Top 10 Things (You Never Knew) That Hotel Inspectors Look For
1) Ice cubes – when assessing a mixed drink in the bar, a hotel inspector will be sure to take a very close look at the ice cubes floating in their beverage. If they are solid, you’re good, but if they’re hollow you’re losing a point. The latter melt much too quickly and in turn dilute the flavor of the drink, which is a big no-no if you’re paying $30 for a carefully crafted cocktail. Whack one of those huge balls of ice in there and you can count on getting bonus points for exceptional beverage presentation. Cool.
2) Tattoos – there was a time when any visible tattoo would immediately result in a staff member being marked down for not being well-groomed. We’re much more lenient nowadays, however, and so as long as your tat isn’t offensive or distracting it’s not generally an issue. If you’re looking for a job working in a luxury hotel it’s probably best to put those plans for the skull and crossbones on your forehead on hold for a while.
3) Luggage placed with zippers facing forward – when bell staff deliver your luggage to the room, it is imperative that they place bags on the rack with the zippers facing forward. This is to ensure that the guest can open their bag comfortably without having to move it in any way. God forbid that we’d have to actually do any heavy lifting for ourselves.
4) Expiry dates on minibar items – one of the least glamourous and tedious aspects of the job of a hotel inspector is to check that all items in the minibar are still within their best before date. Top tip: check diet sodas first as the artificial sweeteners contained within them mean a much shorter shelf life than regular sodas. When checking these, a hotel inspector must watch out for technology that automatically charges to the room any items removed from their sensor for more than a couple of seconds. On check out, you can have a hard time explaining why you removed every single item from the minibar but didn’t actually consume any of them. Disclaimer: this is actually something that you'd only have to do if a hotel chain's HQ had specifically requested it.
5) Chilled towels in the fitness center – after a strenuous workout, there’s nothing more pleasant than a refreshing cold flannel with which to wipe one's brow or place on the back of one's sweaty neck. The presence of chilled towels is a must in the fitness center, but their presentation is equally as important. If they are placed directly on a shelf in a fridge then that is neither refined nor hygienic. A silver tray will do the trick and if a purple orchid is delicately placed on top of the neatly rolled pyramid-shaped stack, you’ll definitely get our thumbs up.
6) Showing that you care – much like a needy toddler, a hotel inspector will be looking for staff members to exhibit an interest in them during each and every interaction. Showing interest can take many forms and might be as simple as asking whether the guest had a pleasant journey or enjoyed their meal. Just asking questions though does not guarantee credit. The key point here is that the interest must be genuine. If the staff member does not respond to our answer to their questions or appears to be just reciting from a rehearsed script, then that simply won’t do.
7) Coat hangers – there’s a lot more to coat hangers than at first meets the eye. As well as there having to be a sufficient number of them - 10 or more will usually suffice, in case you were wondering - there should also be a mix that caters to all types of garments. Clip, bar and suit hangers are the obvious ones, but don’t forget a padded velvet hanger or two for those designer silk dresses. We also won’t tolerate captive hangers - the ones where the top is attached to the bar to prevent theft. They’re just cheap.
8) Appropriate music – music can really set the mood in a restaurant or bar and so whenever a hotel inspector dines or drinks, they’ll be carefully listening to check that the music is appropriate for the venue. We might expect country and western at the steak house or Spanish guitar at the tapas bar. Banging Belgian techno at the sushi counter clearly won’t work.
9) In-room dining timings – it might seem obvious that a hotel inspector will need to check how long a meal ordered from room service takes to be delivered, but you need some serious skills in arithmetic to fully comprehend the timing requirements. Lunch and dinner should be delivered within 30 minutes at a hotel or 40 minutes at a resort, whereas hotels have 25 minutes for breakfast and resorts have 35. Furthermore, the meal must be delivered within five minutes (+/-) of the quoted time. If you’re wondering why arriving more than five minutes earlier than the quoted time isn’t a good thing, it’s because the guest may have planned to fully utilize the waiting period doing something they wouldn’t want to be disturbed doing, such as conducting a business call or… well … you get the picture.
10) Complimentary refreshments by the pool – everybody loves a freebie, right? During any visit to the pool, a hotel inspector will be looking for staff members to circulate and offer a complimentary refreshment of some kind. Water won’t suffice – that has its own standard – but a popsicle or iced shot will do the trick. Top resorts offer fruit skewers or frozen grapes which, as well as being suitably refreshing, make ideal mini missiles for throwing at boisterous children who are intent on spoiling your quiet afternoon trying to catch some rays.