I didn’t want this to be a rant about the trials and tribulations of traveling on a business trip, but I just came back from a few days in Florida, where I stayed in two separate hotels, and there were just so many ridiculous issues that I felt the need to post. So much time is spent on professionals getting paid to figure out how to make a visitors stay “pleasurable.” Well, how about we then start with pet peeve #1.
#1 ONGOING CONSTRUCTION ON A HOTEL SHOULD BE NOTED WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATION! I was staying at a hotel in Miami one night and major renovations were occuring. In order to get into the hotel, you had to walk a very long way around the facility, up and down various stairs with your luggage, only to get to a small door that was heavy glass and you had to “pull out” to get your luggage in. The room itself I stayed in was at the other end of the complex, through hallways and other glass doors. No one was there to help or assist visitors and I can’t tell you how many times I got stuck in the door jams trying to juggle my laptop, a big purse and a large suitcase filled to the brim with sales materials.
#2 INTERNET ACCESS SHOULD BE FREE IN YOUR ROOMS. One hotel gave it to me for free, the other wanted to charge me $12. TWELVE DOLLARS? I made a big stink at the front desk that this is ridiculous and should be free. They just stared at me like I had two heads and told me to use the communal business room, which I did. But, darned if they didn’t put a time limit on it. In the middle of one email the computer shut off and I had to sign back on and start all over again. Seriously.
#3 ROOMS SHOULD NOT SMELL. EVER. I had to change my room which was on the ground floor next to the pool. It was as if a pack of moldy trousers had taken residence there. I’m sure the cleaning staff noted this – the smell was very hard to miss. Granted, the room was clean, but I knew there was no way I was going to be able to endure the stench for the night. To their credit, they changed the room quickly (though I had to take all my luggage BACK to the front desk and through those blasted heavy glass doors noted in Pet Peeve #1)
#4 OUTLETS AND AC/HEAT SWITCHES SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE AND EASY TO FIND. When I got into the second room it was as if I had walked into a freezer. I must have spent ten minutes looking for the AC switch, which was hidden behind this “unit” which had a cover that had to be removed. In Florida they jack up the AC so high that when you walk into the room you’re afraid to change your clothes lest you get frostbite.
#5 THE WATER STOPPER SHOULD NOT BE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE TUB. Ok, this is a weird pet peeve, but I took a bath one night to chill out. I put on the hot water, unpacked and when I came back I realized the water was so hot that I couldn’t get my hand down to the stopper at the bottom of the tub to release the water to put cold water back in. I literally wrapped my hand in towels and plunged it in superfast to try to unstop it to let some of the water out. It burned my hand. Never had that happen to me before but realized, “gee, it would be nice if the stopper were on the wall of the tub like I have at home rather than on the bottom.”
#6 STARBUCKS. Ok, this isn’t really a rant because it’s not anyone’s fault, but for this NY City girl, an accessible Starbucks is a must. I just can’t do Duncan Donuts or regular hotel coffee because with my lactose intolerance, I need soy milk. In this day and age, outside NY, everyone still looks at me askance if I request soy milk or a non-dairy creamer for my coffee. So, I think each hotel should have a listing and set of directions to the nearest Starbucks who accommodates me brilliantly.
Things I couldn’t complain about: Smoking (no one was smoking in the hotels at all, nice), free breakfast (one hotel had free breakfast, nice), water and snacks were available in both rooms for free when I checked in. That was very nice and surprising.
Ok, I’m done ranting for the moment. Do you have any big pet peeves when you travel?