Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:08 PMYou got most of mine in your list.
For me the #1 is the included breakfast (notice I didn't say free). When you are taking the entire family even a stop at McD's can cost $20 for breakfast. For me it has to be a hot breakfast that consist of more then waffles.
The other one that I look for is an outlet/surge protector with enough outlets for plugging in the 3 phones, camera batteries and laptop.
One thing that I do like that I didn't see on your list was a business center with a couple of PCs and a printer.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:21 PMWhen traveling, I tend to stay with hotel brands I know or at hotels I've previously stayed at. Knowing the conditions of these hotels helps a lot, you know if they are clean which to me is the most important part of hotel hunting.
Now, this doesn't always work as pictures can be changed or old but it's a step in the right direction at least! If your not traveling at a busy time of year and don't mind a little shopping around when you arrive, you can always mark down hotels in the area then scope them out. Staying at the one you like the best! If you travel with a laptop or smartphone check online rates versus what your quoted at the desk, you can always last minute book for that very day/night you arrive if the rate is lower!
After that I look for my personal base needs aside from "Being Clean". Free Wifi, Close to resturants/fast food and if on a long trip Mini Fridge/Microwave. Once I find a hotel that provides all these items, I book my room!
At least that's the system I use myself depending on the situation! Keep in mind, I drive when I travel and nearly never use airlines so I don't have to deal with the TSA standards. This system may not work for you if using airline travel!
Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:22 PMI'll just stipulate that wherever I wrote "free," I meant "included in the room price." Good point.
Also, a great tip I picked up from a colleague once was to use the Google Maps street view to check out the neighborhood and surroundings of any hotel in a place I've not stayed before. Not only does that help you avoid run-down locales, it'll make it easier for you to recognize the surroundings and find your way to the hotel when you arrive.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:25 PMI pretty much with everything you said. One of my biggest complaints are the way us pet owners are treated. Sometimes it is also essential for me to bring my 15 year old shih tzu along for the trip, and for that I beg of hotels to stop shoving us pet owners in the run down rooms. I don't honestly remember the last time I went to a hotel that allowed pets that I didn't think I needed to be vaccinated before entering. I understand their reasoning because pets do put a lot of wear and tear on bedrooms and can tend to be destructive... but charge a higher pet fee or hit the bad owners with a damage fee when we leave.
Towels and linens are also a big thing for me. It's not that hard or expensive to add a cup of fabric softener to your linens when you wash them. Being in vacation rentals we have noticed this has stopped the complaints about linens by almost 50%. We have also noticed we don't have to replace linens near as often. To me it seems like a win/win for a hotel.
While windows are important to my sanity black out curtains are just as important. I haven't been in a hotel lately that did not offer good curtains but when I do end up in one... ohh you don't even want to know how unhappy I get. Esp when you couple that with a bad shower.... Don't get me stated.
Overall I've had pretty good hotels stays. The last BAD experience we ad was a home we rented lat trip to Disney. The linens were covered in hair and dirt. The couches the same. The shower didn't work. The yard was unkempt and the smell of dog was the welcome we got. I think I spent 4 or 5 hours cleaning the home and did't even touch the surface.
Edit- Oh! Also a big pet peeve of mine is when a hotel doesn't include everything in the cost of the room. Universal is my #1 complaint when it comes to this. If you're going to charge for parking fine, but go head and add $15 dollars a night to the hotel stay. It's still here but it doesn't make it as apparent to your visitors and is a simple thing to make guests happier. Same with microwaves/fridges.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:25 PMLights! Please! I'm well aware of the cost of electricity, but when the light bulbs are not high enough wattage so that you can read a book or see how you look before going out it's so frustrating. The last time we were staying at a hotel for a week, my husband went out and bought bulbs for all of the lamps in the room so we had decent lighting.
My other complaint is the mirrors in the bathroom. As we "mature" it can get harder to see to apply make-up - especially when the closest mirror is across the counter where the sink is. How about a mirror on an extendable arm so that we ladies can place it where we can see the best?
