5) No elevator – After driving 10 hours straight, there’s nothing I want more than to dive into a comfy bed and get some shuteye. A hotel that doesn’t have an elevator doesn’t help me get to snoresville as fast as I’d like. It isn’t that I’m lazy. When I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is lug my suitcase up 1 or 2 flights of stairs. Safety is also a factor, as many of the stairwells are dimly lit. Not to mention the difficulties traversing stairs for those with accessibility issues.
4) No blackout curtains – When I want outdoor light, I’ll open the curtains. I’m thankful for the properties that have bright security lights. I just don’t want those same lights that help me keep me safe to drive me insane when I’m trying to sleep. Just as bad are the curtains that do not shut all the way. There’s always one stream of light that manages to peek through and it is usually in the direction of where I’m sleeping. There’s also that lack of privacy that comes with curtains that do not shut all the way. Don’t think this only happens at lower end hotels. I’ve stayed at 5 star hotels that charge a pretty penny and still can’t manage to have drapes that close all the way.
3) Not enough outlets – This is the age of electronic gadgets. 1 or 2 poorly placed outlets in a room does not cut it. Hotels that cater to business travelers usually have at least one easily accessible outlet on or near a desk, but that usually only has space for one item to be plugged in. More outlets, more outlets, more outlets!
2) Charging for WiFi – If Motel 6 and Best Westerns can provide FREE high-speed wireless internet service, why can’t Doubletree or Embassy Suites? Doubletree and Embassy are not the only guilty parties, they are just the hotel chains I’ve had the most recent experience with. Love the hotels, but hate paying for WiFi. Not only do I hate paying for it, I hate that it is usually slower than the FREE wireless service provided at other less expensive hotel chains.
1) Sneaky fees – Besides the oldie, but goodie, like charging for using the mini-bar if you take the stuff out and put your own items in the fridge, hotels are coming up with some interesting new charges to tack on to your bill.
Resort fees – I’ve been charged $2 at a Best Western in the Northern California wine country and $15 per day at the Signature at MGM Grand. What did I get for these fees? Not much. At the Best Western, they did have a very nice pool area and a separate spa area. Also, when I was there, there was a free wine tasting event but it ended about 5 minutes after I checked in, so I did not have the opportunity to partake. At the Signature, the $15 per day included access to the pool area, some snacks in the pool area and 2 bottles of water per day per room.
In-room safe fee – Not all hotels are doing this, but it is one trend that I’ve noticed a lot lately. This fee has never been stated up front to me, I usually find out about it by reading the hotel information that is placed in the room. The fee is usually $1 or $1.50 and is added to your bill whether you use the in-room safe or not. I’ve been able to get this fee waived by asking for it to be removed.
These fees are usually not mentioned on hotel aggregator websites, so beware when searching for a hotel in a certain price range. You may actually need to tack on another $20 per night to get your “real” price.