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Thoughts on Travel and Hotels, Part 2

August 17, 2010 · 28 comments

in Travel

Yesterday, I wrote about our most recent vacation and how we tend to spend more money to stay in a hotel where our family of 5 will have plenty of room to spread out.  The focus of today’s post is more about hotels themselves, and below is a list of general concerns/questions I have about hotels, and some suggestions for hotel patrons:

  1. Why are the garbage cans in hotel rooms so small?  You can generally fit about 2 empty bottles in these garbage cans and that is about it.  God forbid you order a pizza, because there is nowhere for that pizza box to go.   I can barely cram my empty box of Ho-Hos in the standard hotel room garbage can.
  2. Why are the heating/cooling systems in the hotel rooms so loud?  I don’t understand why it has to sound like a small explosion every time the heater or air turns on.  I have chosen to sleep sweating to death just so I am not woken up by the air conditioning.
  3. Do ice machines really have to be right next to my room every time?  I understand that ice machines need to be somewhere, but please put them in an enclosed area with a door.  (By the way, don’t ever get ice from an ice machine that has a flip top door and a scoop.  I have heard horrible stories about what people have done to easily accessible ice…)
  4. Why do some hotels invest in the softest mattresses and lumpiest pillows (or worse yet, pillows that are 12 inches thick)?  I hate having a sore back in the morning, and I now have to travel with my little flat pillow because hotel pillows are so uncomfortable for me.   Pillow variety would be very nice!
  5. Is there a reason why hotel guests cannot gently close the door?  I can’t count how many times I have been woken up by slamming hotel doors.
  6. Parents, please control your children and teach them to be considerate.  I really don’t think it’s necessary for them to scream down the hall to you instead of just taking 20 steps to ask you a question.  Also, I know that vacations are for parents too, and drinking and relaxing can be a part of that.  However, remember you do have children and that they are YOUR responsibility, not everyone else’s.
  7. My biggest question of all:  Do hotels wash the blankets/comforters between guests?  Hotel comforters scare me to death.  The first thing I do when I get into a hotel room is rip the comforter off the bed and throw it into a corner.  But I wonder, are the blankets any cleaner?  You may think I am a germaphobe, but I have read enough stories and seen enough segments on tv to know that I don’t want to be anywhere near those bed covers.  By the way, if anyone reading this works in the hotel industry, please leave a comment and let me know the washing frequency of bed linens.

So,  what am I missing?  What else could be improved at hotels?  What are your thoughts?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole August 17, 2010 at 8:13 am

The last few times we’ve been at Holiday Inn or nicer hotels (for work) they’ve had 4-8 different pillows on each bed. DH can never find one that’s thin enough for him (and sometimes goes without), but there’s always one perfect for me. But someone out there is listening on pillow variety.

I *think* if you order hypoallergenic pillows from the front desk they might be skinnier, but I could be wrong on that.

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 10:02 am

Nicole, if I ever do leave my house without my wafer-thin pillow, I will definitely go ask for a hypo-allergenic pillow. I just don’t know why they all have to be so thick. You can always stack two thinner/medium pillows if you need a thick pillow, but you can’t make a thick pillow thin!

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Susan August 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

You are so funny! Well, I have knowledge on this subject and never thought of writing a blog post on it – but this is a great idea. I was a Flight Attendant for 20 years, so lots of hotel rooms for me. No, I don’t think hotels ever wash the blankets, so keep that in mind – also I never sit on anything in bare skin! NEVER walk around the room w/out socks or better yet hard soled slippers. I will have to think about all my tips and thoughts I could share on this subject!

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

Susan, I bet you could write an excellent blog post on hotels! I don’t travel real frequently and I already had plenty to be frustrated about. 🙂

My family probably thinks I am nuts to be so grossed out at hotels. I have not gotten to the point yet where I wipe down the phone and remote, but that is probably because I never think to pack Lysol wipes with me. 🙂

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Carol August 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Never use the glasses that hotels keep by the sink (unless they are completely sealed). I saw an expose’ on TV where they showed the maid wiping them with the same cloth she used to clean the bathroom.

