>  Accommodation   >  Hotel Happy

Last time I wrote, a few weeks back, I explained why myself and the hostels of the world have had something of a parting over the last couple of years as I’ve gotten more into using cheaper hotels instead, largely for the comfort offered by much the same price, not to mention the relative safety of leaving belongings on my bed compared with hostelling.


In the interests of fairness though, it seems rude not to mention what I’ve noticed about these ‘cheaper hotels’ that can also be something of a pain, if not completely irritating. There’s no cool ‘3 P’s’ breakdown like last time, more just random points…


Space Portal Bathrooms

A toilet trip like no other...

A toilet trip like no other…

In so many modern, recently-built hotels these days, the owners or management or whoever have elected to install everything quite cheaply and quickly in a prefabricated sort of construction method. Which would be fine, but some couldn’t be more obvious if they tried and leave you feeling that you might step out into 2065 next time you open the door. Particularly when it comes to bathrooms I notice, many have the dimensions and feel of a time travel machine, with a toilet and shower cubicle thrown in for good measure. A very much suitable illustration of this phenomenon is in the nearest picture, where it can be noted the whole thing is arranged in a very futuristic semi-circle cubicle with a mirror that I was fairly sure was going to show me a progress bar and the year we were heading for when I stepped into the shower. It even conveniently came with a grab handle under what looks like the sink in case the journey got bumpy as we entered the next dimension.


This was once white, you can be sure...

This was once white, you can be sure…

Structural Integrity Questions

Quite frequently, I find that certain cheaper hotels are so decrepit and old-looking, that while they may be reasonable to stay in, you can’t help wondering all evening if the building will actually last the night. I remember staying in a place down in Co. Clare years ago where the cracks on the roof (in my room) literally ran across everywhere you wouldn’t like to see a crack appear – down through electricity sockets, right across the main light, before splintering off towards the window. Similarly, anything where the white of a building has actually managed to become black would also suggest poor maintenance, at the very least. I was in a hotel some years back in Asia where I had plugged in my phone in the socket to charge overnight. When I went to pull it out the next morning, the whole plug fitting came with it and I had to very delicately try and re-attach it to the wall. Or the other time I tried to hang a pair a t-shirt on a light that sort of protruded from the wall – and when I did, the light just came off into my hand. I’m sure everyone actually can think of something like this if they try hard enough.


Overpowering Stale Warmth (in conjunction with Antiquated Design)



This one particularly seems to affect hotels in Ireland for whatever reason, but nothing irritates me more than the extreme warmth of bedrooms that you encounter from time to time. Having stayed in plenty of places in Asia, I know it’s not necessary for hotel rooms to be pumped up to the level they’re frequently at in Ireland (and the UK). I stayed in a hotel in the South of Ireland only recently (summer), and woke up at about 3am in the floods of sweat wondering was the building on fire. The answer was, no it wasn’t, for some reason the radiators were turned on, as was the heating and the place was about as warm as midday on the Equatorial line. Interestingly, this one seems to also occur with an alarming degree of regularity wherever you find design that belongs in the 1980’s or even 70’s. I’m not sure if owners of such premises hope that by turning the heating right up, that guests may perhaps fall asleep a bit quicker and not notice the design, or what the logic is, but there’s definitely a strong correlation.


So that’s it – what other things do you notice in hotels that annoy you? Have I missed something?

Reformed backpacker & former ultra-cheap traveller, Andy now atones for his past by overspending on premium travel experiences and failing at making the most of the miles & points game. Former expat now returned to Ireland, he is a product manager by day, and travel aficionado by evening and weekend.