3 Dumb Ways Hotels Try to Save Money

1. Irons

May I present to you, dear readers, a picture.

Cheap iron

Cheap iron

Ah yes, the humble Voyager iron.  This particular one was pretty well worn.  You’ll also notice that there is a shirt on the ironing board with water all over it.  It’s a good observation and turns out that there is in fact water on my shirt that I’m trying to iron.  It wasn’t always that way though.  When I originally placed my shirt on said ironing board it was free of standing water, free to pursue a life of fulfillment in the manner of its choosing.  Which brings us back to the humble Voyager iron.

As you might’ve guessed by now the iron has a steam function that broke and I pretty much ironed water all over my shirt.  It wouldn’t have been THAT big of a deal except it was my last clean dress shirt and I was running a bit late for a meeting.  I did the whole Hair Dryer Steam Clean Shower Water Waster protocol and got the shirt dry enough to wear and everything was fine.  Here’s the thing though: why such a crappy iron in the first place?  It’s not like I’m at a piece of junk hotel here, it’s the Hilton Midtown in New York City!

Irons are not that expensive, but I guess the hotels just replace them when someone complains and won’t worry about them otherwise.  That’s dumb.  Replace your irons regularly, especially if you’re a higher-end property like one of Hilton’s flagship hotels.

2. Towels

Um...a towel

Um…a towel

I understand why towels are a little tougher for hotels, as a towel can only be washed so many times before the quality starts degrading a bit.  That said, customers appreciate big and soft towels.  A relatively small investment in each towel would make a dramatic difference in the customer experience.  This is especially true with higher-end hotels.  The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, for example, had enormous plush towels that were just amazing.  This one is tougher for hotels so I’ll give some grace here, but at least buy bigger towels even if they’re not the softest!

3. Toilet Paper

#2ply #weareworthanotherply

Ok, those hashtags may never catch on but this is what bugs me the most.

TP

TP

I know a bit about hotel margins but getting better quality toilet paper would be a relatively cheap investment.  I’m not even asking for Purple Label Cottenelle, which is like wiping with a pillow softened by the tears of your enemies, just something that’s better than terrible!  Again, higher-end properties have absolutely no excuse.  Maybe that could even be a brand differentiator for a company like Hilton.  Anything Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria, or Curio could have 2-ply and everywhere else could get the typical half-ply nonsense.

Customers recognize when hotels skimp on these three items

There’s a blue lounge chair in my room that looks pretty nice and I’m sure it was fairly expensive.  I haven’t sat in it even once.  I’ve sat at the desk in the desk chair and got a lot of work done.  Not every customer will notice the expensive decor or use the other seating options, but it’s pretty much a statistical certainty that most people will use at least two out of the three items above during a hotel stay.  Why make so much capital investment in something a customer may not use while cutting costs on the items that nearly every customer uses on a daily basis?

And thus endeth the rant, have a great day everyone!

6 Comments

  1. Here is something hotels skimp on that only a woman would notice- not including any conditioner for your hair! I find this to be the case mostly when staying in smaller towns. And NOT including a hair dryer in the bathroom. This day in age? Yep.

    Reply
  2. Dear God, #3! I have purchased my own toilet paper because of the horrible paper hotels provide!

    Reply
  3. Everything you pictured is a recurring cost. If every customer uses these items then the hotel stands to save the most money on them.

    The desk chair and lounge chair last forever and are essentially one time costs.

    Reply
    • Certainly, but they’re cutting investment on the things customers notice the most!

      Reply
      • True. But since they all do it, there is no incentive to change. Maybe they are all in agreement to maintain status quo 🙂

        Reply
        • That’s probably it. It’s so sad though, I’ve had much better amenities at lower-end hotels

          Reply

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