Sunday, January 11, 2015


I don't know about you, but I think there are some absolute tell-tale signs that you've booked the wrong hotel. 

Travelling for business recently I encountered a number of capital-city hotels. All mid-range (no sense of entitlement here), well-located, looked good on the interwebs and, accordingly, seemed to offer incredible value. Some of the hotels delivered in spades. One or two did not, and I could tell within seconds at the check-in desk that I was about to be slapped with the disappointment stick.

One, in particular, offered a perfect storm of signs that I'd booked the wrong hotel.

1. On Arrival: The highlighting of some unnervingly strict Ts & Cs on the arrival paperwork, accompanied by the following warnings: Sir, please note that if you damage the room, or if it requires excessive cleaning you will be charged $XX. And, Sir, please note that check-out is strictly 10.00am. Your credit card will be charged $XX for every 20 minutes after 10.00.

Side note: I stayed in a hotel in Bali once that even had a charge for getting tattoo ink on the bed sheets. 

That kind of thing. Alarm bells even going in.

2. In Room: Open the wardrobe and there they are…the coat hangers. Not the regular kind you can simply lift off the bar with a hook at the top, but those ones that you have jiggle out of a hoop permanently connected to the bar. Want to do a spot of ironing and conveniently hang your shirt of the end of the board? Not happening. Absolute deal-breaker. The first thing I do upon entering a hotel room is check the wardrobe. Dud hangers mean disappointment.

Seriously, do guests pinch so many hangers that you have to lock them down? Really?

Oh, and just because you do have proper hangers, doesn't mean you're off the hook (pun intended). If they don't all match, if you're dealing with a mix of hanger types and colours, you're in the wrong hotel.

3. Toiletries: Tell-tale sign number 3. A selection of neatly placed and nicely packaged soaps, shampoos and balms: Good. A wall-mounted dispenser of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel: Bad. Wrong hotel.

My hotel in Sydney recently? All three and then some.

Am I being overly precious?

What sets off your hotel alarm bells? 

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