I’ve been hotel living for about a week now and the way the housing market here in Hawaii is, it looks like I’ll be here for a while.  I’m in the military and the waiting list for housing is around 3 to 6 months and trying to rent a house “on the economy” and off base requires (in most cases) a deposit of first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a pet deposit, a pinky finger and my first born child (which, after a week in a hotel room with the kids doesn’t sound like a bad idea right about now).  

Hotel room
Credit: Ken Muise

Here are the 10 Worst Things About Hotel Living

1.  Privacy

Yeah, I’m sharing a room with my wife, true.  We share all things, right?  But….DAMN!  There’s nowhere to go!  There’s only the bathroom and if I spend too much time in there she always gets suspicious of my activities.  To top it all off, if you don’t have a suite then you all you can really do is watch TV or play cribbage!  URGH…I need a man cave, quick!

2.  Fitness

I like to work out every day.  I’m not a gym rat.  I don’t “pick things up and put things down” for a living and I’m not obsessed with it.  We all know the positive impact a good workout can have, though.  Fitness rooms in hotels are basically there just so they can add it to the list as a “free amenity”.  There can be 300 people staying in a hotel and the “fitness room” consists of an elliptical, a treadmill, a bike and a cheap contraption that is always called a work station for a “total body” workout and resembles the push-cart contraption that they pushed Hanibal Lecter around in.

3.  Food

The restaurants/bars in hotels are over-priced and mostly “not great”.  The room service is WAY over-priced and mostly “not great”.  Okay, so you go to a local grocery store and buy ramen noodle, deli meats, bread and some microwave burritos.  Nutrition is out without breaking your budget.  Hey, hotels, how about a salad bar!

4.  Housekeeping

Okay, you’re living in a hotel, right?  Why is it that on the weekdays when you’re up and out the door early then housekeeping tends to come at around 11 a.m., but when you’re able to sleep in on the weekends they come knocking on the door at 8:30 a.m.  URGGHH!  I’ve learned to hate the knock-knock, followed by the meek “housekeeping” coming after it like I hate my alarm clock.  If I had addresses I would go to those ladies houses and do the same damn thing and see if they liked it!

5.  Prices

Sure, the “gift” and “necessity” shops in hotels are mainly just there for convenience.  I got it.  But, you would assume that hotels can figure out that if they had prices that were competitive with outside stores and shops then more hotel patrons would use them, they would make more money and everything would actually be more convenient.  But, no.  Instead, they have $25 beach towels and $7 paper plates.  And don’t even think about buying a bottle of wine or some beer.  You may as well start an in-room distillery.

6.  Smoking

Save your lecture.  Smoking is bad.  I know it.  You know it. That being said, I’m a smoker.  Having to take the elevator down 12 floors to find the designated, 1-square foot “smoking area” makes me want to throw a chair though my wind (which I can’t open) and stick my head out for a few quick puffs.  Oh, and don’t smoke in your room…that’s going to be a large charge.  However, sharing filtered air with 300 other people is “green”.

7.  Showers

Water pressure.  Water pressure.  Water pressure.  PLEASE, CAN I GET SOME WATER PRESSURE! The light drizzle of water that most hotel showers emit makes it so that it usually takes about 30 minutes for my entire body to get wet.  Then (OMG) trying to rinse the soap off can take most of the morning.  And let’s face it-those fancy, 3-mode shower heads don’t do anything but make you even more frustrated.  I usually spend 10 or so minutes trying out all three modes and trying to decide which one directs the water stream with the most force or cupping my hand over it and trying to devise some sort of water cannon.

8.  Parking

Oh, and for your convenience, there is always a hotel parking garage that hotels charge $30 per day and always come with signs that read, basically, “Park here.  We’ll charge you a lot to do so but we’re not responsible FOR ANYTHING”.   If you have or rent anything but a Fiat or Mini-Cooper, then you have to squeeze out the doors like a contortionist after you park and, of course, these small parking spots make it perfect for dinging doors and scraping sides.  GET RENTAL INSURANCE!

9.  Television/Movies

Oh, and also for your convenience and comfort, here’s the worst assortment of television in the world (all on different channels than you’re used to because you’re in a new area) and when you are bored out of your mind we’ll beckon you to rent a 3 month old movie for the discount price of $30. 

10.  Internet

I almost went into a rage three times while trying to post this article.  Hotel internet is like 1st Generation, dial-up modem speed with 300 people trying to use it.  It takes 45 minutes for even cached pages to load, if they do at all.  And, oh-for-the-sake-of-zeus, don’t try to stream music or a YouTube video.