10 things I wish all hotels had

I love staying in hotels. Everything from the scent of fresh flowers in reception to crisp white sheets and freshly baked croissants at breakfast makes me tingly with excitement.

I love miniature toiletries, bath robes that are way too big, ordering room service and waking up to an unfamiliar view. It doesn’t even need to be a 5* hotel to make me happy. Somewhere with a unique charm and character will get a big thumbs up from me.

There are a few things I don’t like about hotels. Rooms that are bland and boring are my biggest pet hate but here are a few more things I hate about hotels and 10 things I wish all hotels had.

Friendly and speedy reception staff

No matter how excited you are for your holiday, a lot of the time you arrive at your hotel feeling grumpy, well I am anyway. I’m irritable after a long journey, tired, hungry, I’m probably desperate to pee and just want to get out of my plane clothes and into the shower.

I love being met at a hotel with a friendly smile and a chilled flannel. I appreciate a speedy yet friendly check-in service and ultimately want to get to my room as quickly as I can. I don’t want a tour. I don’t want someone to show me how to use a blind. I just want to relax.

Complimentary Water

Come on, just one bottle of complimentary water. And please put it in the fridge. Why is the free water always left out so it’s warm and horrible?

This especially applies in countries where you can’t drink the tap water. There’s nothing worse than waking up at 4am (usually hungover) and feeling so thirsty you just have to open that £5 bottle of water.

Hot water

I’m amazed by how many supposedly high-end hotels don’t have hot water. I’m not being a diva here but there’s nothing worse than washing your mane with cold water!

View from Lake Vyrnwy Hotel

A room with a view at Lake Vrynwy in Wales

Plug sockets in the right places

By ‘the right places’ I mean next to the bed and next to the mirror. I know all the sleep experts say you shouldn’t sleep with your phone next to your bed but, let’s be honest, we all do it and we all use our phones as an alarm clock so want it to be at hand to hit snooze in the morning.

It’s also frustrating when hotel rooms don’t have plugs near mirrors for when you’re blow-drying, straightening and curling hair. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve attempted to curl my hair using my reflecting in a window or TV.


Speaking of hairdryers, I really wish all hotels had hairdryers in the rooms. I’m not talking about those crappy ones they sometimes have on the walls that take over an hour to dry your hair!

A suitcase stand

It’s great when hotels have loads of storage but who really unpacks their suitcase and folds their underwear away into draws? It’s much better when a hotel has a stand for your case so you can rest it somewhere other than the floor.

Travel Bloggers at Cannizaro house

A private balcony overlooking a park always helps such as at Cannizaro House


It’s the 21st century. People need WiFi. Don’t give us that talk about ‘wanting people to switch off’ because we won’t buy it.

Tea and coffee

I think it’s the Brit in me that gets outraged when I can’t make myself a cup of tea in my hotel room. No, I don’t want to pay £6 for a ludicrously large pot of tea, I just want a quick cuppa.

Simple light switches

At first, the thought of a hotel room with loads of gadgets sounds great. But when it’s 2am and you’re exhausted and want to go to sleep but can’t for the life of your figure out how to switch the lights off it’s not so great.

I’ve often resorted to taking the key card out of the slot just to get the lamps to go off!

Waking up at Jungle Bay Dominica.

Waking up in a tree house at Jungle Bay in Dominica isn’t bad either. 

Healthy snacks in the mini-bar

It can be tough eating healthily while you travel, especially when you’re sharing a room with a fridge stocked with naughty treats. I’d love it if my mini bar had some fruit in it rather than Mars bars and Snickers.

Admittedly, I’d probably eat the Mars too but it wouldn’t feel so bad if I washed it down with an apple.

Is there anything you wish all hotels had?


Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!

SHOWHIDE Comments (34)
  1. I’m so there! I stayed at a hotel this week without free Wi-Fi and no 3G which is just a nightmare (especially since it was slap bang in the centre of London, not in the sticks – you’d expect at least some signal!).

  2. Totally agree with your list. I’d say my pet hates are non welcoming reception staff, lack of free Wi-Fi especially if 3G doesn’t work either. I’d also add enough hanging space, something always needs hanging. Plus a full length mirror so I can see what I look like before I leave the room.

  3. Yes, to all of this!

    Not just plug sockets in the right place, but also more of them, so many hotels only provide like one spare plug socket. A nightmare when there is more than one of you traveling!

    I love that most American motels have microwaves and a proper sized fridge in them too. This is a godsend, if like me, you’re a fan of the doggy bag. Perfect for reheating last night’s dinner for breakfast!


  4. Bottled water is a good one! And free wifi – how is that not complimentary everywhere now?! I was recently at a very nice hotel that did not have an iron in the room! I had to call and ask for one…I thought that was crazy!

  5. I can’t believe some hotels don’t have hot water (unless you’re in an extremely hot place, then you might not want it!) The not having free wifi still blows me away. For New Years 2 years ago I stayed at a really nice hotel in downtown Atlanta, and they wanted me to pay $15 a night for wifi! Um no, I’ll just use my 4G…

  6. I’m definitely with you on the tea making facilities. What is it with hotels only giving you four of those pathetic little milks though? If there’s two of you that’s only two cups of strong tea. What are you supposed to do with all the other tea bags and coffee sachets? I had to ask for more milk at a hotel in Bristol. They asked how many, I said “8 please!” Went back to the room with my hands full. lol.
    Rachel x

  7. Totally agree with all these points, especially the plug sockets bit. The hotels i’ve stayed in recently had 1 plug near the bed so me and Justin had to fight over it! I would also add a full length mirror somewhere you can easily look in i.e I don’t want to have to jump of the bed to see what’t happening on my legs.

    ps love my guest appearance 😉

    1. I always think that too. When you’re paying £100+ for a hotel room you’d think they’d have all the basics. It’s not like I’m asking for champagne on ice (although that would be nice!)

  8. Oh my god power sockets, seriously! The amount of times I’ve had to turn a room upside down, wriggle under a bed or flat out move furniture around, just to reach the suckers! It really should be easier!

  9. Great list- agree with the point about light switches. I recently stayed at a new Hilton Hotel and it was bizzare they had weird lights everywhere, probably had to flick 5 switches in different locations for darkness.

  10. I’m a big fan of hostels rather than hotels. They’re so much cheaper, and have a better community. If I’m traveling with a friend and we want some privacy, we’ll splurge for a private hostel room. Some private rooms in hostels are nicer than hotels I’ve stayed in! And if it’s crappy… well at least you only paid $10 for the night. It’s crazy how wifi is now a necessity at most hostels but hotels haven’t caught on. The nicer the hotel, the more they charge for everything! I stayed at a Marriott that charged by the hour for internet access. Really?!

  11. Enough sockets in convenient places = YES!! WiFi is a must and bottled water is always appreciated (as is a friendly staff). My biggest pet peeve (which is most definitely a first world problem, but a pet peeve nonetheless) are showers. I hate when I spend a fortune on a hotel and my shower at home is nicer :/

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