I read a lot of travel blogs and sites, and am often intrigued by different sites. Many times I will group them into a post to share (since I understand that not everyone is reading travel blogs all day every day :-D). But sometimes it spawns my own thoughts and merits its own best. I was reading over on Rapid Travel Chai the other day where he shared his biggest hotel annoyance. His was checkout times before noon – and shared a story of having a 7:30 a.m. checkout time imposed on him!
My biggest hotel annoyances
So after reading Stefan’s post, I thought I’d share some of my biggest hotel annoyances. In updating this post for 2017, I also solicited some of the biggest hotel annoyances from the members of the free Points With a Crew miles and points Facebook group
1. Resort Fees
Just like airline “fuel surcharges”, these bogus fees are just increased prices in disguise, and worse yet, often are applied on rewards stays.
My (least) favorite part of resort fees are when hotels try to justify them by saying “Resort fee is for use of the pool and fitness center and blah blah blah” and then I ask to opt-out of using those things. Somehow the hotel employee does not quite understand my joke / logic
2. Non adjoining rooms
Now granted, this is more of a “me” problem that doesn’t affect other people, but for our family of 8, I would say that having 2 adjoining rooms is the most important thing that we look for in a hotel. It makes the difference between my sharing a bed with my wife and sharing a bed with a wiggly 7 year old. I always request it, but sometimes it’s not possible, and sometimes the hotels don’t even HAVE adjoining rooms. I don’t feel like whether a hotel has adjoining rooms is adequately disclosed on the hotel website
3. Hotels weaseling out of BRGs
I also hate when hotels seemingly offer a “Best Rate Guarantee” but then use weasely tactics to get out of it. One common strategy is assigning only a specific type of rooms to be sold via Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, etc., then not including those on their site. Since the room types don’t match, they deny the claim, even though when you arrive at the hotel, they’re the exact same room. For instance, it took me 5 tries to get a BRG approved at Best Western!
4. Asking for my kids’ ages at booking
Why Hyatt?!?!??? Why does this matter? It changes zero about anything (unless I’m missing something?)
5. Crappy (and expensive) wifi
Thankfully most hotels are to the point where you get “free” wifi if you are at all a member of their loyalty program. If not, that is a separate annoyance. But perhaps even more frustrating is when the provided wifi SUCKS. I think we’ve all been there to know that bad wifi is probably worse than no wifi at all…
- Hotels that charge a lot for parking – this is annoying but I’d only count this as truly annoying if the parking charge is out of line with parking rates at similar non-hotel places in the same area. Like I stayed in Downtown Chicago and the parking was $45 / night but that’s about how much it would have cost to park anywhere else in the area.
- RoomKey popup – This was on my original list but it looks like enough people complained about this and I haven’t seen this much lately
- Lack of recognition of elite benefits – I am not a huge “But I am a Diamond Guest” kind of guy, but I am a “rule follower”, so it irritates me when hotels have very clear statements of what elites should expect at a hotel and then those benefits are not honored
- Lack of outlets near things – Or its cousin, all the plus already filled with lamps / clocks / other things
So there are 3 of my hotel annoyances? What about you? I know I saw Trips with Tykes shared a story recently about a hotel trying to give them a pack and play with an OUTDOOR FURNITURE CUSHION as the mattress?!?! Now it’s your turn
It seems like we’ve talked a bit about the WORST things that can happen here on the blog – maybe that’s just more entertaining than hearing about the BEST of travel 🙂
- The WORST hotel you’ve ever stayed at?
- The worst travel advice I’ve ever heard
- The worst usage of 100,000 Skymiles EVER?
- The worst feeling in the world: Screwing up a travel booking
So, I want to hear it – what’s YOUR biggest hotel annoyance? Leave a note in the comments
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Mmm tricky. I hate it when I don’t get upgrades I think I’m entitled to! Adjoining rooms is one I’ve not had to consider too much but it’s a a scary prospect having your kids (step-kids in my case) across the hallway when they the youngest is 7!
As a family of 5 with 3 kids, my biggest hotel annoyance is when a hotel won’t allow 5 to a room (even if we share the existing bedding). We don’t really need two separate rooms when the kids are young.
That’s a good one. In cases like that, I opt to treat those occupancy rules as occupancy “suggestions” 🙂
Good luck with that in Europe. They never allow more than 2 people in a room. With a family of 4 (2 young kids) I always have to book 2 rooms and have me and my wife each sleep with one of the kids unless we 2 adjoining rooms.
In this order, I hate
1) RESORT FEES!!!! A total rip off, especially for guests with hotel status that get the perks included anyway. Should be illegal or posted as part of the total price of the room in search results.
2) Loud A/C units. Nothing worse when you are trying to sleep.
3) Bad pillows. Hilton, for example, has those little marshmallow pillows that are so uncomfortable. A four star hotel should have luxurious pillows.
