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.
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!
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.
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.
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 :)
Anything else is gravy.
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!
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...
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
Comfort Inn/SuitesHilton GardenHamptonEmbassy SuitesQuality SuitesCourtyard/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.
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!
Do everyone a favor. Leave your pets at home or a kennel.
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.
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.