Thanks for the opportunity to vent :)
Published: April 6, 2011 at 12:37 PMI'm a roller coaster and amusement park junkie. I'm not spending the day in a room. The motel room has no bearing on my choice of lodging. As long as the room is reasonably clean and relatively inexpensive, I'm good. The most important criterion is the BBB rule. It has:
Anything else is gravy.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM-Free Breakfast. I hate having to go out for breakfast. I want to grab my bagel and go.
A big thing for me is how they treat you once check out time comes. Do they rush you out? Bang on the door? Call every 5 minutes till you show up at the front desk? Or the absolute worst, do they just walk into the room to "wake you up"? When a hotel does any of the above, I will never stay there again.
On the same token, if I show up an hour before check-in or something because my flight arrived early and they won't let us get our room a bit early, also a deal breaker for me. Will never go there again. Stop nickel & diming!
Published: April 6, 2011 at 1:45 PMI like the included breakfast and the place to plug stuff in and work with my laptop. When I'm booking a room please tell me the real TOTAL for the stay, not after I've spent the night.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 2:10 PMNot something that is a deal breaker, but on my most recent Disney trip we stayed at Pop Century but one day went to the Polynesian for breakfast. I noticed that the toilet paper at the Polynesian was of much better quality than that of Pop Century. Interesting how the cost of the hotel translates to better amenities everywhere.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 2:26 PMWe just stayed at a not so very nice hotel in Tampa right after staying in a relatively nice one in Orlando. The one in Tampa had terrible service, was dirty, old, and plain gross. After staying there I can postively say that my musts include:
Cleanliness (not stained rugs, disgusting bathrooms, and grimy linens and towels)
Good Service (not unhelpful staff who barely speak English)
Legitimate Breakfast (not soggy, cold waffles and apple juice that tastes like flavored water)
Clean Pool (not one that reeks and has a green tint)
Working Power Outlets (not pointless holes in the wall)
All I can say is don't always trust the pictures the website shows...
Published: April 6, 2011 at 2:54 PMI need to have a nice room. I always need some time to relax after a busy day of seeing sites and visiting theme parks. Some necessary amenities are laundry facilities (to do my own), good sized pool, nearby market (for shopping for groceries), clean carpets (many are dirty), a refrigerator with SPACE for my drinks and food, and enough room so I would not feel cramped. Luckily, I own a time share resort that offers this.
If I have to get a hotel room, the price matters more, but I won't stay just anywhere. The room has to be relatively newly refurbished (can't be too old). Need a queen or king sized bed. Wifi is good to have, but since I bought my smartphone, it does double duty to surf the web. It needs to have a good restaurant, or it should be close to one. Restaurant should be affordable.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 3:16 PMWhen it comes to planning which hotels to stay at, TripAdvisor is my friend. It's not about which costs the most or has the most stars. It's really about value for your money and you can get the most of it by either having to pay a little more or even less.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 3:38 PMI have yet to travel on business, so phones, WiFi, and the like are expendable. My biggest deciders are balconies with decent views and kitchens/kitchenettes.
Less important, but slightly annoying, is that every hotel I've stayed in recently has terrible irons and ironing boards. The rooms had beautiful TVs, bathrooms, and beds, but horrible irons that made getting ready to go out a huge hassle.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 3:53 PMI agree with just about all of those
Published: April 6, 2011 at 4:26 PMTwo things:
(1) A comment card slipped under the door on the day of check out. While I was working in hotels in Orlando (Between 1984 and 2001 I clocked in at 23 hotels) I advocated the proposition that the #1 priority of every hotel employee is to sell the guest on their NEXT stay. Comment cards under the door show that the hotel wants your HONEST opinion so their operation can improve.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 6:13 PMI am in agreement with most comments for hotel rooms. It really does pay to stay in a major chain hotel. Even though they are more expensive, it is usually worth it. I found any JW Marriott as the best I have stayed (and most expensive) although any of the Marriott brands tend to be excellent.
