Many of us have stayed at a hotel or motel at some time in our lives. Many business people spend the majority of their time in hotels. I have been a guest in many different hotels all over the world. They range from basic to luxurious. In the last couple of years, I have written several hotel neighborhood guides. Due to a pending divorce, I needed extra income. I worked for two seasons in two resort hotels in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. It really was an eye opener to be on the other side of the desk.
The biggest issue is check in times. The times the hotel displays are not arbitrary, they are there for a reason. If check out time is 11 am and check in time is 3 pm, that gives the housekeeping staff four hours to clean the rooms. There are many variables on how long it will take a housekeeper to make a room ready. This includes number of rooms to get serviced, how dirty they are, and the speed and skill of the housekeeper.
Many guests request a late check out. If the late check out is not granted, they linger in the room anyway until we have to chase them out. These variables change on a daily basis. Of course, you would not want to be in your room until it is perfect and that takes time. Just because you arrive early and request an early check in does not mean you will get it.
You will also not get into your room sooner if you camp out in the lobby and bully the desk staff. Some guests have even hovered around their room and stalked the housekeeper and report back to us that the room is ready. We cannot give you the keys until the head housekeeper inspects the room.
Complaints from the Other Side of the Desk
The customer is not always right. Whoever made that up should be flagellated. Some people use that cliché as a license to do and act any way they wish. The people that work on the other side of the desk have feelings. Verbal abuse is not a constructive way to get what you want. Neither is threatening to call the owners and complain to them. If we are able to accommodate a reasonable request, we are more than happy to do it. But sometimes the answer is still going to be no even if you are nice to us. We cannot change things that are out of our control, even if you ask us repeatedly. We simply cannot make more parking spaces, soundproof the walls or move you to another room just because you don’t like the one that you reserved.
One thing I see more than anything else is how some guests blame hotel staff for the inappropriate behavior of other guests. We are not the wardens of quiet and solitude. Sometimes people tend to forget they are in a public place. There are guests from different areas and they display different social norms than they do. If you want a quiet and peaceful vacation, then rent an isolated cabin in the woods. A family-oriented resort hotel at the Jersey Shore is going to be bustling with activity daily and therefore not a tranquil place.
Its Not Your Home
Your hotel room is not going to have all your personalized comforts of your home, because it is not your home. I am sorry to say there are people out there that are miserable no matter where they are, and they will always find something to complain about. It is not our fault if you think our rates are too high, if they are, then find something in your price range. Complaining to the desk staff about the high seasonal rates is not going to get you a discount.
The Other Side of the Desk
The people that work on the other side of the desk have lives when they leave work. Would you like your job to call you on your day off over a trivial matter that could wait? Of course not, and neither do hotel staff. I will not call my manager on her day off unless it is a genuine emergency. People that work in the hospitality industry deserve respect too. Remember that the next time you approach the desk. A pleasant hotel stay can be a reality if guest and hotel staff are friendly and congenial towards each other from reservation to check out.