4) Unpleasant staff. Rare to find, but they exist.
5) Charging for things you don’t use, like movies.
I feel like that pop up key thing is the same thing on here. I already get the emails but every time I get close to the bottom I have to stop reading to close the 2 different popups.
I really enjoy reading your blog add I have 3 kids and we plan to adopt more. Really thanks for your work in celebrating family
1. closing pools way too early
2. when they ask you to reuse your towels and when you do, they take them anyway and give you new ones
I recently updated my post on everything that I look for in a kid-friendly hotel. If I had to pick one thing that annoys me the most, it would be the initial booking screen on every hotel website. We have 5 people. Hmmm, do I choose that I want one room or two? How do I distribute people? If I choose one room with two adults and three kids, which is frequently a drop-down option, and it tells me that there’s no availability, is it that there are no rooms? Are there just no rooms that can accommodate us? I wish every hotel would have a blurb next to the booking window that states what its max room occupancy is and whether that includes young kids.
Totally agree – With a family of 8, I definitely feel your pain! I usually just pick one room with 2 adults and see what availability is there, and figure I can adjust things later. Though of course that is mostly in the US where they don’t really care about occupancy for the most part
Sorry for second post in the same blog post, but most annoying?
CHARGING FOR WI-FI and CRAPPY WI-FI!
For the amount of $$$ charged by some of these places, whether points or cash, there is no reason GOOD WI_FI cannot be provided for FREE!
That is annoying for sure – thankfully most hotels are moving to providing wi-fi if you’re a member of their loyalty program, though that still sometimes results in the crappy part of wifi
No, it pops up EVERY time. And, it is pretty annoying. ; )
I keep telling the pop up “I AM subscribed!”
Room keys that don’t work at all or only work once because they happened to get near your cell phone or some other reason. We went on a long road trip last year and stayed in a nice little motel near Williamsburg that had regular metal keys.
Continental breakfast that ends up just being coffee (don’t drink) and toast.
Rules regarding not allowing 5 folks to a room, especially when the 5th is a baby or toddler that is going to sleep in the parent’s bed anyway. We have gone with 6 and found a few motels that have extra large rooms with 3 full or queen size beds.
I agree with all of these –especially resort fees !
One I would add is the lack of a top sheet. What the hell happened to top sheets on beds?!
most annoying to me is chintzy breakfast area with cheap breakfast items
I agree with the majority of comments previously made, especially resort fees and “crappy” wi-fi. However, one item that I did not find is the lack of communication between housekeeping and maintenance. For example, a slow draining sink or shower is more problematic than the lack of a top sheet. Hotels should provide training to the housekeeping staff to report when items do not work. Sadly, I find this lacking – even as I’m sitting in a 4 star hotel in Buenos Aires and experiencing slow bathroom drainage.
Resort Fee!!! Most Horrible practice kind of like Fuel Surcharges.
Resort fees that claim to cover the pool, gym, towels in either location, a newspaper, parking, wi-fi, etc… I’ve tried to fight these charges by stating I can’t swim, don’t have a smartphone or tablet or laptop, and in some cases, I didn’t have a car. They charged me anyway. How can they charge for something you’re not using? I feel as though this needs to be stopped on a state level. Perhaps we should start a revolution of sorts.
Try a new tactic . They can and do waive resort fees. Kimpton waived them for me when I booked a family reunion trip (7 rooms) just this November. I have at least a 50% success rate.
Add to resort fees parking fees. I stayed at a Hilton in SoCal that had a parking fee. You can not go w/o a car in SoCal so it is really just another way to hide the real rate. There needs to be a transparency law for hotels.
Check in/check out times – I’d prefer a rolling schedule especially when I’m checking out at 5am for an early flight.
not looking at my profile to know I don’t want to be next to the elevator -so don’t be surprised when I call from in room or am back at desk wanting another room
Happens pretty often. Also pop ups for other posts. I despise pop ups and there is no reason for them. I don’t even look to see what they say half the time.
If I clicked through from Twitter those pop ups often cause the window to freeze or close (taking me back to Twitter) and when that happens I don’t often return to finish reading. It isn’t just your blog, a few of them that do the pop ups have the same issues.
No. 1 Bad internet connection – it is 2016 and not 1996!
No. 2 Inconsistency of hotels within groups, i.e. mid-range hotels in the US often have a laundry room for guests and have a microwave/fridge in the room and then you come to Europe and there is not even a fridge.
No. 3 The front desk staff is often not very good – housekeeping is usually much better. They don’t seem to get the fact that this is the first impression guests receive.
No. 4 No room upgrades or free breakfast when you are the highest member in their loyalty programme, i.e. we are Spire Elite in IHG® Rewards Club and don’t even get free guaranteed breakfast or lounge access.
No. 5 😉 Having an adjoining room LOL (especially when you are in Rome and you have some very excited tourists from Northern America next to you).
