I am really scared. The fear of becoming a tight ass as I prosper in life. You may wonder why I have this fear. Working in 5 star hotels has given me this phobia. Now, I am not saying that everyone that stays in a luxury property is a complete moron, but is does appear that a high number of people that stay at/visit these places are just not computing very well up there.
Don’t take my word for it … let me give you some facts. With the increasing number of luxury hotels in the world, many have had to succumb to the competition and lower their prices and allow people of “lower standards” into the properties to fill up. The Booking.com, Expedia.com, Trivago,com, and of the sort have made these hotels very accessible. It wasn’t too long ago when 5 star properties were not affordable to “normal” income generating people, but now that has changed. We have already seen the shift with the air industry with companies like Ryanair and EasyJet. I think it is amazing that everyone now has the chance to travel and stay in more prominent properties, but then again …. these properties shouldn’t allow everyone.
There are few things in the industry which are standarised all over the world. One of them being blocking a certain amount of money on your card to guarantee payment. I have worked in various hotels in the course of my life. I started in the 3 star market, moving upwards to a 4 star and eventually in 5 star properties. Credit card blocking, or pre-authorisation, in both 4 and 5 star market is common practice all over the UK. This is not only to protect the hotel in case of walk-outs, but also in case you need to charge a guest for damages/theft after they have checked out. I don’t recall a day in my hotel life where you get at least 1 guest refusing and/or inquiring why we need to take their credit card. This is of course followed by the comment “I travel all over the world and this is the first time a hotel does this”. Hmmmm-bullshit! Maybe they have stayed in hostels or done sofa couching, because hotels of a certain level will ALWAYS take your credit card. Whilst they may ask you for it or just do it behind the scenes ….. it will be done.
Some properties are more generous than others. Some will leave complimentary water, other some chocolates, or some form of amenity. Usually, these are replenished once a day, or in some instances depending on how long you are staying, every so often. I find it “funny” when a guest calls a few times a day to get complimentary things and become extremely demanding. Now, these guests are extremely rude when asking for complimentary items and forget that it is gesture of the hotel to provide these. Don’t get me wrong, if the department forgets to put it in, I completely understand, but we are not mind readers. If you asked 5 times for complimentary water throughout the day because you are constantly drinking them, the hotel should have the right to tell you to fuck off and that they only provide 2 bottles per room per day. Of course, that will never happen and the staff member will gladly provide you with more amenities, but there is no need to be a twat about it.
Another item that is disputed quite a bit is car parking. Some hotels will offer free parking, but a lot of city hotels won’t. This is a basic concept of supply and demand. Parking in a big city is a “luxury”, so do not assume that a 5 star property will give it for free. Specially in areas where parking is either restricted or not available. Car parking disputes usually happens with non-residents, in other words, people that are not actually staying in the hotel. These “guests” usually come to a function or to consume in one the restaurants/bars. Their “excuse” for not wanting to pay the parking is because they spent “a lot” of money in the restaurant and they feel that we should not charge them. Or my favourite one, no one told me that you charge for the car park when it is CLEARLY stated on the ticket you were given upon leaving your car. Then the argument begins! It is pretty simple, you were provided with a service so guess what, you will be charged. You don’t want to pay .. no problem, you don’t get your car and you will be charged for every day it stays with us.
So, the next time you stay at a hotel, think a little bit before complaining. Hotels are also a business and are there to make profit. Yes, they have to take care of their guests in order to have them return, but don’t forget that they reserve the right of admittance. Hotels should exercise this right more, but I think they don’t do it as that would eliminate so many people. Feedback is always welcomed, like in any type of business, as long as it is constructive and not just have a rant about why you are not getting more free stuff. Do you give your clients tons of free stuff? I don’t think so. Rewarding loyalty is welcomed, rewarding moaners isn’t.