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I have a lot of one night stands.
Don’t judge me – its not what you think. My travel pattern is such that I rarely sleep in the same place more than two night in a row while traveling. And it is not one where I typically get to pick out the most posh hotel I can find in a world-class city and move in to a suite.
Nope, not me… unless I’m on vacation. And even then, its more likely to be a suite on a cruise ship than a hotel room.
More often than not I am also checking in very late OR checking out very early. Or both. I’m almost always booking the least expensive rate I can get. And sometimes I don’t even get a choice of where I am going to be.
That makes me just like a lot of the traveling public – maybe just like you. So I tailor my hotel reviews to match that experience – and have set up my own guidelines for how I review:
1. I don’t flash my card. If I have status, I will check in at the elite line if I am invited to do so. If the desk clerk suggests I check in elsewhere (an automated kiosk, a general line, etc.) I will. I won’t ask about my benefits upfront but rather wait to see what they offer to me. (If they fail to present, I’ll ask at the end but also note the service delivery issue.)
2. My photos are WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”). When I open the door to my room, I take photos immediately before I touch anything. If its dark at 11 pm, I might turn on a light or two but otherwise I don’t adjust the shades, fluff the pillows, or straighten the crooked lampshades to get brochure quality photos. My job is not to market the hotel – if you want website quality photos, visit their website. My photos will be what I actually got… warts and all.
3. I write about MY experiences in the hotel. If I ate in the restaurant, used the fitness center, or explored the pool, I’ll write about it. I will write updates for hotels if I revisit and have a stay that varies widely from what I’ve previously written about – or if I have photos of new room types to share.
4. I’ll let you know about problems I had. As a further note, I don’t always get a chance to address all issues while I’m onsite. For example, if I check in at 11 pm and out at 7 am and the toilet runs all night, I’m not going to call engineering at 3 am and further compromise my sleep. I’ll let the front desk know on my way out and mention it in my review.
5. DYKWIA (“Do You Know Who I Am”) isn’t how I roll. My travel profile is management consultant, not blogger. That’s how I travel so my treatment is based on my travel patterns, elite status history, and booking style. If that’s ever not the case, I will disclose that clearly.
I’ve shared several hotel reports here already – and have a steady stream of new ones rolling out as I continue to stay in new hotels regularly. This is also by far NOT a comprehensive list of everywhere I’ve stayed since I’m only including hotels in somewhat real-time. If you ever have a question about a specific property, ask and I’ll try to help you find an answer!