Bathroom lighting. Most hotels that I have stayed in have bad overhead lighting at the bathroom mirror above sink. When I look in the mirror parts of my face are in the dark or one side gets no light. I need/want good lighting at both sides of the mirror for shaving etc. And I’m sure women would prefer that to for applying makeup etc. Oh – also overly complicated thermostats that don’t work or turn on/turn off, no matter what you do. Another: bathtub/shower faucets that you have to analyze before you can use. More: room lights that have some type of hidden foot switch. Rooms with out a printed out listing of TV channels.
Air conditioner not being cool enough, noisy, or stuck on the “auto” position is probably my top annoyance. I also have started asking for morning housekeeping, as not having the room cleaned when it’s late afternoon has started to happen more often
Scanning the comments I’m surprised no one said, not enough outlets to charge your electronics. I’ve taken to carrying a travel outlet strip, but I’m amazed by the number if properties that don’t even have one free outlet in the room. Constantly having to unplug lights and alarm clocks stinks.
Impractical rooms (that are supposed to be “sleek and modern”) with nowhere to put your things – no drawers, shelves in the bathroom, and recently, at the Andaz on 5th, a glass partition in the middle of the room instead of a closet.
I just wish that when hotels ask for kids’ ages, they actually used that info intelligently. If I say I have a two-year-old, don’t restrict my search results to rooms with 2 queen beds — he’s better on a cot. I even made one booking declaring a 3-year-old, and only in the confirmation email did it mention no kids under 16 allowed…
Asking for kid’s ages is required mostly for:
a) All-inclusive report where kids under a certain age eat free
b) Rooms where a kid under a certain age is allowed for free. e.g. most hotels won’t allow a 15-year-old with their parents in a 1 queen bed room.
Yeah – I get that. But…. they ask it for EVERY booking!
My biggest annoyance with hotels is inconsistency. Inconsistent wi-fi, hot water, air conditioning, and housekeeping. Housekeeping when they remove items but do not replace (such as towels, coffee, etc). I’ve had some hotels where the hot water will swing wildly from ice cold to melt-your-skin-hot. Not fun! Inconsistencies in executive lounges and seemingly random choices from time to time.
Resort fees are a ‘gotcha’, that no one really likes. There’s one single hotel that I don’t so much mind paying them as they’ve done such an extensive renovation, I feel it’s worth a little extra – and they do give you some freebies with that fee. (Referring to the Hilton Buena Vista Palace at Disney).
For me when traveling in Europe, Asia or the Middle East it is trying to figure out how to work the shower! There are so many intricate designs directing water to one or more of several shower heads and adjusting the temperature, one needs an engineering degree to turn the proper outlet on without getting scalded or frozen!
Further down my list are sign in protocols for hotel wifi. Most are straight forward pop up boxes or screens that automatically appear but many require either intricate passwords or finding an actual browser screen that acts as the sign in.
Moat people hate adjoining rooms because they dont want to listen to the guests next door. That is why most hotels are getting rid of them.
I hate resort fees. I also hate hotels with required deposits at booking because my company travel booking policy prohibits these hotels which can really limit choices in places like las vegas.
Mostly I hate thoughtless fellow guests who slam doors.
Number one for me has to be paying for crappy WIFI. There is no excuse. I stayed at a lodge many miles from anywhere in Botswana and they had great WIFI, so any hotel can manage it. Second is a room with hardly any outlets. I prefer the ones on a lamp beside the bed.
Hopefully you know resort fees were added on because the hotel’s were losing up to 33% of the room rate to consolidators like Priceline, etc. Now when you book with those consolidators they take their share but NOT the resort fee. That goes to the hotel, so they’ve made it back. My issue with the system is that if you book with the hotel, and they are getting the whole room rate, the resort fee shouldn’t sobe added on for those customers.
Now my annoyances: 1)Resort fees, when the place is a hotel, not a resort. 2) Requesting morning or afternoon housekeeping and not getting it as requested. 3) Useless “amenities” as part of the resort fee, such as local calls, DUH, who doesn’t own a cellphone? “Free” wi-if in the room, 3)Use of the pool and gym.
2 things come to mind, moldy smells that usually come from carpets. Loud slamming doors.
pet friendly hotels ~ dog owners allowed their dogs to pee on customer’s cars tires & poop behind the back car tires that was perfect to roll over the dog poops on the parking lots.
children sat on the hall floor close to my hotel door to play games that was hard to get out of my hotel door with kids too close to my hotel door.
#1 is the toilet paper! Tired of the rough and tough John Wayne TP!
#2 (keeping with the theme) is c shaped toilet seats. May be alone in that, but you wanted to know…
#3 Cruddy breakfast. I primarily stay at Hiltons and the fake eggs/poor biscuits/and turkey sausage (TURKEY sausage? Really?!?!) have got to go.
House keeping knocking on the door when the do not disturb sign is in front of them and not time to check out of the hotel.