11 Things We Hate About Hotels

by Hilary on November 8, 2011

As the Hotel-Tell All, Oyster is very well-traveled when it comes to hotels. We’ve seen it all — whether good or bad. Let it be known: after visiting thousands of hotels, the tiny fees, poor service, and mediocre food starts to get irritating.

11. Valet Charges

No parking? Don’t charge through the roof for valet parking. You know it’s our only choice and makes us bitter.

Valet at The Angler's Boutique Resort

Valet at The Angler's Boutique Resort

10. The Toilet Flush Demo

We appreciate you showing us how to flush the toilet upon the room check-in tour, but come on! We’ve been able to do that by ourselves for a long time now.

Bathroom in the Plaza King Room at The Plaza

Bathroom in the Plaza King Room at The Plaza

9. The “Complimentary In-Room Treat”

Please don’t provide a “complimentary basket” filled with treats upon room check in, and then secretly charge $3 for the biscuits lying right next to the basket.

The Guestroom at the Halekulani

The Guestroom at the Halekulani

8. The Resort Fee

We’d love to be provided with an actual definition, explanation, and breakdown of what exactly “The Resort Fee” is. We understand all hotels do it these days, but if all your friends were jumping off of a bridge, would you?

The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.

The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.

7. The Lounge Chair Reserve

When hotels allow guests to save lounge chairs by the pool by putting down a towel at 6 am, it makes other guests feel unworthy. We were under the impression that vacation was a time to relax – just because we’re not in mood for an early-morning-lounge-chair-brawl doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a chair of our own. If you’re not there, you’re not lounging.

Lounge chairs by the pool at Treasure Island

Lounge chairs by the pool at Treasure Island

6. Lounge Chair Charges

Speaking of lounge chairs, charging for them and umbrellas is just stingy. We’ll be more likely to give a bigger tip if we’re not forced to pay for an amenity that should come with the hotel.

The Lounge Chairs at The St. Regis Atlanta

The Lounge Chairs at The St. Regis Atlanta

5. The $10 Bottle of Water

We know that same bottle costs $1.59 at 7-11. You’re not fooling anybody.

The Chambre Petite Room at the Mansfield Hotel

The Chambre Petite Room at the Mansfield Hotel

4. Self-Written Reviews

Listen, we’re Oyster. We know the real reviews from the fake ones. And with this recent New York Times article, you better be careful.



3. The Photo Fakeout

We’ve mastered the art of investigating Photo Fakeouts – Oyster’s most popular feature that exposes hotels’ deceiving marketing photos. Heads up: if your main pool is the size of a kiddie pool, no need to angle the camera so the viewers think it’s an Olympic size lap pool. We’ll likely call you out on it.

Oyster's Photo Fakeouts

Oyster's Photo Fakeouts

2. Mini Bars

Where to begin…

Minibar in the Deluxe Room at The Mirage

Minibar in the Deluxe Room at The Mirage

1. WiFi Charges

Get with the times. It’s like toilet paper and oxygen. Also, if WiFi is provided free of charge, give us a good signal. There is nothing more frustrating than slow or unusable Internet.

The Sivory Grand Suite at the Sivory Punta Cana

The Sivory Grand Suite at the Sivory Punta Cana

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

michael November 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I get that lampooning social reviews is good for your business model, but I don’t really think there was anything wrong with the 2 reviews you posted. Users are talented at spotting which user reviews are from crazy people, competitors, or for the hotel… but it’s also a nebulous and dangerous area to start accusing reviews of being fake, when it could just be a dry reviewer that is an advocate of the hotel and fancies themselves “Mr. Pro reviewer”. But some fine points here.. I think the industry is well aware of a couple of these. Cheers….

Julie Sirhall November 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I love your top 10. I always read and look for pics. before we go off on a vaca or busness trip. Thank you for being there Oyster.

Philip November 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

Your #4 – about the Grand Wailea… My guess is they are not self written. We did just go there and the information is exactly correct! There is a welcomer wahine that gives leis to new arrivals. My 7 year old became very friendly with “Rose”, a real person who gave her a fresh lei almost every day. Also, they do put chilled bottles of water in your car every time you get it from Valet and ask about directions. The grounds (gardens) are a big source of pride for the Grand Wailea and they offer botanical tours several days a week. The staff is very friendly – more so than any other hotel or resort we have stayed at.

Just my two cents…

Matt Bailey November 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

Aloha from Maui. I enjoyed your article on hotel pet peeves, though I was loathe to admit that Grand Wailea is guilty of one or two (we only offer valet parking, as an example), but one thing we don’t do is write fraudulent reviews on any travel website. So, I guess I should be thanking you for using two outstanding – and totally legitimate – reviews of us in your article.

Matt Bailey
Managing Director

Judit Maull November 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Actually, I’ve stayed at the Grand Wailea on several occasions and I would have written the same review. They do give you a lei upon arrival and they do put cold, bottled water in your car when the parked in valet.

Grand Wailea is awesome!

David November 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

Great article. Witty and 100% accurate. Compliments to Hilary on a great job !

Misty April 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I like how all of the “pro” Grand Wailea responses were witten within a few hours of each other. Lol. Seems management and random guests all read your article & were so moved they responded the same day (6 days after it was published).

Frank April 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Why can’t hotels install plugin’s were they make sense, so I can charge my phone, laptop, etc. Why do I have to crawl behind the little dresser, have to unplug something near the floor to make space for my charging requirement.

Lauren April 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

“Refridgerator Available upon Request” For a fee. Because wanting to store cold drinks at the place in which you will be temporarily living is SO unusual. I always end up having to cram my water/juice/red bull into the stupid mini-bar!

Jan Gutbayer April 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

As a guest I totally agree and I know how to find the veritable pictures and info before I book a hotel. As a hotel manager, I offer you another view. You are exchanging cause and consequence… Now eveybody wants to stay in a billion stars hotel for 1 penny or less with everything free and excellent service with someone ready to help on every corner. Marvellous. But The building costs something. Energy cost something. Laundry and food cost something. And most of all, employees cost something. And if a hotel would give “honest” price on the web, nobody will come. So the hotel gives lower price and desperately tries to earn a bit more later (just like Ryan Air by the way). It is extremely hard to run a hotel these days, believe me… :-) And by the way, I’m not running some posh resort by the sea, just one humble but not so small congress hotel near the Capital of our country… That’s even harder… Nevertheless we provide as excellent service as we can…

Judit Maull April 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Misty, I’ve been visiting the Grand Wailea for the past three years. I don’t work there. I live and work in Los Angeles. The Grand Wailea is truly a wonderful place and, in fact, I’ll be traveling there again in two weeks to celebrate my father’s 75th birthday. I can’t wait!

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