When I get to a hotel room, I like to do a lay of the land. Get comfortable with my surroundings. Look to see if I have a nightstand on my side of the bed. Where’s the clock? Does this room have drawers, closets, baskets, or any place else to put my clothes (or will I be living out of my suitcase while I’m there)? The next thing I look for is plugs. USB plugs. Power plug. Anywhere I can plug in a phone, work on my computer, where’s a good place for a nightlight for late-night trips to the bathroom?
I’ve taken to holding or keeping a notepad nearby when doing this inspection because inevitably, I’m going to find something I’ll need to tell the front desk about. There are even times I took pictures and it might take 1000 words to explain my broken shower, but this image sums it up quickly.
Previously, I felt that if a hotel fixed the problems I reported to them in a timely manner, that was acceptable. I let them know a problem, and they resolved the said problem.
But why is it MY job to tell them things are broken/old/worn in THEIR hotel??????
Before COVID, I realize that housekeeping needed to turn over rooms as quickly as possible. If a hotel was fully booked, someone was waiting for that room right after the previous guest left. There’s no time to take a room out of commission to replace a lampshade. However, with hotels running nowhere near capacity and supposedly getting cleaned to company-certified standards, I’d think there’s no better time to show the rooms some added attention and get them ready for the guests to return.
It doesn’t take a technician to notice that the light in the shower isn’t turning on. There’s no specialized training required to see that an ironing board cover looks like it was run over by a truck. When the clocks change for Daylight Savings Time, is it too hard to make sure they are set to the CORRECT time? I would also think a bathroom full of water every day would let someone know that the waterproof strip along the shower door is cracked and half missing, allowing water to leak all over the floor, soaking the bath mat and whatever other items (towel, clothes) which happen to be on the floor.
Finally, I would hope anyone looking at a bathroom would notice that the entire shower head had collapsed.
I don’t want to be someone who looks for compensation for any little thing if the room is not perfect. Light bulbs burn out, batteries die. I understand. However, I’m getting tired of needing to be the one to give a laundry list of items that need fixing to the front desk every trip.
Maybe I should print out business cards as a hotel quality inspector and hand it to the front desk with my list of problems. I’ll advise them that my consulting fee is a room upgrade, or if none are available, I’ll take the room I was assigned, at half price, once everything is fixed, of course 😉 Think they’ll go for it?
Of course, I’m kidding, but that’s the place I’m at. We’ve only recently stayed in a room where everything worked but that’s the exception, not the rule. Even if one of those USB plugs on a lamp doesn’t charge anything or a desk chair doesn’t go up or down anymore. Do hotels even worry about these things anymore? Do people who work there know whose job it is to report when things are broken or who they should tell? I doubt there’s any system in place to go through rooms and proactively check to make sure everything works. It’s much easier and cheaper to wait to replace something when it breaks, and the guest lets you know.
This reminds me of the urban myth about the light bulbs on Main Street of the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland.
Illuminated by a countless number of incandescent light bulbs, it seemed as if there was never a burnt-out bulb. The legend was that the lamps were replaced before they burnt out, on a rotating schedule, and if by chance one did burn out anyway, it was replaced by the next day by a team dedicated to keeping every light lit. I don’t know if this was true, but it’s a good story.
Well, if you visit the park today, it won’t take you long to find a burnt-out light, or ten or twenty. I’m sure the cost of constant replacement led to cutting the budget, and if “good enough” looks OK, then that’s what we get. I guess the same thing has happened with hotels. It’s much cheaper just to let things break and then fix them instead of trying to keep everything 100% perfect all the time.
One thing I noticed is that I tend to get the room with busted lampshades. Like more often than I should. How do you not fix this when you see it?
Or how do you leave this ironing board in a hotel room where guests will be staying? It looked like something you dug out of the basement.
Or how do you leave a hotel room in active inventory with this busted dresser?
None of these pictures were from inexpensive hotels. They are all properties of major chain hotels in large U.S. cities. Am I the only one who cares about things like this anymore????
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary