Our Recent Hotel Room Grump and How We Dealt with It

by joeheg

I’ve avoided griping about travel because I’m just happy we’re able to travel again. The little things that annoy me aren’t anything compared to a global pandemic. But now that we’re back to staying in hotels on a regular basis, we’re back to having gripes about our hotel rooms.

While we didn’t expect much from our first stay at a Wingate by Wyndham property, there was one thing about the stay that we couldn’t ignore.

Unexpected night light

Looking at the room, there wasn’t much to expect. There was a single window with two curtains that met in the middle. And, like many rooms, there was a slight gap between the curtains.

a room with a bed and a television

While we’d usually use a chip clip to keep the curtains closed, we didn’t notice any light coming through the window when we went to sleep. It wasn’t until I woke up at 2 AM that I had a spotlight shining on my face.

These were the lights in the parking lot that were focused directly at the hotel.

a parking lot with street lights and cars parked in front of buildings

We had the unfortunate room assignment where these parking lot lights were pointed directly at our room. Or should I say, in my face.

a building with cars parked in front of it

What could we have done?

This isn’t like a grump where we have a shower that falls apart or we don’t have a nightstand by the side of the bed. We couldn’t ask the hotel to redirect the light in the parking lot. We just happened to be in the room where this light shined directly into the room.

We could have asked for a different room. But instead we made sure the curtains were closed tight before we went to bed each night. While we could have made this into a travel grump and complained for our entire stay, we made the necessary adjustments to keep the spotlight from shining in our faces while lying in bed.

(Note from Joe’s wife, Sharon: I have been telling him for YEARS to do like what I do and bring a eye mask with him on vacation. But does he listen? NOOOooo…)

How do you deal with an uncomfortable situation? Did you try to fix the problem, or would you have complained to the hotel? Would it depend on what level of hotel you were staying at? If this were a Crowne Plaza or a Hyatt Regency, would you have handled this situation differently?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


JakePB July 9, 2024 - 6:35 am

Take one of the pants hangers from the closet and clip it closed – just like your chip clip solution. If the hotel doesn’t have pants hangers in the closet, then overlap the curtains and use a chair to pin it against the window. Calling down or asking to change rooms would only guarantee my being awake for the rest of the night…too disruptive. Worst case scenario – sleep with your head at the other end.

David July 9, 2024 - 4:36 pm

From the “terrible hotel ideas” file is the bright light in the bathroom in a Greek hotel that came on whenever motion was sensed. There was no way to disable it the “feature.” So if you went to the bathroom in the from the middle of the night you were blinded by bright light, which made getting back to sleep very difficult. The front desk said that’s just the way it was. Obviously the only solution for us was staying somewhere else in the future.


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