Editions or Copyright Dates

19 September 2005

Hotels ought to carry edition numbers or copyright dates. I don’t buy many books on technology with copyright dates back three years or more. I don’t buy many first editions when a book is now published in its fifth edition.

Even hotels operated by fine chains need to let a customer know in advance if the hotel is getting a bit worn around the edges. A property shouldn’t qualify for a new edition if the lobby got a new rug. You don’t get a new copyright date until every room, every bathroom, every hallway and every public convenience has been updated.

That said, mold in a dated bathroom is unacceptable under any circumstances. Charging for Wi-Fi in the lobby is like charging for hot water in the rooms – don’t do it. If you’re wanting to compete with the lower-priced suites hotels that offer a free newspaper, Wi-Fi, free breakfast and nice office-oriented amenities in the room, then compete. Don’t nickle-and-dime!

Here’s the way it works currently at some Courtyards by Marriott. A weekend room rate might be $80. Breakfast costs $8.95 if you want to visit the buffet. Spend $95 per night and two people can go through the buffet line. By the way, don’t bring me a check for this meal with a spot for a gratuity glaring at me. I don’t fill my own plate, then tip someone for bringing me the check. The daily rate for wireless Internet access is $9.95, but only in the public areas. If you want to use the DSL lines provided in their office services area, they want a $10 deposit to loan you an ethernet cable. Internet access in the rooms is free, but only if you don’t need to borrow one of their ethernet cables for $10!

Some of this might be acceptable if you weren’t looking a little tired in spots, Mr. Marriott. Hit me with these sorts of surprises and an exterior door near my room that won’t function forcing a walk around the property just to get in, and, well—I become surly. Sorry, but I do. Fix it, please, and give us a copyright date or edition number for each of your properties. Thanks.

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