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A Pet Peeve Gripe Post – What are the most irritating things hotels do (that they don’t have to)?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Bad bits in a hotel bathroom RenesPoints blog (2)
I really hate these! You?

For the past 5 nights I have enjoyed a lovely stay at the one year old Sheraton Four Points near the SEA airport where the FTU or Frequent Traveler University was held. The room was clean, the wifi was fast and the staff was helpful. My only real gripe was the shuttle only came twice an hour and if you miss it you may have to wait for a while (yeah, I know, I could have called for an UBER so my choice to wait).

Anyway, the one thing it seems all Sheraton Four Points have installed in their showers is a combo liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner. While this seems like a good idea to save from having to provide as many mini bottles of each, the location in the middle of the wall is just so frustrating.

Bad bits in a hotel bathroom RenesPoints blog (1)

After all they put up a curved shower rod to give you MORE space in the shower then you end up bumping into the soap rig all the time. Where is the logic in this? If you are going to have one of these mount them on the back wall out of the way not just where you need more space not less. You tell me, does this type of setup frustrate you too?

What other little things do hotel just “do” that drives me nuts. One is not providing free and plentiful bottles of water. This to me, in this day and age, should just be standard. It does not have to be a name brand one just anything will do. Or, at least, if they are not going to provide that enough plastic cups that can be used instead. I really hate real glass cups as you never really know if these were properly cleaned or just rinsed out in the sink in the room – yuck!

The next one is when the alarm is left on from the previous guest. Now I know I should check myself but I don’t think I have ever been in a hotel with the EXACT same radio alarm as all the others. I would assume all the alarms in “this” hotel are the same. Why can’t the housekeeping staff, as part of their efforts, make sure the alarm is set for off before they go?

The last one is no laundry bag in the room. Again here I could dump this responsibility on myself as I should have extra bags of all kinds with me but there are times I forget and it is very handy to have a plastic bag I can grab if I have some items that got a bit dirty that would be better to bring home in a laundry bag.

This is my short list of stuff that I think a hotel really could fix very simply or at least think through before they implement. What do you think? What other little things do hotels do that drive you crazy when it really should not? – René


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Tissue flowers! Hotels say they want to protect the environment, but if those tissues have been touched by someone else, the first thing I do is throw them away to grab a fresh one.

    Also, if I am Diamond Honors, I don’t need a card with the wifi info. Or a code. I know how to sign in. Thanks!

  2. JP Traveler Reply

    A few of my big ones ..
    No easily accessible plugs by bed or workdesk
    Dirty iron
    Iron that does not fit under faucet
    No refrigerator
    No workdesk
    TV that can’t adjust to be seen at workdesk
    Apple docking stations that aren’t designed for lightning plugs
    HVAC systems that are restricted (and can’t be overridden)

  3. I don’t need a blank line to add gratuity to a room service check when the mandatory 18% gratuity has already been added to the bill 🙂

    I don’t need more pillows on the bed. I really only sleep on one. When the bed overflows with pillows I have to carry them to the sofa or drop them on the floor. Seems a waste for the hotel laundry to wash unused pillow cases.

  4. Agreed. The location of the dispensers is always inconvenient. Worse though, I don’t feel the product in them is as good as what comes in the mini bottles. It feels like the hotel is being cheap to me.

  5. D. Moriarty Reply

    Poor Lighting! Even though there may be 4 lamps, the wattage isn’t enough. One hotel I stay at often has 47 watt bulbs over the desk. Where does one even find a 47 watt bulb?

    • @D. Mariarty – THAT is a good one. Oh I can add one sorta the same – worthless water pressure. When you can not get the soap off cuz the water is almost not coming out of the shower head!

  6. SelenePhoenix Reply

    1.Small bath towels are BaD there is NO excuse not to provide a bath sheet!
    2. Mystery soaps in mass container without knowing if parabens etc are present
    3. NOT providing facial soap!
    4. Not providing a shower cap!
    5. Finding ANTS in your room

  7. At many hotels In SE Asia, I have found that while the A/C does blow cold air, quite often it is not “conditioned”, so it’s just cold, humid air. I also hate windows that were designed to open, but have been bolted shut.

  8. sneezin rich Reply

    Hiltons are notorious for low light and abysmally slow wifi. Many times the phone signal works better.
    I recently shared a room at a function and attempted to get the clock radio unplugged to use to charge my phone but my roommate wanted the clock on even though I said the alarm usually goes off from previous guests. (Yes It went off but at 7am not like the usual 5am) …
    Great list!

