I love hotels, and I love almost all aspects of staying in them. I love fabulous luxury hotels, little boutique hotels, simple little island hotels, rustic (but not too rustic) eco hotels, bed and breakfasts, (clean) guest houses, and so on. It has to be clean and safe – but at the same time, I’m not too proud to admit I like high-thread-count sheets and a white fluffy robe. Truth be told, I am a bit of hotel snoot, but you would be too if you spent much of your professional and personal life checking into and out of hotels.
And I’ll come right out and say it – I like having things done for me. I like the plates of cookies and platters of local fruit. I like the little notes from the general manager. I like the baskets of freshly pressed laundry. And I really like the in-room spa treatments . . . .
It’s funny to watch Yao Yao, my 13-year-old daughter, develop her own likes and dislikes, her “must haves,” and, dare I say it, her pet peeves. (But really, 13 is just about the age they begin to get hypercritical of everything else – why not hotels?)
So here they are: Yao Yao’s 5 Top Hotel Pet Peeves:
Not Enough Electrical Outlets
My mother doesn’t let me bring a lot of real books on trips because they take up so much room. So I bring a Nook to make sure I have enough books with me. I also like to listen to music so I bring my iPod. My dad likes to listen to his music, my mother always has her Nikon and iPad with her, and everyone has phones. (My dad’s phone is hopelessly old fashioned, though.) That means we are always charging more things than there are outlets. I don’t understand why a hotel wouldn’t expect tourists or business people to have cameras and phones. This is a big problem for me, especially outside of the United States, where I also have to have an adapter as well as an outlet. There’s never enough of either. Have these hotels never heard of power strips?
No Amenities for Kids
Kids are guests, too! Give them towels and treats!
Sometimes my parents get a connecting room and sometimes we all share a suite or room. The hotel knows I am coming, because I have watched my parents fill out the information on the hotel website when they book. Why aren’t there three sets of towels? Some hotels are really good about including me, like the Four Seasons in Uruguay, the Hyatt in Bali, or L’Ocean on Ile de Re, but most forget to give me any of the things they have for my parents! It’s really annoying. Even if there is a rollaway bed or an alcove or connecting room, they forget my towels – or worse, my chocolates. It’s like I am not even there in their mind. By the way, the bathrobes are too big for my mom, so you can imagine what they look like on me!
I have really long hair, but I don’t use a hairdryer except for my bangs. The problem is that a lot of hotels don’t have a place for me to plug in the hairdryer in the bathroom. So I have to take it out to the other room, and then there isn’t a mirror so I can’t see how I look. It’s annoying. I don’t understand why they don’t put a mirror near an outlet for the hairdryer.
More Hairdryer Issues
When we travel, I don’t bring a hairdryer because it takes up too much space in the suitcase, and it requires that I get another adapter if we are overseas. Sometimes the hotels have really good hairdryers, but sometimes the hotel hairdryer barely dries anything. (I think this bothers my mother more than me, though!)
No Beach or Pool Towels
When we go to the beach or the pool, sometimes the hotel gives us extra towels to take with us. Sometimes they are really soft and big like a beach towel, so when I am all wet, I can wrap myself in one. But sometimes they are really thin and not big enough. It’s worse for my dad because he’s tall.
Yao Yao’s caveat to her list (because she’s fundamentally a kind, generous person):
I like hotels a lot. Sometimes we rent houses on vacation and that’s fun, especially when we go with our close family friends. We have big dinners by the pool and everybody laughs a lot. But I really like hotels. Each day you come back to your room it’s all clean and tidy and hopefully there are more towels. There are cool swimming pools, and people who bring you things and we eat out all of our meals. I like modern hotels and fancy hotels and I like unusual hotels but most of all, I love my home. No matter how fancy the hotel is or how nice the hotel people are, my bed is still the most comfortable and I know where all my things are and I have my great big towels.