Saturday, April 3, 2010

My New Hotel Rating System

A gold star with DN3 emblazoned on itI avoid hotel-rating websites like tripadvisor or travel.yahoo.com. It seems like they're inhabited by people with axes that haven't been sharpened since the 19th century.

If I were in charge of hotel ratings, here's what I would want to know:

  • Does it have WiFi included in the price of the room? If so, how big of a pain is it to get logged in? Among the three hotels I stayed in this week, one had an open WiFi, while the other two made you log in through their creaky-nasty system, where you agree that they are not responsible if you download pirated material or some such small print that no one reads. One system made us redo the login every 24 hours without warning... like right in the middle of writing a blog post. But at least none of the hotels charged extra for it.
  • Do the rooms have enough outlets? I hate to admit it, but we now travel with three laptops and three cell phones (for three people. We're not Steve Wozniak, after all). We had to go buy a power strip to deal with the first hotel because it had only one open outlet outside the bathroom. And by that, I mean a single plug. Bonus points for open outlets near the bedside table.
  • Do the bathrooms have fans? I really hate how most hotels/motels cheap out on this, making it impossible for those of us with glasses to see after finishing a shower, and impossible for anyone to see in the mirror. I don't care as much about the fan if the sink/mirror is outside the room with the shower, as in some room layouts. But I still wonder about the possible mold growing in the bathrooms, nonetheless.
  • Do the beds make my shoulders sore when I lie on my side? I never would have believed this was a problem when I was younger. But it is.
  • Do the rooms' trash cans have some provision for recycling? On this trip, I saw my first dual receptacle -- a square, wooden container with two separate half-size containers in it, well-marked. I wonder how it works for them. My experience is that a significant number of people tend to mostly disregard the purposes of well-labeled recycling or compost bins.
  • How loud is the shower for the people still trying to sleep in the bedroom? Please, a little internal insulation!
I also care about how quiet the rooms are for sleeping, whether from outside the building, the hallway, or adjacent rooms. But on this trip that wasn't a problem, so it wasn't my primary concern.

What do you look for in a hotel/motel? What do you think of online rating systems?

5 comments:

elena said...

I think you should commence to do on-line ratings for off-the-chain hotels, telling us where the good ones are and tempting us all to go on road trips.

Carmella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carmella said...

I do have some thoughts about hotels. My number one requirement? Will they have me?

You inspired a post of my own. Thanks!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I've seen amazingly contradictory statements on the online ratings. But occasionally there is something that really is useful, such as "this charming old downtown hotel borders on a three-year construction project and the noise is awful." Smoke-free rooms or floors is a big plus.

Daughter Number Three said...

Thanks for the reminder about smoke-free rooms, BLissed-Out Grandma. That's one of those essential things (like noise) that I take for granted until it's not available. Or if a room is supposedly smoke-free but still smells like smoke.