Nothing beats a well-thought-out hotel room for sheer vacation luxury. That’s what makes it so annoying when we encounter a hotel that’s a little more … quirky. Here are the 10 hotel room features that annoy us the most—and the workarounds we’ve discovered to help deal with them.
Read the original story: 10 Annoying Things About Hotels (And How to Deal With Them) by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.
Poorly Placed Outlets
The Pet Peeve: There aren’t any electrical outlets near your nightstand. Are you supposed to charge your phone or tablet in the outlet that’s inexplicably positioned behind the door?
The Solution: Pack a small extension cord. Not only is this great for when you’re sharing a room and everyone needs to charge all their gadgets at the same time, but it also gives you some extra length to connect your phone and keep it on the bedside table if the outlet is poorly placed.
The Pet Peeve: Sometimes it’s nice to wake up to the rising sun, but sometimes (like maybe in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip) you want your room to be as dark as possible so you can sleep peacefully until noon. And nothing disturbs a peaceful lie-in like flimsy curtains (or worse yet, curtains that don’t close all the way).
The Solution: Pack your own eye mask. Whether you have skimpy curtains or a hotel roommate who keeps a reading light on late at night, an eye mask will provide sweet darkness when you want to sleep. We love this comfortable mask that allows for REM eye movement.
The Pet Peeve: Slamming doors, noisy ice machines, and chatty guests: This isn’t quite the peaceful retreat you imagined.
The Solution: At most hotels, you can call ahead and request a quiet floor or a room away from the elevator and ice machines. As a last resort, pack earplugs.
Expensive or Slow Wi-Fi
The Pet Peeve: Whether you’re on a business trip or just want to stay connected, slow or expensive Wi-Fi can put a crimp in your Internet-surfing plans.
The Solution: Bring your own hotspot and never be at the mercy of the hotel’s Wi-Fi whims again. We love the XCom Global Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, which can be rented at a daily rate that is often cheaper than most hotel Wi-Fi plans.
The Pet Peeve: Even if you never touch the overpriced snacks in the minifridge, it’s still nice to have it in your room so you can keep drinks or food chilled. But we’ve noticed that more and more hotels have eliminated the minifridge altogether.
The Solution: Call ahead and request one—many hotels will rent one to you for a small daily fee. Or, for a free solution, fill the room’s ice bucket and use it to keep bottled drinks chilled.
Snacks and Water Bottles Are Displayed But Not Free
The Pet Peeve: You arrive in your room and are greeted by a nicely arranged display of water bottles and snacks. What a thoughtful touch! Not so fast—there’s often a tiny sign near the treats with a price list, signifying that digging in will cost you.
The Solution: Stop at a convenience store near your hotel and stock up on munchies and drinks so that you won’t be tempted to open up the pricey supplies later when you’re feeling lazy.
Intrusive Staff (Turndown Service)
The Pet Peeve: A hotel room is supposed to be a private sanctuary, but housekeeping keeps knocking on your door looking to do turndown service or clean your room.
The Solution: If you’re hanging out in your room, be sure to use the “Do Not Disturb’’ sign. You can also let the front desk know ahead of time if you don’t want your room cleaned at all or if you want to decline turndown service for your entire stay.
Awkward Light Switches
The Pet Peeve: Those fancy lamps in the room look cool. But why do they have to have the most annoying, confusing, and hard-to-turn knobs for turning the lights on and off?
The Solution: Pack a portable flashlight—you can use it if you need to get up in the middle of the night and navigate your way to the bathroom without fumbling for the light switch or illuminating the whole room. Plus, it’s a great tool to have in case of an emergency or a power outage.
Ancient Bedspreads or Blankets
The Pet Peeve: Many hotels these days have beds topped with a single sheet and then a fluffy duvet fitted with a gloriously clean, washable cover. So we always cringe when we arrive in a hotel room and see a sad, retro bedspread that clearly hasn’t been updated (or probably washed) since the 1980s.
The Solution: If this is one of your pet peeves, be sure to check reviews and photos posted online by other guests. And sites like Oyster.com (which, like SmarterTravel, is owned by TripAdvisor) let you see what your room’s decor will really be like.
Flimsy or Glass Bathroom Walls
The Pet Peeve: Here’s a hotel trend we’ll never understand: Bathrooms with glass walls or shutters instead of real doors. It certainly makes things awkward for platonic friends traveling together or romantic travel buddies who still want to keep a bit of mystery alive.
The Solution: Call before booking and ask the front desk about the bathroom situation. Or, again, check reviews and photos online for clues.