What makes a hotel fab? Why would you want to go back? Would you recommend it to your best friend?
The more hotels I stay at, the pickier I get, so I decided to start a new series called “My hOtel”, where I actually show you what it is really like to stay in each property. Details matter, and often – especially when we are talking about luxury hotels, which is the focus of this blog – it is the small things that make you want to go back for more.
I have done some research before writing this first “My hOtel” post – and would like to thank all my lovely Facebook and Twitter followers who took the time and effort to share with me what they thought about luxury hotels – what do they like? What do they need? What do they expect? And most importantly, what really annoys them.
We are paying good money to stay away in these homes away from home. Sometimes it is a special occasion, sometimes it is simply a business trip – but if we chose hotel A instead of hotel B, that happened for a reason.
I personally find it outrageous that luxury hotels charge for wi-fi – and usually more than I pay for a whole month of superfast broadband at home. I also feel very strongly about being charged €5 for a bottle of water – when I am paying €200, €400 or more per night to stay. I would much rather it is added to the cost of the room and psychologically, it is “included”. What do you think about this?
I personally don’t care much for coffee/tea facilities – but my initial research demonstrated that most people do. This has been a learning journey and once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to help out and join in the conversation.
I won’t be reviewing past hotels – it wouldn’t be fair on them. There are too many details and I am only human and honestly cannot remember if every shower was Hansgrohe. My point here is not to be over critical or mean – on the contrary. I am fortunate enough to stay in incredible places, and those who follow this blog do so as well – so why not share incredible experiences? The purpose of mrsoaroundtheworld.com is to inspire people to travel as much as they can and need.
So, without further ado, here are the points that Mrs. O shall be looking at when on her next luxury stay:
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
– The wow factor – sometimes these words come out of my mouth when I enter a hotel! What was the hotel décor style?
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know J
– Wifi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
– Welcome amenity
– The bed – this is very important. There have been hotels whose beds I never wanted to leave. Bed linen – did I want some of it at home?
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
– Iphone Charger/Dock – seen more and more often and absolutely necessary
– Bathrobes and slippers – something I rarely use, but most of you really value it, so I shall take a closer look
– Coffee and Tea – which I never use, but shall see if a Nespresso moment can be had.. and what alternatives for tea lovers
– Free bottled water
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
– Décor of breakfast room – there are some beauties out there
– The spread (inc yumminess)
– Cost (I have seen a hotel charging €75 for breakfast – a tad much, maybe?)
– The wow factor – obviously!
– Cocktail yumminess
Beach and non-city properties
– Sun loungers – the good, the bad and the ugly. And the not included in the price of the room ones (excluding Cabanas, obviously)
– Towels – I am “slightly” obsessed with towel quality and they deserve their own bullet point
– Food and drink selection
– Child-free or quiet pool/beach areas – have seen this more and more and think it is a really good idea. We are all there for different reasons – I like to sleep and read, not to hear about other people’s life stories or screaming children. (Once I have children, I shall move to the other side!)
– How good and reliable was the wifi?
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
– Cost – rooms starting from…
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
– Would I stay again?
And last but not the least… my 3 favourite things about the hotel!
So there you are, with each hotel I visit, coupled with great photos, you will know what to expect if you decide to book a stay there. As always, I will always disclose if I am being a guest of the hotel or not – it shall not cloud my judgement in any way.
And incredible hotels will get something special.. the Mrs. O seal of approval. Oh and a Triptease review!
My question to you: what have I missed? Do let me know by commenting below, and I shall add them to the list!