The guestroom is the crux of the hotel experience, and there are many small things that can set a guest off. Not in any particular order, here is my list of pet peeves.
1. Complex Wi-Fi setups
It is bad enough that I have to pay for Wi-Fi, but what’s worse is trying to set up a complex Wi-Fi connection. Headache! Even with my MacBook Air, there are connections that just don’t seem to work, no matter what you attempt.
2. Poor Wi-Fi signal
I am differentiating this point from the setup and cost. What I am referring to is insufficient bandwidth to operate the basics of the business — loading the Internet and downloading basic files (let alone movies or anything of that magnitude).
3. Paying for Wi-Fi
Give me a break. I’m paying $550 per night for the room, and now you want another $13.95 for Wi-Fi? What’s wrong with this picture? I pay five bucks for a coffee at Starbucks and get all the Wi-Fi I need (which, by the way, is where your consumers are going instead of your restaurant because of this). Also, don’t you ever notice that that the economy-segment hotels seem to have free Wi-Fi while the luxury products do not?
4. In-room coffee in un-openable packets
Unfortunately, we airline travelers no longer carry scissors. So how do we open these space-proof foil packs? I once phoned down to the front desk to ask a bellman to bring up a pair.
5. Shampoo amenities not large enough for two users
If my wife is with me, we need to execute our own shampoo-rationing plan. Don’t you think someone could increase the size in anticipation of two designated occupants?
6. No decent TV channels, except if you go to the pay section
As an older guest, it would really be nice for me to be able to watch an hour or so of high-quality television without commercials. I’m talking getting up to code by offering a little HBO or Showtime.
7. Small water bottles that are not free
Single-serve water bottles cost just a few cents each — about 35 cents at most from a wholesaler. Include a few and price your room up by just a buck.
8. A larger bottle of water with a $5.95 “warning” neck tag
Come on now. Does that water bottle really dictate that price? Better to have no large water bottles than to feature a price incongruity that might upset guests.
9. Too many tent cards
I arrive in the room, and I’m bombard with brochures telling me about the great chef, a promotional food offer somewhere in the hotel or the drink specials. Yet, surprisingly, these offers are not available in room service.
10. Complex lighting controls
Some even require putting the glasses back on to figure out how to use them. Worse is trying to close the lights to get a night’s sleep, and you can’t figure out how to shut off that one hallway light that cannot be accessed bedside.
11. TVs that cannot be seen easily from the bed
I have been in rooms where the TV is opposite the bed, but the room is so large you are out of remote-control range. And if the remote control can’t see the TV, imagine how you, the viewer, can see it! I have also been in rooms where the TV has to be rotated to be viewed from the bed, and in doing so the remote no longer functions.
12. Noisy AC units
In fact, some are so noisy that when the compressor clicks on, it might wake those in the next room. Sorry, but I expect a quiet room, especially in the luxury class. This one may require a heavy upgrade cost, but for guest satisfaction, it is a must.
13. Drapes that don’t fully block sunlight
Often, blackout drapes just aren’t sized properly, leaving gaps. Amazing how sunlight dances through badly matched seams!
14. Quirky alarm clocks
We’re talking the ones that do not set easily or those tied into a radio and not a buzzer. I’ve given up on this one and just use my iPhone.
15. Lack of accessible outlets for chargers
How do you plug your phone in to recharge it and still have it handy by being within reach of the bed? I realize most guestrooms were configured and built well before the advent of smartphones, but this might crop up as a pesky problem for your guests.
16. Soap packaged in plastic shrink-wrap
You know what I’m talking about: the packaging that requires real effort to remove. You need long fingernails and lots of patience (and your glasses on). Test a random batch from your supplier. If you can’t open it easily, replace the batch — or get a new vendor!
17. Bathrooms with poor lighting
This one tops the list as my wife’s biggest complaint. It’s added in here, as she definitely had a few things to say about hotel rooms she will never visit again (along with those that do not have makeup mirrors).