Magical hotel stays - 8 very easy ways to make hotel guests feel at home

This year I must have stayed at roughly 40 different hotels. And guess what, out of all these I only had two unsatisfactory experiences and these happened on my last two stays, each in four star hotels. I booked directly with the hotel. It is so easy to make guests feel at home. 
Magical hotel stays - 8 very easy ways to make hotel guests feel at home

I quickly explain what happened on that first occasion, where I had booked myself into a well-established and well known business hotel in a large city. I was put in a non-smoking room, at check-in I had explicitly asked for it. The guy at reception seemed somehow overwhelmed by the whole check-in process, and due to his clumsy demeanour he wasn’t able to make me feel welcome. On entering my room cigarette smoke (and not love) was all around me. On the second day I asked at reception how come my room smelled this off-putting. The same muddle-headed guy from check-in told me that this is impossible since I had been allocated a non-smoking room. In total I stayed for four days at this place. When I checked-out I mentioned they should do something about the cigarette smell. Another very friendly guy asked me why I was so surprised; I had been staying in a non-smoking room on a smoking floor. What was this all about? Needless to say I won’t stay there again.

And here is what happened on the second occasion. I stayed in a UNESCO heritage listed area; the hotel is very modern and trendy. I booked a room with a lovely view, lovely design, and lovely organic cosmetic products. The welcome at reception wasn’t lovely; it seemed that woman had an attitude problem. Never mind, I often experience that people who work in stylish places like this take themselves a bit too seriously. I went to my room and everything was as it should be.

After a few moments, my neighbour moaned loudly and constantly. How inconvenient to have to listen to their sex. When they finished the guy asked the other person “How was I?” Interesting entertainment. I felt like an extra in a B movie. I had been given a room with a connecting door and could hear every single word they were saying. Soon after the sex, I left for a party and on my way out I asked at reception why I was put in a room that made me feel like staying in a youth hostel on a group trip. The lady at reception was apologetic about the sex noises but couldn’t change anything, the hotel was fully booked. I went to my party and got back in the wee hours. All quiet in the adjoining room. I was fast asleep in my very comfy bed only to be woken up soon after.  6.30am, music playing happily.

Neighbours and their friends were talking about adventures from the previous evening. They also  were planning for the day ahead (I actually really liked their ideas). Later in the morning, I told reception again that I’m not happy with that connecting door situation, they granted a 50% discount on the room rate. I would stay there again, since it is such a lovely hotel, in a perfect location and I love that they handled the situation with compassion. This was the first time in all my travels that I received a discount. I felt terrible about the whole situation but accepted it.

These are certainly two drastic cases of mishaps, and as I said I hardly ever find myself in situations like these. And no, I didn’t leave bad reviews on TripAdvisor, I’m not a fan of anonymously humiliating people. It is so easy to make guests feel at home.

Magical hotel stays. Eight very easy ways to make hotel guests feel at home


1. You are never fully dressed without a smile

It is actually so very easy. If I get welcomed by an uninterested and arrogant member of staff I’m instantly feeling slightly miserable. If I get welcomed with a warm smile I can forgive a lot. I will never, not in a million years, understand how someone who works in hospitality can be grumpy with their customers. The first lesson for everybody should be to use a smile to change the world. Great for the hotels: A smile is free.

2. Cleanliness is one pillar of hospitality

Bedlinen, towels, bathroom, desk, and wardrobe have to be clean and smell fresh. Everybody has got a different sense of cleanliness. Keep the environment clean and every guest is happy. Great for hotels: They have to clean premises anyway, why not give it your best?

3. Password protected Wi-Fi that is included in the room price

It is a bit strange when people call it free Wi-Fi, in case there is Wi-Fi that is ready to use at a hotel. We paid a price for the room; a hotel most certainly wouldn’t give us anything for free. I’m not using Wi-Fi if it isn’t password-protected, I really prefer password-protected Wi-Fi networks (and even then we wouldn’t know whether it is safe to use). If there is Wi-Fi it should be fast and reliable, if not, hotels shouldn’t offer it as such. I can accept if there is no Wi-Fi at all, but I can't stand a slow connection. Great for hotels: They can charge a tiny bit more per room and advertise Wi-Fi as free. 

4. Electrical sockets

I consider the ones right under the bed unhelpful. Hotels should install a few sockets, where they are actually needed and easy to reach. Great for hotels: They have to install sockets anyway, so why not quickly think this through during building works.

5. A vacation is too short to wear crumpled-up clothes

I ironed my clothes lovingly at home, and on arrival I find them skilfully folded hence wrinkle free in my suitcase. I need hangers to keep them that way. If I find fixed hangers in the hotel’s wardrobe it tells me that the hotel believes me to be a thief. Autsch. I really don’t want to be fumbling inside a wardrobe to stow away dresses and blouses. I love to have plenty of ordinary sturdy hangers. Great for hotels: Bulk buying hangers sounds inexpensive to me.

6. No one wants to look like lion king on vacation

Powerful hairdryer – A poor hairdryer that is actually a hose installed at the wall and does not create more than a lame airflow, not good. It takes ages, it leaves your hair clammy and one looks like lion king for the whole day. Perfect is a powerful hairdryer with speed options. Great for Hotels: With a little bit of an extra investment they can really show they care about guests.

7. Eat breakfast like a Queen

All the little things put together with variety and foremost local specialities. Homemade jam, crusty bread, fluffy pancakes, freshly pressed juice, an espresso based drink (or two), fruit. Eat breakfast like a queen, perfect. Great for hotels: They can show how passionate they are about their hometown with showing everything the region has to offer.

8. A cup of tea makes everything better

I love to have a cup of tea before breakfast, and if I come back from a long day exploring I love to drink a cup of tea before I retire. Happiness is a hot cup of tea. Great for hotels: Guests will be relaxed and their last thought at night is how delicious the tea offering at this hotel is. Big smile.

From Berlin with love