No matter how many stars and how many great reviews hotels get, there is always some little niggle that can get on any guest's nerves. Whether it is the mystery location of the light switches, kettles that don't fit under taps or the persistent use of UHT milk, we can count on hotels to still get some of the small details wrong.
This Times article gets it pretty spot on but i can think of a few other annoyances that haven't made the cut (and i'm not just using this post to moan - i think they are actual things that hotels could change to make the guest experience better....i promise...)
1) Bedside plug sockets. Where are they and why do hotels force guests to charge their phones over night on the other side of the room? Every time i stay in a hotel I'm filled with hope that this time it will be different. This time i can sleep in the knowledge that my phone is nearby and that we wont be cruelly separated. But alas, that never happens. Instead i'm on all fours under the bed, moving furniture and praying that the bedside lamp is not connected by those sockets that have no socket.
2) Teeny tiny water glasses. What a treat it is when you check in to your hotel room to see that the hotel gods have thought that you might prefer bottled water, especially when the extra luxury of water 'with gas' is also an option! But the thing that always gets me is the size of the water glasses that are provided. Why are they so damn small? It would be great if you were taking part in a drink downing competition but i can assure you, when you wake up in the middle of the night dehydrated from one too many vinos in the hotel bar, the thimble sized sip of water just does not do the job.
3) Bathroom toiletries. Again, why is everything so blooming minuscule, it's not like we're the borrowers or anything. One bottle of shower gel is simply not enough for a child, let alone two adults. And I'm sure many arguments have taken place in hotels as a result of one half of a couple using more than their fair share of sea kelp gel. I also recently stayed in a hotel which provided shower toiletries that required a degree to learn how to open the bottle. What happen to the standard screw cap? In the end brute force was needed to snap off the cap, at which point the bottle flew across the room and i lost half the contents all over the floor. Not cool man. Not cool.
So there you have it. If hotels were to take this feedback, and that of the Times, and implement just a few little changes, the guest experience will improve. And we all know that's what service is all about - the guest experience. And when a guest leaves satisfied it's likely that they will recommend the hotel to others, feeding in to that ever complicated path to purchase. The more accommodation provider can do to improve the guest experience the more control it has in protecting its reputation and future bookings pattern.
Perhaps, therefore, these fun feedback lists have more power than people think.
Room-orientation tours Oh, this is the bathroom? I never would have guessed. Thanks for coming in and spending five minutes pointing this out (even though I’m bursting for the loo). Overcomplicated light switches Just tell us where “off” is. We’re tired. Too short kettle cords Nobody should have to kneel down on the carpet to make a brew. Tiny teacups We want a mug, please, we’re thirsty. And we’re going to need more than two bags of English breakfast to last the weekend. UHT milk Just no.