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Hotels and Hassles
American Spectator, by Thomas Sowell

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 11/20/2012 2:27:44 PM

Few things can make you appreciate home like staying in a hotel. This includes not only low-budget, bare bones hotels but also sweepingly large and ornate luxury hotels. What many hotels seem to have in common are needless hassles. Since most people who stay in hotels do so while traveling, and stay only a few days in a given hotel, you might think that those who run hotels would want to make it easy for someone who arrives a little tired (or a lot tired) from traveling to use the various devices they find in their hotel room.

Many years ago in a Washington, DC hottel, my two children triggered a piercingly loud burglar alarm when one of them turned on the television before the other one turned on the lights. It was explained to me, many chaotic minutes later, that management assumed a television being activated in the dark was being stolen. I share Dr. Sowell´s confusion.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: fritzilou, 11/20/2012 2:37:57 PM     (No. 9026015)

If this were not so true, it would be very funny.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: dukester, 11/20/2012 2:41:35 PM     (No. 9026020)

I´ll add two more: Alarm clocks you can´t figure out (and are sometimes not turned off by the staff when they clean) and either missing light bulbs or bulbs of such low wattage you can´t read by them.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: horacer, 11/20/2012 3:08:00 PM     (No. 9026069)

I was given a lovely suite at a fancy hotel in Las Vegas a few years back. When I got to my room, I found a hot tub, two showers, two sinks, a bidet and no toilet. I had to go. I searched the room and a closet. No toilet. I thought I was going crazy, there had to be a toilet. So I called the front desk and told them I had no toilet in my room. They asked me if I had looked in the closet next to the showers. Yes, I looked. Did you go into the closet. No, I just looked. Go into the closet and turn right, you´ll find the toilet. It would have been too easy to put the toilet in plain sight.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Videodrone, 11/20/2012 3:13:03 PM     (No. 9026074)

spend far too many nights in hotels - the list is too long for this venue, but here are a few more;
accessible power outlets?
menopausal HVAC units & showers
charging for WiFi and then getting dial up speeds
nice flat screen TV but crappy analog "Hotel-o-vision" cable

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Andromeda, 11/20/2012 3:32:05 PM     (No. 9026109)

I have a master´s degree in engineering and it is just as true for me.

At one recent hotel, I took a picture of the thermostat on my phone and went down to the front desk with it to find out how to get heat (it never did quite work -that is why my experiments always failed).

And never expect the hotel to just check if the lightbulbs are working - you have to do their quality assurance and call them for each one.

Then there was the hotel this summer where I wanted to use the in room safe. They sent the security guy first (lucky I made him wait to find out his fix didn´t work), then a technician. An hour later they finally gave up and changed my room.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Flybynight, 11/20/2012 3:44:09 PM     (No. 9026137)

Nickel and diming at a pricey hotel drives me nuts. I am already paying a pretty penny to stay at the hotel where the conference is being held. I understand that if I want a view of something other than the trash pickup lot outside the restaurant, where they collect the refuse in the middle of the night to great clanging and shouting, or a nice panorama of the HVAC system for the entire hotel, you will pay extra. A lot extra. You want Internet widdat? Up to $20 a day. Even more for parking, and the refrigerator, if there is one, is full of overpriced goodies, with no room for your own bit of leftover supper or diet shake. Breakfast? Break out another $20 for a stale sweet roll and weak coffee. The kid who deigns to demonstrate the light switch as his palm outstretched, as does every other employee you encounter. All for the same services the mid-to-lower priced chains include in the tariff. What in the name of common sense do the Hiltons, Marriotts and even higher priced hostelries think they´re doing? I don´t feel pampered, I feel fleeced!

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Reply 7 - Posted by: chumley, 11/20/2012 4:57:04 PM     (No. 9026263)

My biggest hotel/motel complaint is one that was unheard of 20 years ago. Finding a place to stay that has smoking rooms. Thanks to the social engineers, what once was the rule is now the exception.
I tried to make reservations for a week alone with Mrs C in Ruidoso, NM a few years back. After hemming and hawing about local laws, the hotel said I can always go out on the balcony to smoke. Sorry, if I am paying the equivalent of a house payment I will not be treated like that. We went to a place in another town that had smokers rooms set aside. Less money, still had a great time, and didnt spend a nickel in Ruidoso.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: LouD, 11/20/2012 4:58:38 PM     (No. 9026266)

All of the above is why I prefer to stay in motels, A place to sleep, and no service people with their hands out for gratuities everywhere you turn.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: veritas, 11/20/2012 5:46:59 PM     (No. 9026336)

G-d help any modern Diogenes on a quest for either simple, basic service competence or competent, insightful design [hat tip #5, and condolences].

And a pox, a pox I say, on "software designers" who don´t know when to stop, and on the incompetent managers they persuade.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: nhchemist, 11/20/2012 6:15:28 PM     (No. 9026393)

I prefer to sleep in a tent in northern Maine with a communal outhouse over staying in a fancy hotel that drives me nuts with frustrating procedures that are not intuitive.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 11/21/2012 12:58:25 AM     (No. 9026888)

My complaint is how dirty the luxury hotels are today. Your complementary robe shouldn´t have food on it and trash shouldn´t be under the bed. Try explaining that to someone who can´t speak English.

It´s not only hotels fleecing you, but rental cars.

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