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Hotels - Are you being unreasonable?

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Mar 18th, 2011, 01:38 PM
  #1
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Hotels - Are you being unreasonable?

Haviing worked many years in various hotels it has become more apparent that guests are choosing to pay less but are expecting more. If you are staying in a 3 star hotel and paying less than $140/night don't expect 5 star hotel service (remember you get what you pay for). To bring those prices down the first thing to go is the number of staff on hand. Most hotels with less than 100 rooms have only one agent on the desk. That means they pretty much can't leave the front desk. That is why they usually have a large number of supplies at the desk so you can quickly come down and get what you need. If you wait until they are quiet enough that they can leave the desk you could be waiting a couple of hours.So here's the best way you can help solve your own problems.

Need an extra blanket or pillow? - Check the drawers or cupboards in your room.

Pillow too flat or too fluffy? - Unless it's a 4 or 5 star hotel they likely purchase pillows in bulk so they are all the same. Very rarely now are feather pillows used due to guest allergies. Please don't expect feather pillows if they are not advertised on the hotel website.

More than one lightbulb out? - Check the lamp is actually plugged in (housekeeping may have unplugged it to vacuum and forgot to plug it in again).

TV not working - Likely the battery in the remote (drop by the front desk, they usually have spare remotes and batteries on hand).

Need extra towels - Front desk usually have extra towels on hand.

Need extra coffee? Sugar? Whitener? Stir sticks? Wine bottle opener? Lightbulbs? Shampoo? Soap? Stamps? (Yes it's all at the front desk).

Can't get on to the wireless network - Even some computer savvy front desk agents can't even begin to figure out how your personal computer works. You are the expert but they can give you passwords, email server addresses, and some basic assistance. Bring your device down with you.

Can't dial long distance from your room? Did you paid with a debit card or cash? If you did long distance will not be allowed. A credit card is necessary to allow any extra charges to be billed to your room (meals, room service, long distance calls, fax or copying services and sometimes internet access).

Incoming calls - If you are expecting a call try to give your caller your room number in advance. If the front desk agent is really busy they may not be able to answer the phone and transfer the call to your room. If the caller knows the room number they are usually given the option of just putting in the room number themselves and bypassing the front desk entirely.

Don't like your room? - If you are not specific at the time of booking as to what type of room and number of beds you need you may find that the room is smaller than expected or has only 1 bed. Many people think they save money by saying there is only 1 guest when there is actually 2. Most room prices are based on double occupancy so tell them how many beds you need. You can also request a certain floor or side of the hotel but a request is never guaranteed (if every guest wants a 3rd floor room then obviously some will not get the room requested). If you have special needs (elderly or infirm) then be specific why you need a first floor room or one close to the elevator or front desk. If a hotel has a good reason why they will try to accomodate you. The hotel may move you to a room on a different floor so you are not in the middle of a team or function going on in the hotel (this is for your benefit...trust me).

You can request an early check in but unless you pay for the room the night before you can assume someone stayed in that room and checked out at the latest possible check out time. So if you request 11:00 am and they aren't checking out until 12:00 then it is not possible to give you that early check in. You may be given an option of a different room than requested that is clean and available.

A late check out usually means they will give you 30 minutes to 1 hour at no additional cost. After that it may not allow time to clean the room for the next guest. At that point you can pay for an additional night (if they can move the incoming guest to a different room). Remember no hotel can guarantee or promise an early check in or late check out unless you are paying for the night before or the following night.

Is there noise? - Most hotels have a quiet time of 11:00 PM. Do not call the hotel at 8:00 pm telling them that there is noise in the hall or room next door. Be reasonable. If it is past 11:00 pm then definately call the front desk. Usually they will warn the offenders that if the noise continues they will be evicted. If the noise continues after 20 minutes, call down to make your second complaint.
Baxterpoo is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 03:19 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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This all sounds sensible. Of course, I can't remember actually paying $140 for a hotel room other than on a business trip, if then. And I don't like to stay in big hotels in the first place. My current hotel (Nice, France) has 13 rooms, my next B&B (Bath, England) has six.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Mar 19th, 2011, 06:53 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
It is not "unreasonable" to expect employees to do their job.

Getting good value on hotel room is totally independent

of quality service without a snarky attitude and laziness

like keeping live batteries in remote so TV works...

or guest must call over and over to stop noisy parties

B4 they can be stopped.

or be responsible for upgrades which will happen on

check in if there is a kind caring front desk employee.

Always get perks/upgrades on check in as a matter of course

To say that guests are responsible for coming to the front

desk at all times for routine service

is simply ridiculous Guests are after all

paying their salaries.

Do not think I would be posting a good review of

any hotel you are working at.
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Mar 19th, 2011, 09:00 AM
  #4
 
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I don't think the OP's attitude was snarky at all Qwovadis. I think that yours was. It's a simple fact that if there is only one or two staff on hand they can't immediately run to every guest room to fix things that the guest can fix themselves with a short walk to the desk. If you want someone jumping to attention every time you snap your fingers, then pay for that.

