Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home away from home

So as I promised threatened a couple of posts ago, a critique of hotels. I've stayed in a lot of hotels over the last couple of years, ranging in price from about $140/night to a high of $289/night. I've had single rooms, two-bedroom suites, one bedroom suites, breakfast included and breakfast not included. The following I have found are crucial for the business traveler:
  • I must be able to find the cable jack for my laptop. Telling me you have internet access in the room and then making it impossible to find is just crazy. And by the same token, wherever that jack exists, having a desk nearby is preferable. It does me no good to have the jack on one side of the room and the desk on the other. Also, when you're charging $289/night for a room, charging an additional $10/day for Internet access just feels petty.
  • A shuttle from the airport would be welcome, especially in times like this when travel budgets are tight and car rentals/cab fares are discouraged.
  • I love that there are ironing boards in every room, but again, like the cable jack, why is it so hard to put a plug somewhere convenient to an ironing board? I don't think I should have to contort myself in order to iron a pair of slacks. Maybe hotels should be considered a venue for extreme ironing?
  • Breakfast included is wonderful. Again, you simplify the expense report and your guest doesn't feel nickle and dimed. And also? $26 is a lot for eggs and toast and coffee. I'm just saying. For $26, I want to see my breakfast on a gold plate and my coffee served in fine bone China. Also, I'd want white gloved butler service*.
  • I don't read the USA Today. I feel sad every time I open my hotel door and I see the newspaper sitting there. But I'm also forgetful and don't remember to tell the front desk to take it off my account. And it's like 75 cents a day, and after the $26 for breakfast and the $10 for the internet, you're like, eh, maybe I'll read it on the plane or maybe I'll leave it behind for the housekeeper because maybe she wants to read it. Right.
  • Hotel remote controls are way too complicated to operate. Seriously. What's up with the 80 million options, 95 percent of which you have to pay for? By the time I get to the hotel, I'm so frazzled due to planes, trains, and automobiles that all I want to do is kick off my shoes and rest my aching feet and watch television and half the time I can't get past the main Menu screen.
  • A listing of available channels and their corresponding numbers would make life easier. I'm just saying.
  • Room service is always good. And desirable.
  • Thank you for never messing up a wake-up call.
  • Those boarding pass kiosks I'm starting to see in hotel lobbies? AWESOME. Few people try to travel with a printer (those lightweight printers are trouble) and half the time, the business center in the hotel is a) completely full up or b) the printers don't work. The kiosks solve that problem. Very awesome and great innovation. Now if we could just get that electric plug and internet jack problem solved...

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