The Hotel Workplace, Top 20 (formerly 10) Gripe List

By Frank Kenna

Back in March I blogged about my top 10 hotel gripes.  I did this because we publish a workplace communications digital signage product, one edition of which is sold to the hospitality market.  So I’m interested in hotels’ wellbeing in general and offered the comments in a spirit of constructive criticism.  That blog was published in two parts, the first 5 gripes on March 4, and the second 5 on March 8th. Since then I’ve received a bunch of comments that have made me realize that the top 10 wasn’t nearly enough!  So here’s a continuation to the top 20, compiled from readers input and more personal experiences.

11. The Do Not Disturb sign
Have you ever had one of those little signs fall off the door handle?  Of course you have – almost every time you open or close the door, right?  Memo to hotel doorknob sign designers:  Hotels have not been made with door KNOBS for about 15 years.  Today they all have those lever-type handles, so your little signs fall right off.  So please design a Do Not Disturb sign that won’t fall off.

12. Non-removable hangers
Ok, I get it… they’re worried about people stealing hangers.  So for the couple of cheapskates who do that, they penalize the 98% of us who don’t.  Not fair! I really hate fumbling around with those things, especially when trying to hang pants without wrinkling.  And why do so many hangers have those little metal clips on them?  I’m not even really sure what they’re for… but most hangers seem to have them and snag my shirts and ties.

13. Internet access sign-ins
In my last hotel blog, I wrote that Internet access should be free at all hotels.  That aside, I also object to the constant sign-ins required during a multi-day stay.  It’s annoying and time-wasting, especially if you’ve forgotten the password (and who hasn’t)?  The software should be smart enough to know that I’m there for three days and keep me signed in for that long.

14. Wimpy shower pressure
At the risk of being non-green, I want more water coming out of my shower!  Most hotels have great water pressure – in the sinks and toilets. Then you get into the shower and…. a drizzle.  I know they’re trying to save water, but it just makes me stay in the shower longer trying to get the soap off.

15. Nuclear-powered toilets
Speaking of toilets, have you ever stayed in a place with those high-powered ones than seem like they’ll suck down anything within a four-foot radius?  I can’t imagine why they need to be so powerful… actually, I don’t want to.  I just find the whole thing a little scary.  I mean, what happens if you accidentally flush the thing while you’re sitting there?

16. Hair dryers from NASA
Just like the alarm clocks that have so many buttons and switches you can’t figure out how to use them, some hotels make the same mistake with the hair dryers.  The last one I used had a “command center” of switches: on/off, warm/cool/hot, hi/med/lo fan, a little button with a snowflake on it (never figured out what that one was for) and a ground fault interrupter (GFI) button.  Then it was plugged into an outlet that also had a GFI and a reset switch.  The only thing missing was a video showing how to operate the darn thing.

17.  The giant magnifying mirror
This isn’t really a gripe, as I’m sure many people like and use these things.  But have you ever been out late at night entertaining clients or whatever, get in at 2 am, then the next morning stumble into the bathroom and look into one of those things?  Yiiiikkkkes!! Who is THAT?  And that harsh fluorescent lighting doesn’t help either.

18. Bedding and blankets
In a prior blog I wrote about there being too many pillows.  A reader noted the flip side of this, that being there often aren’t enough blankets.  Yes, you can call downstairs for one… but who wants to do that at 11 pm when you’re sleepy and sitting there in your underwear?  How about trading some extra blankets for those bathrobes in the closet?  Unless I’m at a vacation spot, I don’t have time to lounge around in one of those anyway.

19. $6.00 water.
Really?  Six dollars for a bottle of WATER? Isn’t that the same stuff I can get from the tap for free – or at Costco for $4 a case?  Come on, hotels – I wouldn’t mind maybe $2 for a bottle, but $6 is way over the gouging line. If the label said “Absolute” maybe we’d have something to talk about…

20. More coffee, please!
First, every room should have a coffee maker.  Second, it should also be double-checked to make sure there is caffeinated coffee available – unlike a recent hotel I stayed at that had two decaf pouches and no caffeinated.  And third, how about an extra pouch or two in case I need to work for a while before going out?

Well, there you have it.  Despite all my gripes, I actually like most hotels.  But there’s always room for improvement.  We specialize in workplace communications, and many of these items involve communicating to and from managers, housekeeping staff, engineers, etc.  So I hope this will get some communications buzzing to address some of these issues.

Oh –and speaking of hotel engineers, I’ll have one more hotel blog coming up soon about my favorite engineer of the year who almost saved me from drowning.  Tune in next time for that one.

Jude Carter
June 3, 2011

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