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And hotels are worried about us?

With this kind of money and research at their disposal, it’s a bit much to hear them griping about our seat-of-the-pants alternatives:

R&D by the gig guys

I’m not questioning the need to do proper mock-ups - far from it. It makes complete sense. I’m just kind of amazed that even with all this R&D money going into their products, hotels still manage to screw things up and are getting really nervous about the rag-tag band of amateurs that make up the bulk of AirBnB hosts. You appear to be quite exceptional, with years of experience and many properties. The story mentions an issue with mirrors - we had that sorted within a month of opening. I make a habit of saying to departing guests that we’re quite new to this and ask if they can think of anything we could be doing better; one woman said we needed a proper full-length mirror. Bang - problem solved.

I’ve experienced your issue of carefully researching items only to find they’ve been discontinued once you finally make a decision - or want another one. Just happened to me again. I was researching lights for our kitchen, and ultimately found a great solution at RONA (a Canadian competitor to Home Depot). It was a mix’n’match system of pendant lights with various bases (white, black, silver, nickel, etc.) and assorted glass shades. I got distracted by the B&B and when I finally went back a couple of months later to buy the fixtures, found they’d discontinued the bases - but not the shades!! Fortunately, Home Depot still had the bases in stock - so bases there, shades at Rona. But I had visions of having to start my search again from scratch.

Anyway, there was a good list of observations buried in the comments section to that story. I particularly agree with points 1 & 2; he’s wrong about the glasses - didn’t realize glasses are kept in housekeeping closets or are kept in drawers in the cart:

I spend 3 - 10 nights a month in hotels (Hilton, Marriott, SPG) all over the US. My pet peeves include:

  1. Useless hard to program alarm clocks. Most hotels have this ridiculous box with 4 preprogramed stations, that you can’t change and which are awful and not properly tuned to the station. Changing the time requires that you open up the back with a screwdriver, and most are not set properly, making them useless. I’ve given up and I use my iPhone and Wakeup call as a back up. Either find something that people can use or ditch them altogether and provide better plug ins for smartphones.

  2. No accessible outlet or usb port near the bed so I can use my alarm app. (see above) Hard to reach outlets period.

  3. Wifi you have to pay for. The more expensive the hotel, the more likely you are paying for wifi. It’s a cash grab–nothing else.

  4. The glasses in the bathroom and bar. I never see any clean glasses on the housekeeping cart, so where do these come from? Does housekeeping clean them in the sink using the same cloth they used to wipe the toilet? This is what I imagine. Yuch.

  5. The remote control–a cesspool of germs. Yuch.

  6. Noisy heating / cooling systems.

  7. Light switches that are hard to reach from bed.

  8. Poor sound proofing. I recently spent the evening next to a very noisy couple who had tremendous endurance and apparently no need for sleep. This was a brand new, state of the art hotel. I moved rooms the next day.

  9. Bed coverings that are not designed to be cleaned / replaced with each new guest.« less

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My close friends are union organizers for hotel employees – and yes, they use the same cleaning sponges to clean those glasses in the bathroom and room. I don’t use them! I also immediately throw any bed coverings that aren’t washable sheets onto the floor. They don’t get cleaned every time.

This thread hasn’t generated much attention, but I’ve benefited from it. There was a comment on the news story about how useless most hotel clock radios are, which I strongly agreed with - but then realized that although I have good ghetto blaster radios, clocks all over the place, and six-banger power bars beside each bed, I didn’t actually have any decent clock radios for the guests. None have complained, and many have been on very tight schedules, so maybe clock radios are a thing of the past - I suppose people are using iPhone Apps instead. But I prefer a decent little clock radio that you can listen to while dozing off in bed, and again, one of the commenters on the original story mentioned that Sony makes a good one. It’s a little cube radio, model number ICFC1, that a local big chain is selling for $22. It’s very simple, with decent sound, and is almost completely intuitive to use. The only weird thing is that the button to turn off the radio is labelled “Alarm Reset”. Huh? Anyway, I bought four: two for our guests and two for us. The ones we were using were crap.

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