The weather at home has been diabolical. Youâ€™ve saved hard all year for your two weeks of sun, sea and sand, you want to chill and relax, but how likely is this? I suspect most of us think flying is the most difficult, stressful part of our holiday, but what about the hotel youâ€™ve so carefully chosen? How likely is it to raise your blood pressure?
Having recently spent three months travelling, many of the places I stayed inÂ failed to get the basics right. Here is my personal list of irritations.
The welcome – you arrive at your hotel reception hot, sticky and tired only to be faced with so many simultaneous issues even the most proficient multi-tasker is challenged. The form you need to complete requires your passport to be retrieved from the bottom of your bag, youâ€™re asked to produce a credit card for extras whilst trying to listen to the fast patter about meal times and location of the pool. If youâ€™re lucky, youâ€™ll be juggling a cold flannel and welcome drink.
Lighting – why is there always a sequence for switching on and off the huge number of lights? If you donâ€™t suss it quickly, you end up recreating the sound and light show at Egyptâ€™s Karnak temple every night before you go to bed. Thereâ€™s always one light bulb that doesnâ€™t work and lighting levels are generally insufficient for reading anything but a large print book.
The safe key – having got to your room, you find the safe and a sign saying, â€œkey available at reception for a depositâ€. So, you traipse all the way back to reception when youâ€™re invariably in the room furthest away. One safe I encountered required my fingerprint to open it, or not as was generally the case.
The safe location – why is the safe always in the most difficult location at the bottom of a dark wardrobe requiring you to get on hands and knees to open it?
Wi-fi – once everything is safely stowed, you try to connect your lap-top but realise you need a password, which after looking at the information sheet, is â€œavailable from receptionâ€. Why donâ€™t hotels automatically provide safe keys and passwords without being prompted? And why is it, that the more expensive the hotel, the more they charge for wi-fi?
Double rooms for one – when youâ€™ve paid for a double room, which usually means that two people will spend the night in it, why is there only one chair even when thereâ€™s ample space? And why only one suitcase rack – how many couples travel with one suitcase between them?
Bathrooms – a constant source of irritation. I cannot count the number of times when Iâ€™ve started the week with three face-flannels only to find they disappear one by one. My towels will be replaced, but not my flannels. When I hang up my towels to be kind to the environment by saying Iâ€™ll use them again, why do they ignore me and replace them anyway? And having being let down so many times, one of my â€œmust packâ€ items is a universal sink plug.
The loo – I appear to be very unlucky, as invariably during a week-long holiday, my partner end up with his hand in the cistern to either stop the constant dribble of water or get the thing flushing properly.
Well, having got that off my chest and feeling much better, what about your thoughts on the most irritating things about hotels? It could be something general (Iâ€™ve not even mentioned â€˜the liftâ€™, â€˜fixed coat hangersâ€™ and ‘towel sculptures’), or a splendid one-off irritating experience.Â The winner might even win a one night stay at my least favourite hotel at their own expense.
Image reproduced from theage.com.au