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Carol, that is disgusting! I always use those glasses! I won’t now though, unless they are hermetically sealed.

Thanks for the tip!

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Kevin@InvestItWisely August 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Haha, I’m with you on the loud air conditioners. My girlfriend is just like you when it comes to throwing off the comforters. For myself, I don’t mind too much as long as the sheets are washed and I can put a sheet between myself and the blanket… but after reading what you wrote, I think I might just change my mind about that, too!

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Kevin, your girlfriend is obviously very smart! 🙂

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Great, now I’m icked out and I actually love hotels. I’m the opposite of a germaphobe since I readily believe that all germs are usually in the air too and I can’t stop breathing, so I choose to let my immune system handle it. This may be naive, but I still enjoy staying in hotels and using the covers… 🙂

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

BFS – see if you can find the Oprah episode that showed the black light on a hotel comforter and let me know what you think. 🙂

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

No, I refuse…you enjoy icking me out entirely too much! 🙂

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

BFS – I didn’t even mention Freeganism once in my post or comments!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

You’re mean. 🙂

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Steph August 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

There is commercial for Hamilton(?) Inns stating they proudly wash ALL bedding including the spread between each guest. Lol.
I thought it was a funny thing to market. But I guess it works because I remember it.

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Hi Steph – I would totally stay at a hotel chain that advertised that. They are marketing specifically to me!

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics August 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm

The loud AC bothers my husband, I sleep happily 🙂

The hypoallergenic pillows are thin. I need a 12 inch pillow, so I use two of them. Other than that we always take our own sheets and pillow covers. I never thought much about germs, I take them because I am allergic to almost everything in the world 🙂 The only thing we will never use are the glasses. I have actually “seen” them cleaning it. They didn’t use the same rag as the bathroom ones (luckily!), but they did wipe the sink counter with the same cloth. Never touched that thing ever again!

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Suba, we are complete opposites! I had no idea that hypoallergenic pillows were supposed to be thin until I read these comments. My neck must be too stubby or something.

I will never drink from one of those glasses in a hotel again after reading yours and Carol’s comments. Thank you for sharing!

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Money Reasons August 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I swear, I was thinking in my head about the kids running down the hall part, then low and behold, you wrote that as number 6 (too funny).

Why aren’t there more parents like us???

I wrote a comment on your Part 1 “Thoughts on Travel and Hotels” but I think I mistakenly hit the back button by accident. I hate when that happens!

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Kris August 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Money Reasons – I usually screw up a really long comment by hitting the back button, or accidentally clicking an ad or something. The world does need more parents like us, that is for sure! 🙂

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Money Reasons August 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

Wow, I heard they don’t wash the comforter too. And people wonder why bed bugs are making a comeback…

I’ll definitely look for that Hamilton Inn mentioned above by Steph…

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Little House August 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Oh, yuck! Whenever I stay at a hotel, I try to just forget how many possible germs may be lurking on the comforter (which is made of the strangest materials) and how clean or unclean the carpet may be. The carpet is always some indoor/outdoor, ultra thin, rough material. Ewwww……Bed bugs and lice also kind of freak me out, too. Again, I really try not to think about it when I sleep!

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Car Negotiation Coach August 23, 2010 at 11:29 am

Yeah, I agree completely. Hotels are filthy! I am also terrified of comfortors…and don’t forget the remote control.

One think I usually do to block out the hallway noise is bring my own white-noise sound machine. They’re not for everyone, but you can turn it up load and drown out all other sounds with something constant. Makes a huge difference for me.

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Kris August 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm

CNC – I never thought about the white noise machine. I am so easily distracted, I wonder if I would just listen to the noise, or if it would drown out the other noise? For instance, we were camping once by a stream and I couldn’t sleep because of the moving water sounds. I am no fun!

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I recently heard the term “country stampede hotels”. Just wondering if anyone could explain what that is exactly? It sounds fun!

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