when in fact they might offer only slow “basic” internet in their lobby while charging for it handsomely in their rooms – hijacking the poor, time-scarce guest who pays up rather than wasting time to figure out the ins and outs. And this behaviour is especially prevalent among already expensive upscale hotels while many budget and mid-price hotels are now happy to offer their guests complimentary WiFi.
The latter gripe motivated the recent London Hotels Insight free WiFi Touchdown campaign when we visited 14 hotels in just over a month to promote the “good guy” free WiFi hotels and motivate a shift in attitude among the naughty ones about this ridiculous guest-repelling practice.
So hoteliers please take note and let us know if you’ve taken creative steps to overcome any of our hotel irritations. And dear readers, please feel free to add your own hotel pet hates in the comments below!
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