Hotels should be a place of complete comfort and a safe haven in a foreign environment. As much as this sounds like an illusion it is not far from the truth. Home away from home is about feeling good and enjoying well-earned time off, but as always things can go south. In the lines below we will focus on the most common mistakes at hotels when hosting guests.
Lack of Common Space
We get that it is impossible to please everybody, especially when everyone is obsessed with individual rights and super sensitive about basically everything. That and cramped cities, where one can’t rest without spending money on drinks, can be frustrating. So much so that we kept looking for a spot outside our hotel room, where we could go through a magazine or adore the stunning indoor jungle. Just a cozy nook for a break from feeling like a walking ATM all the time. Plus, people fight on vacations so chill corner could be a real gem. Some hotels have plenty of common space but others simply lack them. This might be one of the common mistakes at hotels.
Cranked Up AC
One cause why we wanted to leave our hotel room was a cold temperature that called for a winter jacket. As it happens in tropics freezing indoor temperatures are a sign of luxury, but that isn’t healthy, and neither it is environmentally friendly. Thankfully, guests have control of the AC in the hotel room, but that is about it. With that being said, don’t forget to pack a winter jacket for your next tropical escape. It might come in handy for breakfast, dinner, or during transport.
Furniture and Equipment Malfunction
Another common mistake at Hotels is a malfunction in furniture or equipment. Furthermore, it happens in all classes, from 4 to elite 5-star hotels. However, this is totally normal. Furniture gets used and appliances have their “expiry date”. In hotels, those things get to wear down even faster than at home. Most of the guests simply don’t take care and handle furniture in very bad manure. We were a witness in 3 months old hotel, where the marble flooring was scratch like it has been there for at least 25 years.
Even if these malfunctions and flaws are common at hotels, I don’t totally blame the management of the hotels. Usually, the guests don’t report the problem and hotel workers don’t have a clue about the flaw. At check-out people are just nodding, maybe even hoping to get away with an accident, or later giving a bad review on Tripadvisor and that’s about it. It is our responsibility to report the flaws so the hotel can act and fix them.
Lack of Sustainable Practice
Chilled indoor air is just one issue on the hotel’s sustainability list. More concerning is the cleaning regime, which usually consists of harsh chemical products. That was before the pandemic, now the notorious virus forced the environmentally friendly practice out of the window! In return, we saw the unprecedented comeback of single-use plastic and naturally even heavier use of chemical cleaners. Then there is the issue of wasted food, which is a (too!) long-lasting challenge in many kitchens.
However, the biggest flaw in sustainable practice is plastic bottles in the room! I can’t describe how angry I get when I see those complimentary plastic 0,5l bottles in my room. We never even touch them, just reduce the score of the hotel review. Sadly about 95% of 5-star luxury hotels offer plastic bottles of water. Well, at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel, only the guests staying in high-end suites get water in a glass bottle. Spending 1000 USD for a room and seeing a plastic bottle is a shame. Just filter your own water and change the bottles, that is all we ask. Safe the planet folks! It is a top-end hotel, not a Khao San Road hostel!
Distasteful food is our nightmare and so is food poisoning. Luxury hotels are on the safer side of this remark, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been disappointed. Oversupply for a buffet meal can lead to overly complicated dishes with poor execution, but things can go wrong in the ala carte section as well. Food is an incredibly important aspect of travel therefore hotels should proudly serve the most beloved local specialties. As a good example, the Hotel Stripes, Kuala Lumpur is offering some street food provided directly from the local vendors and we love it. On the other hand, Sofitel Metropole Hanoi was offering us Phở, which disappointed us a lot. Especially when you know the first vendor with delicious soup is just around the corner. Collaborate not compete! You don’t have a slight chance with antie and her soup!
Underestimation of the Guest
A five-star hotel might be used to have posh guests that need sunglasses in the dark, knitted hats in summer and travel with numerous suitcases. By all means, every traveler is entitled to his/her unique style. For us, it is minimalistic backpack action and precisely that was a cause of porter’s rolling eyes. To us, it was funny seeing him unaware of what to do with our backpack. We ignored the message on his face and were amused by his dilemma.
As always, something out of the ordinary puts the service to the real test, and that never fails. We are who we are; two hedonists sticking out of the ordinary as often as possible. However, the issue is much bigger than our little test, it is about prejudice and that is not acceptable in the hospitality industry. It is hard to believe this is one of the most common mistakes at hotels with 5 stars, but we encounter it a few times.
Better Prices on Metasearch Sites
Call us naive, but we expect a better price when we directly book a room. In our world, intermediary agent charges a fee, so direct booking should be desirable. Sometimes it is more affordable to book via Booking or Trivago than directly at the hotel and that’s a minus for us. Just make sure guests will make a reservation with you directly, give them some perks, special price, welcome gift…
One of the most common mistakes at hotels is a lack of cleanliness. Hotel rooms have a lot of corners and nooks where the dirt could come in. I know the cleaning team has a lot of work to do, but there should be a better inspection before the room is booked.