AusBT readers respond: more business traveller hotel hates

By John Walton, September 5 2011
AusBT readers respond: more business traveller hotel hates

We took our pick of the most frustrating things about hotels last week, and invited you, our readers, to contribute your own pet peeves. 

Here's what you came up with in emails, tweets and comments on Australian Business Traveller and on our Facebook wall.

Lack of power points

Reader Shaun Ewing was first to claim this one on Twitter, although it was another really popular peeve. "Mine is the lack of powerpoints next to the bed in many places. I use my phone as an alarm, and like it on the bedside table."

Yes, us too. It's one of the reasons we pack a power board in our luggage.

A second power-related peeve: poor planning for AC outlets at your hotel room's desk. This can be a single socket which the desk lamp is plugged into, so you've got to disconnect the lamp to plug in your laptop; or, having the wall outlets located down behind the desk, so you need to fiddle around at floor-level or even haul the desk out from the wall to charge your notebook.

Both are clear cases of #designfail for hotels which claim to suit the business traveller.

Complicated light switches

You're not alone if you've scrabbled along the walls of a blacked-out hotel room to try and find the lightswitch.

Simon wants to get rid of "complex light switch arrangements - sometimes it can be hard to figure how to get all the lights off!"

We vote for light switches which have a very small and very soft lamp or LED that remains on, even when the light is switched off, so you can easily locate the switch in the dark.

Expensive wired and wireless Internet

One of the most frequent complaints was about Internet access, with business travellers frustrated that high-end hotels charge through the nose while budget places often offer free access.

Travellers feel ripped off with hotels charging the equivalent of a month's access at home for a couple of nights' use of the Internet.

Another evil of wireless Internet: hotels which charge you per device rather than per room. Connect your notebook, tablet and smartphone to the hotel's wireless network and you'll be slugged three times over for the daily price!

(Want to feel smug and prepared instead of ripped off? Check out our series on getting convenient and inexpensive global roaming data, check out our recommendations for mobile broadband in Australia or pick up a pocket wifi device.)

Struggles to get loyalty points or frequent guest status benefits

At many hotels, you'll receive loyalty points in the hotel brand's own program or in an affiliated airline's program. If you're a frequent guest and have elite status, you're also usually entitled to some sort of benefit: a room upgrade, free Internet, and so on.

(Virgin Australia's Velocity programme recently started giving away elite benefits at your choice of Hilton or IHG hotels.)

Reader Liam Rasmussen is peeved by "having to fight for points/status benefits". Having experienced hotels where the promised "upgrade" is to the room you booked, and the "welcome benefit" is a couple of apples, we agree.

Showers over baths

The humble shower curtain copped a lot of flak from our readers on Twitter, with many frustrated at the clingy polyester sort and wondering who takes a bath in those tiny hotel tubs anyway.

We agree -- walk-in showers are classier, give more room and the showers are almost always better since they're built to be showers, not baths. (You're also less likely to go flying on the wet floor: glass enclosures tend to keep more water in than those flimsy shower curtains.)

Lack of light in wardobes

Australian Business Traveller editor David Flynn suggested we add this to the list, so we'll let him explain.

"Poorly-lit wardrobes really annoy me. There's a small light at the rear of the wardrobe, which is mostly blocked once you hang up your clothes; or there's a light in the middle, shining insufficient light equally to the back and the front. To top that off there'll be no ceiling light in the hall outside the wardrobe, so when you open the doors of the wardrobe you still can't differentiate the colour of your clothes."

"Are those pants black, navy, charcoal or dark brown? Ditto for socks in the drawer below. You have to haul the clothes out and hold them up in the brightly-lit bathroom to be sure you've got the right colour. It makes me wonder why more hotels don't have real people, real travellers, rate mock-up rooms for usability before the hotel is fully built."

If you've got any more thoughts on where hotels need to lift their game to better serve the business traveller, sound off in the comments box below!

Coming up soon: the most weird and wonderful things we've found in airline lounges across the world. Can you top a rubber ducky or a lamp shaped like a horse? Drop us an email to [email protected] with a snapshot.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

05 Sep 2011

Total posts 1

Have a pet peeve suggestion, but it's for the site - given the subject matter, it would be great if you could please include a reference in the captions to the hotel / airline / etc being depicted. 

I would have guessed from the photo above that it is from Pullman King Power in Bangkok, and having used their beds, I can say fairly confidently that those 'tiny satiny cushions' are decorative and not the pillows provided for sleeping on (which are themselves stored in the cupboards and are placed on the beds after the turndown service). 

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