What I really recommend is renting a condo or house instead. The Orlando area has tons of beautiful condos and full houses for rent for cheaper than hotels. Trust me, when you get back from the parks, it is fantastic to relax in a full house instead of a small hotel room (especially with kids). Most houses have their own pool and full kitchen so you can pick up some snacks or make something. Many have a washer/dryer (so you can bring fewer clothes), full game rooms, large screen TVs, and video game consoles (with many DVDs and games included). I have rented one near Champions Gate, just south of all the action. Going on our 4th year in a row in a 4 bedroom/3 full bath house. All for about the same price as a single hotel room.
Once you rent a house, there is no going back to a single hotel room when doing all the Orlando parks. You do have to rent a car compared to staying on-site but by the time you wait for the dumb buses, you could have driven to the park.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 6:39 PMAll I need is clean and quiet.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 6:40 PMU have to do camp grounds next Not all people choose to stay in a hotel although a good amount do so. anyway things I look for is resort activities stayed in DC and it was nice they had FREE shuffleboard pool tables and afew other games along with a free breakfast. In the rooms yes a VIEW is certainly a MUST. stayed in DC in a room that overlooked a FERNICE/ movalbe AC unit with hoses coming ou. THis hotel also looked over the main lobbey so peopel can see inside the rooms. ALSO when traveling with babies and extra gusts I look for rollaway beds and cribs should be added to the MUST if U have a babe.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 7:14 PMOwning a flexible time share with Interval Getaways are the only way to go. NO HOTEL, Condo. I own at Westgate and have for 11 years.
Published: April 6, 2011 at 9:56 PMOkay attention hotels of the world. If you would like my business and like to see me at your hotel listen up. I hate Small rooms, dirty sheets and brown water. But i do indeed enjoy Big rooms, lots of electrical outlets and kind service.
Okay hotels if you don't want me to come to your hotel listen up I hate very small crammed rooms.(Shoe Box) I call these rooms shoe box rooms. Shoe box rooms are very small cram rooms just like a shoe box. I also hate small rooms because small rooms lead to missing things and clothes piling up the room. My family after a trip to a park or whatever activities we did we throw all of our stuff on the floor. So if we need to take showers or just get change we leave everything on the floor not caring what is under our clothes.
I also really hate dirty rooms. I have been to a nice share of different hotels and what really doesn't make me happy when I put my key into the slot and open the door is dirty rooms. A dirty room makes you not want to stay in your room and not sleep in it but it is your room so you have to deal with it. Dirty rooms consist of dirty beds, unvacumed rugs and and unscrubed tubs.
Another that does not make me happy is not being able to get into my room. At all of the hotels I've ever been to they give you a credit card like key. With the key you slide into your door and your welcome into your room. But some cheap hotels usually will give you 2-3 keys usually matters how much guests are staying in your room but when you go outside of your room in your underwear receiving the knock at your door and your door shutting can be a night mare. Because you then have to go down to the main desk and ask for a key in your underwear.
If you really want me to scream then give me brown water. I have been to Mexico and seen the brown water come out of the fosset and is quite gross. So when I see yellowish brown water come out of the fosset on to my tooth brush on American soil it makes me scream I'M NOT IN MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you really want me at your hotel then listen up hotel managers. One thing that makes me smile after swiping my key in the slot is seeing a nice big room With plenty of space and a view. Clean rooms make me smile and having a beautiful view will make me smile even more!
In the 21st century we use lots of electricty. So it would make sense to have plenty of electrical outlets to charge up your needs or for many other reasons. When I'm on vacation or staying at a hotel i need to charge my phone, laptop, movie player, PSP and i-pod. Just another that makes me smile entering a my room.
The last two things that make me smile while staying at a hotel is friendly service and free break feast. Free break feast is great and friendly service even better. Friendly service makes you feel good and lets you know you picked a great hotel. And throw in a free break feast as long as the break feast is free not caring if it is a buffet, sit down, or even a counter it won't matter to me because it free and is also a great start to your day. It is the MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY!!!
Published: April 6, 2011 at 11:06 PMWhat I hate is staying by Disneyland and the hotel does not have enough parking when you come back late at night. So they tell you to park next door or where it says do not park.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 5:10 AMNo Bed Bugs.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 6:29 AMI have to comment regarding pets. perhaps you might think about the flip side as well. I do not want to stay in a room after a pet owner has used it. Gross! Even if your dog/cat hasn't relieved himself one way or another in the room, that pet has been dragging itself all over the room, carpet, counters (esp cats), etc. We all know rooms are not well cleaned usually by staff. And if you suffer from any animal dander allergies, staying in a room after a pet is a nightmare.