If you need something extra you can walk to the front desk, it's really not that far or that big of a deal. The rooms are generally stocked for what a "normal" guest might need. How do they know the batteries in the remote have died unless housekeeping turns it on (which would likely prompt you to whine about housekeeping being lazy and watching tv) or unless a guest tells them. I often don't turn on the tv so it's quite possible that in the week I've had the room the batteries might die. Oh no, big deal. Also guests often take/replace the batteries with their own that are dead.

Why should you always get perks/upgrades on check in? If you want a nicer room, pay for it. Otherwise you take the risk of not getting an upgrade.

As for noisy groups, how does the front desk know they're being loud unless someone reports it? If the rooms aren't near the front desk, how would the clerks know to shush them? A simple phone call to the desk generally fixes the issue. The request to give them 20 minutes before calling again is to allow the clerk time to call and tell them to shut up or to walk up there and yell at them if they don't answer the phone.

Nothing in the OP seemed unreasonable to me.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 01:01 PM
  #5
 
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Very good advice from the OP. Knowing what to expect/what is reasonable behaviour makes for a happier more relaxed stay.

If I had known that 'quiet time' would begin at 11PM (and it did) during my last hotel stay, I would have been less frustrated- although still not entirely happy- waiting for the noise to end.

Much better to take the two minute walk down to the front desk for a simple item than wait two hours for delivery to the room. At a certain level of hotel class however, I would definitely not expect to walk down, nor wait two hours.
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 12:26 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Hey here you shared almost all the important issues with a genuine sort of solution. Yes it is absolutely right that a 24hour service and facility catering is basic and essential one. One more thing try to settle your dispute with the front-desk personnel, but if you're still not satisfied, ask to speak to the general manager. Keep in mind that it's the job of the front-desk staff to solve problems without involving the general manager.
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 01:02 PM
  #7
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The truth about General Managers. Very rarely (and I mean very very rarely) does the General Manager work weekends or evenings. Yes they tend to work 8-4 or 9-5. Some hotels have a night manager or duty manager. If that is the case you now have two employees on hand which eliminates most of your problems. If there is only one agent on the desk and no other obvious employees then there won't be a GM or any manager to speak with. Most hotels will also have a houseman. That sounds good in theory but the houseman often is also the shuttle driver (especially at airport hotels) so he's likely not there but out at the airport. If the houseman has time between drives he will be the one sent up to your room for you. That is why you may be waiting up to 2 hours. The houseman can provide basic maintenance but a major repair at night is unlikely. If the hotel is full the front desk staff will usualy page the maintenance manager to come in but if there are other rooms available you will be offered another room. That may be the only alternative that there is to offer.
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 01:14 PM
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Unadvertised services often available in a hotel include kettles (for boiling your water to make tea), paper plates and plastic cutlery, toasters, playing cards, a place to store a freezer pac (may be the staff room fridge/freezer but usually they will assist you in this), sanitary supplies for women,combs,newspapers and umbrellas. Some hotels in Europe will have an electrical adaptor you can borrow if you forgot yours. Don't keep it more than one night as they likely have only one or maybe two. You can usually buy a new one at the local large train station or airport shop.

Personal tip which has kept me painfree or warm. Always carry a plastic water bottle with you (with a screw on cap). These can be filled with hot tap water in place of an electric heating pad or hot water bottle. They can keep you warm in certain freezing cold rooms in the U.K. or France but also soothe aching muscles from all that heavy luggage lifting. Good for cramps too if you've run out of painkillers. Best thing I ever learned. (Warning: Do not fill the bottle with boiling water from a kettle, the bottle will melt and the scalding water will pour out the bottom...learned from experience).
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 05:03 PM
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Thank you Baxterpoo for these insights. Many times people say they want a "small personal hotel" but it can come with inconveniences that a large "impersonal" hotel may not have.

I'm always surprised at reviews on TripAdvisor where the reviewer obviously hadn't thought about what type of hotel they were getting in relation to what they are paying. I read any review I can find before deciding on a hotel.

And it's odd what people want. I remember a review where this guy slammed the hotel because he got "stuck" in a room down the hall from the elevator. He was sure it was an act of bigotry. I'm always happy to get away from the elevator. Too much noise for me.

Reviews that give few stars because the staff was "rude" imo, are silly. Anyone should be able to get along with desk clerk for a few minutes and we never know what's going on with other people. I don't mind coming to the front desk, usually because I'm impatient.

There are things that irritate me though. When I know I'm entitled to something and it's pulled away from me when I get there. This has happened when I relied only on reservation numbers to check in. Now, I download everything. If breakfast is to be included, I want my breakfast. I don't want to fight for a discount that I was promised when I made the reservation.

One thing, since you mentioned it. Heat feels good but nothing works for pain like ice. Always travel with extra ziplocks, you never know when you might need a ziplock filled with ice wrapped in a towel.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:59 PM
  #10
 
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Your first two sentences say it all, Baxterpoo. I don't expect turn down service or chocolates on my pillow at the Best Western. If I did, I'd really be setting myself up for disappointment.
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