13 ways to turn off a motel/hotel guest
I’ve been on the go since we sold this newspaper and have stayed in a wide variety of hotels and motels ranging from very good to the proverbial “el dumpo.”
In my travels, I’ve learned that, usually, the more you pay for a room the better the accommodations. But not always. Friends of ours were staying in one of the better New York City hotels a few months ago when they had to flee their room before dawn after a swarm of bedbugs invaded their bed.
Dirty rooms also plague the traveler. An Arizona television station recently assigned a reporter to test the cleanliness of water glasses in several local hotel rooms. Even expensive, well-known hotels flunked the test.
Investigators learned that in many cases the glasses were merely rinsed out. Hotel maids also were caught by hidden cameras cleaning the glasses and sink areas with the same towel or sponge they had used on the toilet or shower floors.
One night in Bishop, Calif., I stayed in a motel run by a respected national chain. The toilet didn’t work, half the light bulbs were burned out, the sheets were so filthy I slept in my clothes and the carpet was so vile I cannot describe it in a family newspaper.
As room rates steadily rise, it appears to me that in many cases the levels of service, cleanliness and upkeep are declining. Here are some helpful hints I am directing to hotel and motel owners and managers if they wish to keep myself and other travelers from knocking at their doors.
Install dark-colored bedspreads and carpets in your rooms. This will result in hiding dirt, stains and other unmentionable horrors from the unsuspecting lodger.
Don’t bother having maids wash out with soap the drinking glasses and coffee pots. Just wipe them off with the same filthy towel used to clean the toilet seats.
There’s no need to change sheets and pillowcases on a daily basis. Just turn them inside out or reverse them. The guests will never know.
Instruct the maids to set the bedside clocks at 4 a.m., and then set the “on” switch. And when you purchase alarm clocks, make sure they come with a dozen tiny buttons that your guests find impossible to understand.
Ensure that many of the light bulbs in the rooms are burned out. As for the bulbs that do work, install only 40-watt bulbs (or less) so your guests have trouble reading.
In the bathroom, install the towel racks low enough so the bottoms of the towels touch the toilet or floor. Buy the tiniest soap possible for the shower. And make sure the wattage of the light bulbs over the sink is low so I can barely see my face when shaving.
Tell the maids that there should be only two or three tissues in the tissue dispenser.
Be sure that there are only two or three bent-out-of-shape wire hangers in the clothes closet. If you offer wooden hangers, be certain that your guests cannot take them off the hook.
Be sure to have dead batteries in the TV remote switch. And tell the maids to smear food on the remote and telephones.
If the rooms smell bad when guests depart, spray the foulest smelling disinfectants you can find throughout the rooms. Then close the doors fast so the odor lingers for the next guests.
Encourage departing guests and delivery people to run their car and truck engines for long periods in the morning hours so carbon monoxide fumes will seep through motel room doors and windows. (This happened to me at a motel in Yerington. I was sick for at least an hour.)
Never serve fresh fruit or non-fattening foods at your breakfast buffets. Offer only doughnuts, cold and mushy rolls wrapped in plastic and sweet rolls.
When you register newly arrived guests and when they depart the next day, under no circumstances smile, introduce yourself, ask them if they had a nice day and inquire if you can be of further service.
Well … there you are. It’s no coincidence that my suggestions for running a lousy motel or hotel reached the magical number 13. I’m sure I missed some suggestions.
Oh, yes, here’s one: Tell your housekeeping help to put cards on guestroom beds saying, “Hello, my name is ____________. I hope you had a nice stay.” And tell the maids to draw a smiley face on the cards as well.like me, will never forget those TV images on TV of tank 843 crashing through the palace gates in Saigon to end the bloody Vietnam War.
David C. Henley is Publisher Emeritus of the LVN and is on vacation Here is one of David’s memorable columns from the past.