We don’t very often get to stay in fancy hotels. Higher end places are often quite posh and offer a very comfortable stay, but generally we feel a bit out of place among the guests. We prefer to stay in places that are, while maybe a little further down the star-rating scale, more charming. Not dives, mind you – we’re well past our student days – but more boutique and less large-chain. Hotels with character.
And yet, through Hotwire.com, we’ve wound up booking a room at a high-end chain hotel for an upcoming overnight in Montreal.
Sadly, we both find it’s the higher-end hotels that tend to overcharge – not just for the room, but for every single service they offer. Free amenities are just not done.
I’m not referring to the minibar – that’s perfectly understandable and expected. Go out to the nearest S’Leven if you want reasonably priced soft drinks and peanuts.
But I can’t abide when a hotel charges for the two bottles of water on the nightstand. Providing that as a complimentary gift – something not uncommon among budget hotels – would go a long way towards cultivating a return clientele. Same goes for offering free local phone calls.
I realize that more and more people are downloading larger and larger video files – and really, what else is a business traveller going to do while sitting around a boring hotel room in the evening? The number of NetFlix subscribers with laptops and tablets must be playing havoc with hotel WiFi usage! So a small charge is perfectly understandable (even though most budget hotels manage to provide free in-room WiFi).
But $15 a night is just excessive! And yet, that’s what our hotel is asking.
Wow. We could get nearly a month of service for that amount from any provider in Canada. It just seems counter-intuitive when everyone from McDonald’s to Starbucks to FedEx is offering free WiFi – especially given the amount they’re charging for the room!
Guess we’re lucky we both have good data packages on our phone plans.