10 Basic Things Hotels Keep Getting Wrong

By Matt Morelli

It’s never been easier to find a good hotel to stay in. Thanks to a roaring online review industry, potential guests can get a complete and accurate feel for a place before they’ve even packed their bags.

This has undoubtedly lead to the general standard of hotels going up. The transparency of the online review means hoteliers can’t afford to make any mistakes for fear of the entire world instantly knowing about it.

Perhaps it’s this pressure that causes hoteliers to sometimes forget to get the basics right. They often concentrate on offering useless extras and novelties before they ensure the rooms they’re providing are actually good places to sleep. Ultimately, this should surely be their primary focus.

In this post, I'll unearth ten things that hotels seem to keep getting wrong.

Disagree? Have you own additions to make to my list?  Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

1. Terrible Wifi

Wifi (wireless internet) in hotels has been terrible for too long. If you manage to find a hotel that provides wifi that’s a) free; and b) not glacially slow, you can consider yourself incredibly lucky, for the chances of this happening are, for some reason, really slim.

Typically, it’s independent hotels that seem to be able to provide wifi that’s free and reasonably fast. In my experience, the more expensive and prestigious the hotel, the more expensive and slower the Wifi is. This make no sense!

Now is the time for hoteliers to realise that proving free, fast Wifi is a necessity rather than a luxury.

2. Curtains & blinds that don't block out light

I’ve been to numerous hotels who’ve clearly made decisions about curtains and blinds based purely on aesthetics as opposed to whether they actually block out any light.

This is a particular nuisance when staying in city centre hotels where bright street lights can cause a hotel room to be lit-up as if it were daytime. Also, heaven forbid if you fancy a lie-in in the morning. You'll wake up when the sun floods your room with light and no later!

Sure, you could bring along an eye mask, but surely it makes more sense for the hotelier to install curtains that actually work?!

3. The horror of interconnecting doors

I can completely understand that some guests might want a door between rooms. Parents, for example, might want easy access to the adjoining room if their kids are staying next door.

For the rest of us, these rooms are awful. Jade and I stayed in a room with interconnecting doors in Germany a while back. One night, an argument in the neighbouring room kicked off and it was like they were in our room with us, such was the inability of the adjoining door to block out the screaming.

Noise is not the only problem. Everyone staying in an interconnecting room spends the entirety of their stay wondering if or indeed when someone is going to try turning the door handle.


4. Manual door bolts

Most hotels, even the little ones, tend to prefer installing electronic locks on room doors these days and leave it at that. This is despite growing numbers of reports that indicate such locks aren’t that sophisticated and have been easily hacked. This leaves guests staying in rooms without manual bolts on the doors vulnerable to intrusion while they sleep.

A simple bolt on the door solves this problem and offers guests some peace of mind.

5. Sound-proofing

Hearing muffled conversation or TV sound from the room next door while you’re trying to sleep is the worst, because there’s not really anything you can do about it. It’s not your neighbour’s fault the walls of the hotel you’re both staying in are wafer thin. They have every right to converse and watch television as they please.

Maybe even worse is having street noise seep through poorly fitted windows. Hoteliers really should make an effort to ensure their rooms are quiet places to sleep first and foremost, right?

6. Electrical plug sockets at the bed side

Everyone has a mobile phone these days and a surprising 90% apparently use their mobiles as alarm clocks. With batteries in mobiles barely providing a day of juice, providing somewhere to charge up at the bedside is very important.

7. Bad pillows

Premier Inn in Britain championed providing a choice of soft and firm pillows in rooms. We're all different and have a variety of sleeping preferences. Is it too much to ask for hoteliers to cater to our differing styles?

8. Make our showers easier

I prefer a glass shower screen to a shower curtain as it's more hygienic. But so many screens are poorly fitted. Either they do nothing to prevent everything in the bathroom from getting soaked or they are fitted in such a way that it makes accessing the taps of the bath tub a real problem.

9. Bathroom doors that don't work as doors

There appears to be a growing trend of installing fancy sliding doors between the bedroom and the bathroom in hotels which block neither smell nor noise. Add in the fact that a lot of these fancy doors are inexplicably opaque and you have a door that may as well not be there at all.

Just install a normal door, guys!

10. Pushing two single beds together and calling it a double

This is something you tend to see in continental Europe. Instead of finding a double bed in your 'double room', you’ll often find two single beds pushed together with two single duvets. This is obviously a matter of personal choice, but I reckon if you’re paying a double rate, you should get an actual double bed too.

Have we missed anything off of our list? What consistently winds you up when staying in hotels? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Matt Morelli

I've travelled to 38 countries across 4 continents, both independently and with my wife. I've been writing travel guides and making videos since 2007, all based on my real-life experiences. Here To Travel is a place for travel advice and inspiration that encourages us all to make mindful decisions. If you want to have life changing adventures that have minimal impact on the places and people you visit, Here To Travel is for you.

4 thoughts on “10 Basic Things Hotels Keep Getting Wrong”

  1. I totally agree with what you said that it’s a bad hotel experience if your room isn’t sound-proof and you can hear your neighbors through the walls. My friends and I are planning on having a staycation on a hotel and we’re looking to do some activities that maybe too noisy for the neighbors. To avoid this, we’ll make sure to find a hotel with good accommodation and sound-proof rooms.


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