03/22/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
The rise in online hotel booking has created a slew of consumers content on traveling whose emotions range between pensive and passionately proud of how convenient the service has become, particularly in the wake of finding the best deal possible as hotels begin to fight for your business.
As nice as it is to plan a trip by just clicking a few buttons and assuring yourself or your family a room with more than just a view, there still is some trepidation about booking something online that you really can't see firsthand, kind of like the same mentality of ordering clothes online without being able to try them on before you buy.
The hotel service, naturally, tries to combat these shortcomings with reviews and various third party web sites that have those same recommendations that are promised to be without provocation from someone with a vested interested in making sure you stay at their particular hotel.
For some travelers, they don't realize the hotel they choose isn't anywhere near perfection until they actually arrive to check in at the front desk and then the online pictures that swayed them in this direction seem more like movie magic than actuality.
Spotting a bad hotel isn't too difficult, as long as you're looking for the subtle spots that go beyond a perfectly made bed and a seemingly tidy shower.
1. Envelope on Toilet Paper: This is the definition of small but paramount. Have you ever been to a hotel where you notice the toilet paper end has a little envelope folded on the tip of the roll? That shows not only an attention to detail, but the idea that the hotel is concerned with making sure everything is in its place and shows that there set up goes beyond the norm.
2. Smell: OK, so this one may not seem so subtle, but you'd be surprised how your nose begins to fail you when you're in a hotel and that smell looming large suddenly becomes commonplace and not pungent enough after only a few minutes. You need to act on that initial smell when you walk through the front door, whether that is mold, mildew or just an easiness, taxing odor that permeates through the entire building and then stings the nostrils.
3. The hair factor: This mostly has to do with the shower, specifically taking one in your hotel room and feeling that sensation on your foot that feels about as uncomfortable as standing in the ocean and feeling a fish or a piece of seaweed caress your ankle. Unlike the beach, however, there's nothing redeeming about standing in a hotel shower and seeing or, worse yet, feeling a ball of hair touching your foot. That is a tell tale sign that housekeeping has failed miserably as paying attention to not only the little things but missing the big ones, too, particularly in hotel bathrooms that go for that all white, clean look but end up having the color come back to bite them when they can't manage to scrub it well enough.
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