When we're putting together your trip, choosing the perfect hotel is one of the key conversations. The hotels, camps and lodges we work with are - naturally - beyond reproach, but the team here at Original Travel have had to kiss a whole host of hotel frogs to come up with our portfolio of property princes. Here are our nine most Fawlty-esque faux pas. Budding hoteliers, please note…
Style over substance
The undisputed number one (well, for me, anyway) is prioritising design over practicality, and particularly in the field of bedroom lighting. Mood settings are all well and good, but my mood most certainly isn't as I stumble around in the dark desperately trying to turn the lights on.
Slow service at breakfast
Picture the scene. You're in the hotel dining room one morning, possibly hungover, and you try to catch a waiter's attention. 'Hello…', 'Excuse me…' 'Waiter…' 'I NEED COFFEE AND I NEED IT TEN MINUTES AGO!!!' 'Terribly sorry about that. Thanks awfully.'
Interminable check ins
Newsflash. It's 2018. Surely there's no need for me to fill in seventeen forms in triplicate and surrender my passport before I can go to my room?
While the majority of hotels do actually want to save the planet, it's hard not to suspect that some use the 'reuse your towels…' line to save on expensive laundry costs. Cynic? Moi?
More pool you
'The suite comes with its own private pool…' Mmmm. That's not really a pool, is it? More an over-sized dog bowl. And as for the term 'plunge pools', if anyone were to try that manoeuvre (i.e. to plunge) in most of these glorified puddles, they'd be wearing a neck brace for the rest of the holiday.
You're the concierge in a top hotel. Your entire purpose on this planet is to know your city inside and out, and to have the maitre d's of the hottest restaurants on speed dial. But no. Everything's too much trouble, or beyond your powers. Worth pointing out at this point that if you're on an Original Travel trip, our very own local Concierges are on hand to pull that restaurant reservation rabbit out of the hat. Just saying.
The last person to stay in your hotel room was an early riser, or had a flight to catch, so they set the bedside alarm for 0545. The next day you're the unwitting recipient of the same unscheduled wake up call. We've all got mobile phones. They all auto-correct to the right time zone. We've all set alarms on them. Please, hotels, no old school alarms in rooms, or if you have to have them, please reset them when the previous guest leaves. Thank you.
If I'm honest, I'd probably have stopped at seven, but the female members of the Original Travel team have, almost to a woman, agreed on two more. First offender? Bad hairdryers. At this point, refer to Barber's 7th law: If an item has one sole function, it really needs to be able to perform said function, and a hairdryer that doesn't, well, dry hair, is not much use. (See also: teapots and jugs that don't pour properly.)
Or more precisely, not enough of them, and especially in the bathroom. When a guest travels with a washbag the size of a Hogwarts school trunk (I'm quoting here) they need more than a postage stamp-sized shelf on which to put the contents.