But regarding the statement about charging bad pet owners - I am sure that these people are exactly like those with bad kids. They don't discipline their pet and let said pet do whatever it wants whenever and wherever. They will be the same people that will spin into an epic tantrum if you tried to charge them for the pet damage. I am sure most hotel clerks don't get paid enough to deal with those sorts of people.
So i actually think twice about staying anywhere that states it is "pet friendly". I am sure I am not the only one.
Sorry if you are offended. But you traveling with your pet does not trump the comfort of the majority of travelers. This goes for pets in the airplane cabin as well. I don't want to sit next to or near your pet. And people shouldn't have to suffer from their allergies just b/c you think you pet is a child.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 8:31 AMTo me it would have to be clean room, clean bathroom, clean sheets and towels, decent TV (HD ones always a plus), and FREE (or included in the price like it was mentioned) internet access!! I lost count of how many places I went where they don't disclose about the internet access fees until I try to connect... you call the front desk and they tell you how to log on... and how to pay for it!!!
Published: April 7, 2011 at 8:32 AMI've been quite the road warrior for about 8 years now. I guess you could say I'm a discriminating type of guest when it comes to a hotel. It does depend on why I am there, as I travel for work and play quite a bit. I also use Google street maps when looking into hotels. Highly recommended to do that, as it helps to choose the right locations and temper expectations. Assuming that the room is clean and everything works as it should, I have a few requirements.
Comfortable Bed and linens- Not too much to ask. I'm a busy guy and I need good quality sleep when I get it.
Free WIFI- It's a nuisance to have to pay for it these days. I understand on some levels why they charge in larger hotels, but I can get a free WIFI connection just about anywhere though, so I don't really see the problem with providing it, especially at 100 plus a night.
Breakfast- Again, I get why some places don't offer a free (or even cheap) breakfast, but in most cases they just won't have me as a guest.
Service- I don't expect the moon and the stars, just that the staff is friendly and competent if a problem arises, and that it's taken care of in a timely manner.
That said, when it comes to choosing a hotel, you often times get what you pay for. I have a handful of preferred hotels that I'll always look for first when booking a business or weekend trip.
Courtyard/Fairfield by Marriott
I've also been known to check out boutique type hotels in large cities (Chicago has a couple of good ones). If I'm on vacation, my expectations get bigger along with my budget.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 8:41 AMI got 4 dogs at home and I love them but I do agree with the comment about pets in hotels and in airplanes. When I travel, the dogs stay at home with a relative/friend/neighbor/sitter taking care of them or they are boarded.
Same applies to smoking! It has happened a couple of times. I enter a non-smoking room and it smells like cigarettes... And I have to say that I used to smoke... and when I did, I always went outside to do it!
Published: April 7, 2011 at 8:56 AMNot too bothered about the wi-fi as I'm generally on holiday but a fridge and an iron are always useful. I'm not the most sartorially elegant person but I don't like going down for dinner in a nice hotel wearing clothes that make me look as if I've just fallen out of a passing airplane into a nearby tree.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 9:30 AM"Pet friendly" is the same as "smoking" room. You avoid them!!! No amount of charging for the priviledge will fix the damage that comes. A hotel room has quick turnover. Most housekeepers have barely 15 to 30 minutes to clean each room. A pet that pissed in the room will not have their carpets shampooed. They might just use a deodorant and spot cleaning. Then the next guest has to deal with the mess or ask for a new room.
