News & Reviews News 10 things I hate about you(r) hotel

Last year, I attended a Cheval Blanc networking event and chatted with the General Manager of one of their properties.  He proudly told me no one ever complained about their hotel.  I then said, “Yeah, except me,” and gave him a list of issues.  I wish I had recorded it, as the person standing next to me at the time literally spat their coffee out.  Getting a real-life coffee spit is up there with probably the proudest moments of my life.  And I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and returned disease-free.

Some hotels think they’re perfect, but anyone who has read this blog knows otherwise.  Here are ten things that I hate about luxury hotels.

Biblically long pre-arrival questionnaires that are then ignored

Stay lists have become more and more common.  With my upcoming trip to St Barths and Anguilla, every hotel has some variety of one.  But it’s more common than not that they end up ignoring either part or all of it, which makes it even more frustrating that they’d set the expectation and screw it up.  I’d rather they started sending a note from the GM that just said, “FYI cuz, we don’t care”.  At least then everything is on the up.

Constantly asked if everything is ok

I don’t want to be so neglected that I’m left wandering around, resembling someone fresh out of an exorcism, rotating my neck 360 degrees and projectile vomiting to catch the staff’s attention.  However, I’m equally averse to the idea of someone hovering over me, checking on every single bite as if offering just one wafer-thin mint.

No plugs next to bedside or anywhere

I’m on holiday, sure, but my phone and laptop are glued to me—you’re only getting them when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.  I’m here to recharge; let my poor devices do the same.

Overuse of tech

I love tech.  It was founding a tech company that set me on my path, but now, as I’m closing in on 40, I am legally obligated to hate most of it.  Like light switches that make zero sense, spending half an hour figuring out how to change the TV, or needing to faff around at 10 pm to close a curtain.  Some people hate using QR codes to access menus; I don’t mind them as long as there’s still a physical copy available.  We’ve had plenty of time to perfect hotels, yet even the new ones often miss the mark.  Sometimes, it’s poorly implemented; sometimes, it’s just completely overkill to have to use a computer to try and lock a door when a velociraptor has just figured out how to open doors.  True story.

Lack of Japanese toilet

However, where technology absolutely should be employed is when it comes to wiping your arse.  C’mon, you know it was being featured.  Once you’ve gone Toto, you ain’t going back.  I have them at home and find it a stain (pun intended) on humanity that they’re not obligatory.  I feel for the poor Japanese who must come to Europe and feel like they’re living with barbarians.  And you know what?  They’re right.

Environmentally “friendly” (to our bank account)

I like the environment; breathing is my favourite pastime.  So it’s great that hotels have jumped on the bandwagon to make things better and not destroy it.  Yet every now and again, you come across hotels claiming all their virtues on the one hand whilst taking a big, fat, polluting cloud of toxic shite all over your hopes and dreams with the other.  It can’t be that hard to get rid of single-use plastics; I’ve never heard of gangsters threatening someone if they don’t.

Also, some properties claim it’s in the name of the environment, but this can be used to justify absolutely anything.  “Apologies, but there is no heating tonight here in Finland in December; the light blinds the reindeer and stops them from getting presents to children.”


Yes, I said soap.  I’m disgusting, and I hate being clean – lucky for you, the Internet doesn’t have smell-o-vision yet.

Anyway, back to the environment.  Conversely, some luxury hotels seem to act like burning pits.  I hate seeing soap neatly wrapped, knowing that the second I open it and use it once, housekeeping throws it in the bin.  Who lives like that at home?  “Well, I opened the fridge; now I need to bin it.”.  Can we just use hand wash instead?

Lack of wardrobe space

You spend thousands of dollars per night for your fabulous suite.  Then you have the nerve to bring luggage with you and expect to have somewhere to hang up your clothes.  Check your white privilege at the door, sir, along with all your luggage.  Instead, you must live off the floor or wear the same clothes for the rest of the week, even though we have arbitrary dress codes.

Signing for free stuff, like breakfast

How did this become a thing?  Having to sign is annoying, but signing for something with a $0 amount at the end feels like someone holds a deep grudge against the rainforest.

Forced to buy water

I don’t drink tea, coffee or alcohol.  Not cos I’m some saint or some weirdo – although the defence is out on the last point.  I just don’t like them.  All I drink is water.  This water thingy might be catching on, based on how many brands I see selling it.  Plus, the keeping you alive thing, too.  And, it turns out it’s really quite cheap.  Unless you’re in a hotel.

I don’t want to sit down and be charged $20 immediately—that’s what the cinema is for.  Unless I’m staying on Mount Shitsville in the town of Shitshire, home to a nuclear plant famed for dumping waste into the river, I can survive on tap water.  I’ve managed all 37 years and show no mental issues—well, none they can prove.

And because I hate it so much, I’ll throw in a bonus: prices without taxes, service charges, and other made-up costs.  It’s not like they’re optional extras.  “Sir, would you like to pay for the standard or premium tax on this bill?”.  In Mexico, these charges can add almost 40% to the headline figure.  If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw, and it costs 40% extra, I’m really annoyed.  And you can quote me on that.

What are your hates?  

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 11th Apr '24

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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