What’s the first thing you look for when you book a hotel room? Some count on free Wifi. (Uh, travel bloggers?) Fitness freaks among us have to have their gym. Then there are those pampered folks who can’t live without a decent spa. What’s your hotel must-have and why?
Timothy Wilson Hoey commented:
Well, I’d hope the first thing I’d see after a long road trip is a bed, and a shower with hot water. Yup, just a simple place to rest your head. All that other stuff’s just kinda fancy, besides you spend to much time in the hotel you might miss out on something in the town.
I think a hot tub is a must. My adventures usually involve some physical activity, so its a much needed part of the evening’s relaxation routine. Of course, a luxurious, pillow top mattress is another. If I’m paying a decent fee to stay away from home, I need to rest comfortably!
Is there any free food?
I know. Ridiculous. Logic as follows.
I will spend for a five star hotel. I will pay to use your spa. I will pay to use your gym, use your towel, even park my car. I may even buy a lovely little something in your gift shop. I will plan to stay in house to use your dining room and most certainly over pay for all that wine, mostly because I’m just so darned happy that someone is feeding me and I’m able to slide upstairs to my room after this lovely meal.
I will certainly return home and espouse your wonders to friends and family and encourage them to go.
Do not, however, charge me for snacks. Most of the time, I’m travelling with my children, and 5 dollars for a mid day milk and banana makes me crazy. Take it one step further and include breakfast, or, gasp, wine and cheese and you have my heart forever.
If you have crisp, pure white, pristine sheets with a big fluffy duvet, I’m yours. No bed covers or quilts with patterns or blankets please.
And if it’s winter and there’s a fireplace in the room beside that pristine white duvet, I may never check-out.
Lara Kroeker commented:
The first thing I look at is the shampoo and soaps and I have a bit of a weird story as to why.
When I was a child we travelled a lot and my dad collected all the little shampoos in hotel room bathrooms. I think he figured that if he collected enough we would never have to buy it again from a store. The first thing my dad did when he got to a hotel room was look in the bathroom and the first thing he did when he woke up was stick his head out the door looking for the cleaning personnel so that he could ask for extra shampoo. He would often wake us up when he got back with a extra little bottles and excitement in his voice saying “look girls, I scored!”. Our bathroom at home was filled with loads of little shampoo bottles.
When I first started dating my boyfriend, who I now have a 13 year old with, my parents brought us to Victoria where we stayed at a hotel. When we got in the car to leave the next day my boyfriend whispered in my ear that he had the most bizarre experience with my dad. He said they were passing the hotel maintenance locker together and it was left open. No staff was around. My dad got so excited and scooped a handful of the shampoo and then asked that he do the same thing and that taking shampoo was not stealing since it was already free. He did this and for the rest of the trip my dad and boyfriend were good buddies. It was a kind of test that my dad was giving to my boyfriend and I think he passed with flying colours.
To this day I also check the bathroom, as my dad did, to see what kind of shampoo is sitting there and although I do not collect them as he did I do take note when the cleaning lady passes.
Wifi is important but I’ll book a room if they don’t have it. With kids, it’s gotta have a pool or at least a hot tub.
Catherine Ford commented:
Here’s my hotel must-have, but don’t tell anyone else, ’cause it’s a secret: the soap. (And the shampoo, conditioner and body lotion, but it’s the soap that brings me back.) I know, I know, you spend a couple of hundred dollars a night in a hotel and think you’re getting a bargain if the soap that’s provided is a hefty bar for the bath and a slightly smaller one for the sink. Naturally, they go immediately into my suitcase, where I stash the daily ration and there’d better be a daily replenishment of soap. Why is this a compulsion of mine? I have no idea. It’s not like I can’t afford to buy soap. But ever since I did a lot of travelling on business, and started collecting soaps from hotels around the world, I have continued to do so. I was furious when my brother-in-law’s dog ate a bar of exquisite French-milled bath soap from a snooty British castle. Luckily, I had squirreled away a spare. And if you visit my guest bathroom in the house, you’ll find the remnants of my travels piled in a glass bowl. Now that I’m no longer a regular traveller to exotic locales, my “collection” is stagnant. Still, I haven’t actually bought a bar of hand soap for at least 20 years.
I’m a pretty low-frills type of traveler, but I usually travel alone so safety is an important issue for me. I usually check hotel reviews on sites like TripAdvisor (which I know have flaws, so I take them with a grain of salt), and do some other online research to see if the hotel is in a safe area and would be good for a solo traveler. Aside from that as long as the room is affordable, clean and comfortable then I’m good. Wifi is always a bonus too.