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Five Fixable but All-Too-Common Hotel Fails

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 2/22/2019 Wallace Cotton
a bedroom with a bed in a room © Provided by The Points Guy

One of the last things frequent travelers want to stumble upon after a lengthy day on the road is a major design flaw in their hotel room. From ever-bright iPad screens to inoperable showers, we feel your pain.

We already shared what some of our community members can’t stand about hotels (and what people can’t stand about airports), but our readers made so many good, relatable points that we felt we needed another list — plus how hotels might go about addressing them.

The wrong time

We know loud and/or obnoxiously bright alarm clocks get on our nerves… but why do so many simply display the wrong time? In city hotels, particularly ones frequented by international visitors, a common courtesy would be to ensure that the primary clock(s), even just the one next to the bed, is set to the right time. Sure, most of us have cell phones with readily available clocks, but why not have housekeeping make sure these are correct as they prepare a room prior to check in?

A rude awakening

Most of us follow the same routine: We carry our phones around with us throughout the day (or our laptops if we’re on a work trip), and as we turn in for the night, we plug our devices in to charge until morning. Unfortunately, too many hotels have electrical outlets so worn-out that chargers don’t stay plugged in. Eight hours later, when it’s time to leave for the day, the stomach-dropping feeling of seeing that your phone has only decreased in battery is never a good one. With no personal electrical expertise to offer, we’d suggest hotels grab a screwdriver and make sure outlets are firmly secured to the sockets. In any case, it’s another reason we always recommend bringing an portable charger with you on the road.

Dude, where’s my outlet?

In the same vein, the placement of power outlets in too many hotels leaves us scratching our heads. “Why is it over there?” we ask ourselves. Understandably, hotels undergo renovations that change rooms’ configurations. This may mean the bed moves from one wall (with an outlet) to another (without), but, why not anticipate these inconveniences and supply extension cords to enable bed-side device charging? How else am I supposed to wake up in the morning when the hotel-provided alarm clock may or may not work, and I don’t trust the desk enough to give me the (always jarring) wake-up call?

Decorative pillows

We all know the pillows. The ones that are on the bed only to be removed later in the day when maids stop by for their evening turndown service. They add to the aesthetic of the room—and they might even be pretty comfy. That’s not the issue, though. It’s cleanliness. How often are these pillows washed considering they spend the majority of their time on the floor? While we don’t have an answer to that right now, we’d wager it’s quite infrequently. Let’s keep them on couches or start using ones with removable—and washable—cases.

Where’s the coffee?

As reader Lisa S. aptly notes: “No coffee machine is infuriating! I understand Vegas wants you out of the room and into the casino, but New York hotels? [It takes] 20 minutes in line trying to get a basic cup of coffee.” Indeed, hotel room instant coffee isn’t great, but it’s convenient and not to mention complimentary. Spending 20 minutes and $5 for a cup of coffee detracts from the overall hotel experience. Hotels: Please keep coffee machines in the rooms! And, for the love of all things that are good, please provide one with easy-to-follow instructions… or just intuitive design.

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