  9. Water softeners that are turned up too high so you can’t wash the soap off or drink the salty water from the tap.
    Breakfast that starts at 6:30 (I’m talking about you HIX’s). This is even worse at airport locations.
    Cheap coffee cups. Some hotels switch to tiny little Styrofoam cups with cheap lids to save money at the expense of customers.
    HVAC motion sensing thermostats.
    TV’s where you can’t adjust the picture, sound, etc.
    Paying to park.
    Advertising that you get “free” WiFi like it’s 1995 or something. “Hey welcome to your elite status where you will get free HBO, Free faster speed color TV and conditioned air”.
    Resort fees
    Resort fees
    paid parking
    Resort Fees
    Shower heads that are too low (although this seems to be getting better in recent years).
    Decorative sham/cover things on the end of beds. You know they NEVER EVER wash these, right.
    Fitness rooms that aren’t open 24 hours per day.
    Fitness rooms that are too hot.
    Room doors that slam loudly.
    Paying a fee to use umbrellas and/or chairs at beach hotels.

  10. Doubletree next to the Pentagon has no snack vending machines and no pantry or gift shop open late night.

    I also HATE when there is no microwave available for guest use in the lobby (assuming there isn’t one in room). Even once stayed in a hotel that sold microwaveable food but no microwave in lobby and only in select rooms.

  11. No safe in room.

    Not enough hooks to hang towels or toiletry bags but then a note to please help the environment by hanging up your towels.

    Not being able to plug hdmi cords into TV.

    Ditto to the person that said not enough plugs by the bed. I will add when the only wall plug requires you to pull the bed away from the wall.

    Ditto not enough lighting. (should I pack a lamp?)

    Why can’t all rooms have 2 luggage racks?

    Hotels that use the ikea type tubs/containers instead of real drawers.

  12. Cheeseburger Reply

    I recently missed my appt to take pre-marathon photos of friends because I didn’t inspect the alarm clock carefully. Used my phone to wake up but kept glancing at clock as I got dressed. Turns out some jerk had set it 15 minutes slow! WHO DOES THAT???!!!

    And no, I wasn’t running, just my buff but portrait-less friends.

    Ditto to all the other comments you guys made. Especially the gross decorative pillows, and lack of bathroom counter space.

  13. My BIGGEST pet peeve is when you arrive at or after the hotel’s own “check-in” time, say 3pm and there is NO ROOM READY!!!… I mean WTH its YOUR own rule that you cant abide by, so are they telling me that if I decide to stick about in my room for 2-3 hours after check-out time I can use the same excuse they use: “Oh sorry the room is not ready for me to vacate!?” to be fair I have not experienced this since qualifying (at last!) for SPG Plat but then I’m sure it still happens to others and I’m just “lucky” that I am of a higher prio than them.

  14. Anonymous mentioned not enough hooks for hanging towels, especially in conjunction with those notes about helping the environment by hanging towels.
    That brings me to a related issue. Those notes say, hang towels for reuse and throw them on the floor to get them changed.
    Well, we hang our towels in the morning. When we return in the evening they are neatly folded? While they still were a bit damp? Don’t think so.
    I assume, that in many hotels towels get changed on a daily basis no matter what you do.

  15. RESORT FEES! They are the devil.
    Everything else is small potatoes.

  16. Hoops to jump through for wifi, especially if the page you need to use is not responsive (to display nicely on a smartphone). Especially if I must redo the process every 24 hours. And if I must restart my browser before it works.

  17. Resort fees, parking fees, telephone fees, internet fees, etc., Especially resort fees! Enough already with that excuse for nickle and diming guests to keep the doors open and vacancy sign on, either include “not optional” fees in the advertised room rate, or give me the option to decline them.

    Internet quality runs a very close second on my list. When “budget friendly” hotels, whether in Podunk or Metropolis, can provide free internet worthy of being called high-speed or broadband, how is it so many “business class” hotels shamelessly (often with an additional fee, even if it’s waived for elite status) offer connectivity reminiscent of dial-up?

  18. @Mel_tan, how about on the other end when housekeeping does those courtesy wake-up knocks before 9am to see if you are out of the room, yet their posted checkout time is noon. All the more annoying when you have arranged for late checkout, and their clipboard clearly shows “Late – 2pm” 🙁

  19. Elijah – YES!! The tissue flowers are so gross and are my biggest hotel pet peeve. I instantly throw them all away when I arrive in a room. Someone else’s germs are all over those tissues. I also agree with you on the wifi card. Don’t need it.

    I hate fridges in rooms. They make such loud running noises. I always immediately either unplug them or turn down the dial within the fridge so they don’t run at all.

    When rooms have doors that have like 1-2 inches to clear between the bottom of the door and the floor. Great way to let in tons of hallway noise.

    Rooms with a shared door. I feel like I come across these 40% of the time. Is there really such a demand for these types of connector rooms that they’re so prominent? With the shabby door, I hear everything going on in that next room.

    If you can’t tell already, I don’t like additional noise. Hotel rooms with thin walls or loud A/C units that squeal are usually the bane of my existence.

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