The Hotel Workplace, Part 2

Category: Workplace Articles

The following is a continuation of my top 10 hotel gripes.  For the first ones, check yesterday’s blog.

#6. Easy, fast & free Internet
Why is it that the cheaper the hotel room, the more likely it is to have free Internet?  Come on premium hotel chains, get with the program!  For today’s business traveler, Internet access is a requirement, not a frill.  It should be included in the price.

The access should also be easy, no more that one click to agree to terms and I don’t want to put in any personal information.  And please don’t make me call the front desk to ask what the secret code is, or what the network name is.  That should be prominently listed on a card on the desk.

The service should be fast, at least DSL speed.  It’s very frustrating to sign onto the internet and find it’s about as fast a 1990 dial-up connection.  The connection you installed 5 years ago is no longer adequate… between Skype, Go to Meeting, video conferencing and normal email and ‘net surfing, the connection can’t be fast enough.

#7. Fewer marketing materials
It really bugs me when the desk is covered with menus, local restaurant advertisement, information guides, the hotel’s mottos or promises, the worldwide location directory, etc.  I shouldn’t have to clean up the place before I can get to work.  If you want me to know what’s for breakfast or where your location in Tokyo is, just leave all that material off to the side where I can access it – if I need it.

#8. The TV
I love the flat screens that are now found in most hotel rooms.  What I don’t love is the way they look when I turn them on.  That’s because a large percentage of hotel chains have upgraded to hi-def screens, but didn’t switch to a hi-def cable signal.  As a result, the analog picture is stretched across a wider screen making everyone look fat and the picture overall poor.

And how about a channel guide?  Most rooms don’t have them, so I have to start on “the hotel channel,” filled with more useless marketing information.  I like to watch CNBC, which is usually up in the 50s somewhere… it sure would be nice to just be able to go directly to it.

And while I’m on the subject of TVs…

#9. TVs in public areas
Why do hotel managers feel it necessary to put a TV in every public area where people gather?  Whether it’s the restaurant, breakfast area or lobby, many hotels have a TV there blaring away while I’m trying to hold a conversation or read.  In a hotel breakfast area the other day, there were about a dozen of us eating.  Only one person was watching the TV, making the other 11 of us try to ignore it as best we could.

#10. Telephones next to the toilet
Do we really still need them?  In this age of cell phones, I can’t remember the last time I used any hotel phone regardless of its location.  But the ones right next to the toilet…. well, let’s just say I can think of more sanitary placements.  And if I happen to call a guest who is in the bathroom, I’d just assume s/he not answer anyway.  I can wait 5 minutes for a call back, thank you very much.

OK – that’s my list.  I may sound kind of cranky about hotels in general, but I’m not. I usually like staying in hotels; it’s just that I stay in enough of them to notice these things.  And most of them are so simple to fix!  So hotel employees, housekeepers and managers:  how about addressing these items?  According to Hotel News Now, delighted guests have a higher rate of return and spend more while they’re at your place.

Satisfied hotel customers and more profitability… a great combination!

Sharon Toelle
March 8, 2011

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