Top things people hate in a hotel

They say there is no such thing as a perfect place. It may be true – but regarding hotels, hostels and pensions I think that there are several elements that shouldn’t miss from such places.

I wanted to write about the most hated things in a hotel – but I only had my experience and I thought this is not enough. So at the end of the last week I asked some of my friends from all over the world, including online friends from Twitter! Thank you all for your support and help.

So let’s see what are the things that we don’t like about a hotel.

  1. By far, filth, and the crucial elements here are: dirty linen and bathrooms. I don’t know if this is what you expected, but this is the most important thing – at least for those who answered my question.
  2. Bad service – this is another aspect that everyone agrees it’s important: how the personnel is treating you – from the reception desk to those cleaning the rooms. And here I received examples varying from personnel with preconceived ideas (about foreign nationals) to personnel who is simply rude and reception without 24h available personnel. Like someone said: “A friendly service goes a long way when you’re staying somewhere.” Another example was that someone ordered Room Service and it took them more than 20 minutes to deliver it.
  3. High prices for internet (Wi-Fi) access – this is the second most hated thing, at the same hatred level with
  4. High prices for different advertised facilities, but when you want to use them you find they either don’t exists or you have to pay extra. Here are some examples from jacuzzi being in fact just a simple bath with a simple shower that didn’t even exist at that hotel to wireless with poor signal quality (or sometimes it did not work at all).
  5. Related to the above, there are different devices that don’t work (properly or at all) – such as hair dryer, the door card etc.
  6. The lack of personal hygiene products in the bathrooms – here there were several respondents mentioning that staying somewhere for a longer period is interpreted by some as if they don’t have to provide toilet paper, soap and other things like that on a constant basis.
  7. “The pricey meals that taste like crap” – so another element is food: small – TOO small! – breakfast, hard bread, same offer each day (even without a rich selection of products).
  8. Conditions – small rooms, crowded dinner rooms, noisy rooms, thin walls, extremely small rooms, lack of spaces for non smokers etc.
  9. “The impersonal feel” – “hundreds of rooms and feeling like a bee in a bee-hive”; on the same note, “bland decor. Corporate personality. I love it when a hotel chain allows a bit of quirky into the mix. Good service and unique are not mutually exclusive”.
  10. Billing problems – from hotels or places that would not provide an invoice unless you are a company, to those that print it with mistakes, don’t want to modify it (after filling in the wrong data) etc.
  11. Other elements: parking fees, old laundry or towels in the bathroom (old and even with holes in them), noisy area, noisy and disturbing people staying at the hotel (actually that is why I wrote How to behave in a hotel), a big difference between online photos and actual reality, hotel safes that don’t work, poor bathroom layouts that don’t work for families.
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As you can see people from all over the world have the same problems. Do you have any other element to add?

Special thanks for contribution to this article go to (in alphabetical order):

and to my friends without a blog Alina, Alina (yes, two Alina :), Andra, Corina and Ramona.


I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

8 thoughts on “Top things people hate in a hotel

  • 19 May, 2010 at 14:56

    This article pretty much covers the highlights. Under “cleanliness” I’d add bedbugs. This is becoming a huge issue in hotels all over. I don’t know what the solution is, but the hotel industry better figure it out. Any time I read reports of bedbugs in TripAdvisor reviews for a hotel, that hotel goes off my list. It’s bad enough getting bit while you’re on vacation, but I don’t want to risk bringing the little critters home with me and infesting my house.

    • 19 May, 2010 at 15:10

      Oh, Gray, thank you – yes, “cleanliness” should include the lack of bedbugs – and you are so right: a bad review on this chapter on a dedicated site (being TripAdvisor or even Booking or a personal blog) it’s enough to make me skip that place!

  • 19 May, 2010 at 15:17

    I prefer Hostel most of the time, only thing I hate about Hotel is ‘can’t meet people’.
    But everything is understandable. 🙂 Great survey!
    Good job! Yipee!

    And I’m so glad to be a part of it.

    • 19 May, 2010 at 16:39

      Thank you too – again – for participating. Yes, hotels are… more impersonal – sometimes too impersonal as showed int he survey. If one stays in a hotel many days – just as other – one can meet some of the people – but in a hotel you don’t usually make new friends. The hotel is sometimes just the place you sleep at night, the place you spend the time you cannot spend outside (visiting, walking, going to movies etc.).

  • 19 May, 2010 at 16:40

    Great Survey. High price for Wifi is really stressful and often unjustified. But among the things I hate the most when I travel, are n° 8 and 9. It gives such a bad taste to the whole stay which can be great otherwise.

    That’s one of the reasons why we’ve launched our booking website of specific boutique rooms in hotels, to avoid those unpleasant surprises. We also take our own pictures of the rooms because of this big difference between hotel pictures of the best rooms and the actual room you get…

    • 19 May, 2010 at 17:19

      Thank you, Olivier for your appreciation 🙂 Interesting your website’s idea 🙂 I too prefer images – that’s why always when choosing a hotel, even using (I usually choose my hotel through it) I look for images (on Booking or other site and place the order after seeing them). Sometimes there’s a big difference, sometimes the pictures are not enough – for instance you cannot imagine how good is and how many food courses you can find at the Zipser hotel (Viena) – we’ve presented it here. This hotel was a nice surprise!

      • 19 May, 2010 at 17:40

        I’ve seen your review of the Zipster hotel, we’ll definitely check this one when we’ll go to Vienna to find nice hotel rooms!

        To me, the problem with is randomness. The category for the rooms are not that much explicit nor universal, and I’ve often been disappointed.

        You’re right about the pictures, and that’s why we chose to carefully pick the hotels and the rooms so that we can guarantee what is described in our site. I don’t understand why this is not the case on every booking website.

        PS: I love the “It’s impossible not to travel” in your about page!

        • 1 June, 2010 at 15:02

          I’m looking forward for your feedback on Zipser 🙂 And as I mentioned, your idea is a great one! Congratulations! And thank you for the appreciation on presentation. I truly believe that it is impossible not to travel 🙂


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