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Thoughts reverent and irreverent from the road in Turkey

THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE

by in bloggingaboutturkey
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Dear Turkish hotelier,

As a result of my work I spend far too many nights sleeping in hotels and I can certainly vouch for the quality of many of the places that I stay in, even though they rarely fall into the five-star luxury bracket. On the other hand there’s still too much that can go wrong.

I’m still reeling from the sign on the mirror in a purportedly four-star hotel, which read: “Dear Guest, Please don’t wipe your shoes on the curtains.” But that was Bingöl. Here, though, are a few pieces of advice for hoteliers everywhere culled from my own experiences: 

  • It may be a pain to have to go upstairs with a guest but really we do like to take a look at the room before filling out the paperwork. Plus we often like to freshen up before addressing the vexed issue of our dead father’s foreign first name.
  • While we’re still at the check-in desk, please forget about demanding cash upfront. If you think I’m going to run away without paying just pretend that you’re full - so much better than making me feel like a criminal.
  • Best rooms? Not the ones facing straight onto the frantically busy main road where we’ll have to endure a cacophony of hooting cars, rattling rubbish trucks and mobile-phone conversations conducted at full volume. Some of us do actually like to sleep in our hotel rooms, you know.
  • Those pocket-sized lifts barely big enough to take two people without luggage? You know, the ones where you find yourself pressed up against the bellboy doing your utmost to avoid intimate eye or other bodily contact in a country where unrelated men and women still aren’t meant to sit beside each other in a bus. Long past time for them to go, surely.
  • Forget the sort of lighting that turns itself on and off according to someone else’s idea of how long it takes to do something. It’s hardly enjoyable, as you advance along a corridor, to have to backstep every few minutes to jog the lights back into action.  And no one wants to be sitting on the toilet waving their arms in the air in a desperate attempt to get the lights to come back on again. Maybe no one can see you, but you feel pretty stupid anyway.
  • Best place for the light switch? At shoulder-level by the door, please, rather than at ankle-level where no one would find it unless crawling around on all fours in the dark (yes, you, hotel in Bursa). Bedside lights? Not behind the pillows please where we won’t find them until we accidentally turn them on by leaning on them (yes, you, hotel in Çanakkale). 
  • Unless you’re anticipating a clientele entirely made up of pre-pubescent boys don’t go for Bob The Builder bedcovers, no matter how cheap the price at the market. And don’t pick cheapo pre-covered duvet and pillow covers and hope to disguise them with white sheets and pillowcases either – the naff patterns will show through and ruin the classy effect you were aiming for.
  • Duvets/doonas/quilts. Wonderful, aren’t they? So much easier for bedmaking. Yes, but not in the height of summer when the mercury soars above 40. Please can we have a sheet on the bed too. Otherwise we have to turn on the air-con at full blast and waste all that electricity.
  • That battered old armchair that you didn’t fancy in your sitting room? Believe me, I’m not going to fancy it in my bedroom either.
  • Don’t make a fetish out of your 1000-channel television wonderbox unless you can also tell me the number of the one channel that broadcasts in English. Life’s too short to perch on the edge of the bed clicking through 999 channels (900 of them porn) to find it.
  • Go easy on the gadgetry. We don’t want to have to ring reception just to find out how to turn on the television/lights/taps. Least of all do we want to have to ring reception in the middle of the night when we’ve taken a shower only to find that we can’t get the new-fangled hairdrier to work.
  • Perhaps some of your guests don’t smell the sweetest but that’s no reason to install one of those silly new machines that puffs scented air freshener into the room loudly and irregularly. Believe me, one day one of your guests will get such a shock that they’ll have a heart attack and die in the room, and that will result in a much worse stink, I can assure you.
  • Forget what the style magazines are saying. No one wants a toilet in their bedroom unless it’s completely enclosed by a wall and a door. Let me say that again. No one wants… What? You fancy watching your mother using the toilet? No? Then why do you think I want to watch mine?
  • Tiny sinks barely big enough to wash a hand in. Worse still, tiny sinks barely big enough to wash a hand in paired with solitary cold taps positioned so high on the wall that the water bounces off the porcelain and soaks you. Come on, folks, it’s the 21st century now.
  • A Jacuzzi is not a decorative item. If there’s no hot water, don’t bother installing one – it just makes us cross.
  • Ditto, a fridge. If it doesn’t contain so much as a bottle of cold water then why would we want it turning itself noisily on and off all night? It’s annoying, plus it wastes electricity, which costs money by the way.
  • How much do you really think can be saved by dispensing with those mini blocks of soap and little bottles of shampoo that everyone used to steal in favour of wall-mounted foam dispensers? No! No! No! We want our soap and we want it now.
  • Please bear in mind that some people are allergic to morning. We don’t appreciate MTV pumping out at full volume over the breakfast table. Even less do we appreciate the news on the television competing noisily with the Turkish take on heavy metal on the radio. Classical music? Better just so long as it’s of the soothing rather than the Schoenburg variety.
  • Coffee-free breakfast buffets? Ten years ago we all needed to be grateful for stewed tea but in an age when Nescafe 3-in1 comes in a veritable smorgasbord of flavours, coffee shouldn’t be something we have to beg for. Nor should a waiter be hovering over the jar of supermarket own-label instant coffee granules ready to snatch it back behind the counter the second we’ve spooned a much-begrudged teaspoonful into our oh-so-mini cup.
  • Finally, a plea on behalf of single travellers. Yes, I know we may be very sad but that doesn’t mean we like to sleep in the ultra-slimline beds you keep in reserve for us. Some of us have been spreading ourselves out in double beds since the day we left home. Indeed, our solitary status may even mean that we’re used to more space than average, which means that we won’t be able to sleep in a narrow bed pressed up against the wall with no space for a bedside table beside it.

 Thank you for your attention. I look forward to staying with you in the future, Pat

Tagged in: Turkey Turkish hotels

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