So you’ve paid the earth and been promised much more, but something’s not just right… Steve Madgwick dissects seven hotel room faux pax that are inexcusable at any end of the accommodation market.

1. Pillow-verflow

How many pillows on a bed are too many? I’ve seen 12 decorative pillows on one queen size bed –why? And where, inevitably, do 11 out of the 12 of these end up by the morning? On the floor, of course, or you get trapped in your own private pillow dungeon. Sometimes more is less.

2. The spot they never clean

Want to know if a hotel room has been cleaned; I mean really, really cleaned? Check out either the exhaust fan in the bathroom or the extractor fan above the stove if there is one. If those dirt magnets don’t have a coat of fluff a centimetre thick or a two-millimetre oily souvenir from the past month’s dinner parties, then it gets the tick from me.

3. The check-out Nazi

Okay, so it’s 20 minutes past 11am and I’m not quite out of the door yet. Hey, I got here two hours past check-in time so why don’t we just call it even, huh? Better still, let’s implement 24-hour check-in, like they do in parts of Europe and North America. Check in the same time you check out – 24 hours of customer’s-happy value.

4. Light-switch lotto

Why, oh why, should I have to memorise a complex mathematical sequence just to operate a light? How come the switch directly next to my bed operates a light of little consequence to my need to read a book right now? (See: ‘The Great Hotel Light Switch Mystery‘). Right up there with television remote controls that require in-depth lessons from your concierge – where you basically just give up in embarrassment anyway – and the mystery, untraceable low-level buzzing noises that becomes your anti-lullaby. Too-hard basket.

5. How much for %$#@$#% wi-fi???

The more stars, the less right you have to charge me for wi-fi at all, let alone exorbitantly. A $250 a night hotel room should not come with a $9 an hour (or $20 per day) internet fee. Sure, user pays, but who forks over the equivalent of $600 a month for web access? (See: ‘$20 for wi-fi? Please explain, airport hotels‘).  Also, don’t even start me on mini-bar prices – no, it’s not okay to charge $8 for a minuscule $2.50 packet of cashew nuts – even if they were hand-picked by monks!

6. Spread too thinly

I love a designer bed spread as much as anyone, they can complete the room creator’s vision with panache… however, don’t make us have to go fossicking around in cupboards late at night for extra warmth. If it’s just for show, puh-lease make sure there are adequate blankets tucked underneath – especially if the room’s air-conditioning feels like it’s blowing in straight off Bass Straight.

7. Taps with venom

Elegant porcelain vanity, smooth lines, pleasing to the eye. Turn on the ergonomic handle for a jet of cleansing… and then, splat, a wet spot on your dress in the most embarrassing place possible. All that Euro design and they can’t even regulate the water flow so it doesn’t spit at you like a peeved cobra. A little function to your form sometimes, please. Oh, and don’t start on unmarked ‘hot’ taps that take three minutes to heat up…



$20 for wi-fi? Please explain, airport hotels

The Great Hotel Light Switch Mystery