When I look through hotel reviews, I usually find myself sighing, shaking my head in disbelief reading the hilarious complaints some people have. Still, travelling a lot, I could be a professional hotel complainer myself… I’ve seen my share of dust, dirt and decay, have suffered through terrible nights and disparagingly disinterested service.

In the words of a famous TV motoring show: How hard can it be?

So, here’s my (not so) short list of stuff I want from a hotel. – Note: this is totally personal, fitted to my individual needs. Your mileage may vary.

Basic Tier

(applies to all kinds of hotels/motels)

  • cleanliness
  • well-trained, courteous staff
  • a good night’s sleep (decent furnishings, a good mattress and pillows, little noise)
  • a warm blanket or duvet, two pillows per person
  • air-conditioning / heating
  • (free) parking
  • free (!) and reliable WiFi
  • a bathroom (see -> cleanliness) with a shower, at least one large and one smaller towel per person
  • non-smoking rooms and floors
  • pen and paper

Medium Tier

  • coffee & tea making facilities
  • a bathtub (preferably not as shallow as US bathtubs)
  • some kind of shower gel/shampoo (I carry my own, but a fail-safe option is nice) – but please something gender-neutral and with a neutral scent (hello allergies)
  • breakfast – included, or at a reasonable price and quite early, with a suitable choice of foods
  • flat-screen TV with a decent choice of cable / satellite channels. Should have at least BBC coverage.
  • have someone who speaks and understands at least  a certain amount of English
  • a small fridge in the room (NOT a mini bar)
  • a real chair and desk
  • glasses (not plastic) and a bottle opener
  • a reading light at the bed, dazzle-free
  • electrical outlets / sockets near bed (more than one)
  • a coat rack and a closet
  • a safe with enough space for a 13-inch-laptop and some other stuff, free of charge
  • laundry room (washer /dryer) on the premises
  • a bar
  • location: central, but not noisy, or in a nice spot near local attractions
  • in a city: public transport nearby

Advanced Tier

  • a pool, indoor if in a cool area, a hot tub
  • a sun deck, preferably a patio or balcony with deck chairs, or some outdoor space to use (courtyard, garden) without having to buy a drink
  • a lounge or library, indoors, a space I can use for recreational purposes, reading, work, again: without having to buy a drink
  • a café / coffee shop
  • real (masonry) walls, or some kind of acoustic insulation
  • toilet separate from bathroom
  • a bottle of drinking water per day and person, free of charge
  • a safe for a medium-size laptop, plus a socket for charging a device while inside the safe
  • insurance for what’s in the safe
  • a room with a view (other than the adjacent building)
  • a room with a balcony / terrace
  • a real restaurant (not fast or reheated food)
  • adapters on loan, free of charge
  • room service

The Sugar Coating

(a.k.a. a luxury stay, resort hotel)

  • a spa
  • huge breakfast buffet
  • bike rentals
  • concierge service
  • room service 24/7
  • local events