Do everyone a favor. Leave your pets at home or a kennel.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 1:29 PMIf I book a non-smoking room, I expect a non-smoking room. Twice in Las Vegas we booked a non-smoking room at the resort at the end of the strip and when we checked in we were given a designated smoking room on the smoking floor. The 1st time that happened we got a Very Rude clerk at the front desk who told us we should not expect a non-smoking room, my reply to her was why is that a choose on the website without any disclaimer stating that information. She had no answer and after almost 10 minutes she put us in a non-smoking room and left us with her oh so well thought out parting statement "I hope this makes you happy". W did return the next year and got a new guy at the front desk who in very broken english assured us we were in a non-smoking room. Wrong again, we didn't even get off the elevator because the floor was desiignated for smoking with a neat little placard on the wall. This time we got a very polite and compentent clerk who very quickly got us a non-smoking room with profuse applogies.Why did we go back after the 1st time, well we were willing to give them a 2nd chance; which they failed, and because they had (and still have) a very attractive room and ticket deal for the National Finals Rodeo.
Published: April 7, 2011 at 8:52 PMI forgot to mention outlets! I always try and bring a power strip with me to any hotel or vacation home. I'm not sure why, even newly built homes and hotels, hide the outlets behind beds and furniture. I know "back in the day" they weren't needed as much outside of the bathroom (hair driers and such) but they seriously need to get over this notion now.
Published: April 8, 2011 at 11:47 AMI also want clean rooms and a fridge. I come from a family where we usually travel with someone who needs their medications kept cold. After that, if I am staying near a theme park, I think having free transportation to and from the park being the biggest returning factor for me. We HATE having to remember where we parked, being exhausted after ten plus hours, and then fight our way out of a packed parking lot. This is why we stay on Disney property when we visit. We love a vacation where we don't have to worry about anything other than having the best time possible.
Published: April 8, 2011 at 2:30 PMDisagree with your comments about not needing the free paper. I don't bring my computer on vacation and I like to be able to read the paper and do the crossword puzzle comfortably stretched out in the room in the morning (preferably the local paper too, not USA today).
Must haves would have to include the free breakfast and an iron.
I've given up on good water pressure in hotels and bring my own shower head and a pair of pliers when I travel. It's the only way to guarantee a good shower with all the cost cutting measures at hotels and regulations about 'low flow' these days.
Published: April 8, 2011 at 3:52 PMI would like my room to be very clean and have up to date furnishings. I love for it to have free breakfast and to have a refigerator and a microwave.
Published: April 8, 2011 at 4:11 PMA washer and dryer are always nice to have.
Published: April 8, 2011 at 4:22 PMI am sorry that so many of the Pet non-friendly people have had issues with their rooms. My dog, that goes everywhere I do, is kept in a crate when in the room - she is walked and fed per her schedule. There is not any - I repeat any incremental damage or visible evidence that i had a pet in the room. Therefore it amazes me that there is not a "child fee " like a pet fee...... I constantly encounter food and juice stains on the carpets, parents that do not care that their kids are screaming in their rooms at 12 midnight when i have had to work all day, loud, screaming kids noises by the pool when I am tying to finish my report. I also raised 4 children, but i never - I repeat NEVER let them carry on so much that they bothered anyone else..... Now just give me a responsible pet owner in the room 1st!!!
Published: April 8, 2011 at 5:58 PMI don't normally take my pets to amusement park vacations,but I really feel for the lady that gets stuck in the nasty rooms just because she has a pet.
She absolutely has a point about kids doing damage to the rooms. I once stayed in a room that had a whole series of burnt iron marks on the rug, but they charged me $20 each for my two dogs!
You can bet that hotel chain got a piece of my mind.
What I would like to see at my favorite hotel at Cedar Point are rooms that have a jacuzzi but aren't for 6 people with the 6 person price :)
Also room safes that will fit a decent sized laptop.
Published: April 9, 2011 at 8:21 AMAbout the one who made the comments about families with terrible children. It depends on the mentality of the parents. My wife and I travel with our children a lot. We don't go into each hotel thinking that it doesn't matter what messes our children make because the maid will clean it up. We try to be as neat as possible. On the other hand, my wife's sister's family allows their children to do anything in the rooms and make all kinds of messes because it doesn't matter(which is ridiculous). The maid will clean the room anyway. As far as the noise is concerned, it is not always the children that are noisey. We were in New Haven,CT a few years ago. One night we were trying to sleep and there were a whole lot of people outside our window partying at like 1,2,3 in the morning. As anybody could imagine, I was extremely upset about that.