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Tuesday 28 November 2023

How hotels could cut their costs - and prices - right now

I recently stayed in a hotel with an in-room trouser press.

A trouser press.

In all the years I have stayed in hotels I cannot recall ever having used a trouser press.

The same with in-room alarm clocks.

So many times have I been woken at 4am by these infernal gadgets that I now unplug them when I enter a room, giving me an extra power socket I can use.

So why do hotels persist in giving guests facilities they no not want, and do not need?

Many hotels could save costs, and reduce prices to customers, if they gave them only what they want in a room. Which in my case is a bed, a shower that works, a toilet, decent light, a chair, a desk, accessible power/USB points and fast, free wifi.

That's it. I rarely use the kettle and the free tea and coffee, as I am uncertain how often the unit has been cleaned. Others may feel differently.

Nearly every hotel room has a solid landline phone. But who uses them nowadays, particularly as they are often designed so you need to dial 1 # 101 to get a line, or 1 # 2345 to talk to room service?

Nearly everyone who travels nowadays has their own mobile/cell phone, which includes an alarm function that is easy to use.

But still 95% of rooms have those big old clunky pieces of uselessness - which need to be cleaned daily and for which the hotel often charges you an arm and a leg to use.

Likewise, who needs pay-per-view TV options? If you travel you can almost certainly stream from your own device rather than paying $9.99 for a dodgy porn film that will earn yuo a wry smile when you check out..

There are others; fax machines in business centres, for instance. When did you last use a fax machine?

How about individual sewing kits? Ever used one?

And don't get me started on "resort charges" imposed when you are checking in at 11pm and out at 6am and the facilities you are being charged for - like swimming pools - are not available.

There is also the question of minibars with $10 mini bottles of gin, $6 packets of potato crisps and $8 beers. These need to be checked, and re-stocked every single day, which is why their contents are so expensive.

Put a vending machine somewhere people, have a few packets of food behind the reception desk, or just give your guests empty fridges they can stock themselves.

In room stationery? Bin it. Ear plugs? Only if a hotel is particularly noisy. All those extra cushions? no thanks. 

Come on hotels. Listen to your customers. You could save money and so could we.

Image: Kristina Borzova,

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