It’s impossible to generalise about hotels. Star ratings can be meaningless and price certainly can be no indicator of quality. But, having stayed in more than our fair share of accommodation over the years, there are some basic things in hotel rooms that are guaranteed to irritate.

There’s not a lot hotels can do about inconsiderate guests who talk at the top of their voices walking down corridors at three in the morning. In terms of other basic amenities, though, there’s really no excuse. So here’s our list – and we’d love to hear your experiences too, so please leave a comment!

1. Towels beyond the use by date
Towels take a real beating in hotels. The constant washing and drying means even the softest and most luxurious varieties end up scratchy and ragged in no time at all. This, one, however, was way past its lifespan. No folks, it’s not a shower curtain, it’s the ripped edge of the towel which had been folded with military precision so the shards of fabric couldn’t be seen until we took it off the shelf. It would have taken a bit of time and skill to pull that off but, honestly, it’s time to consign these things to the rag bag when they look like this.

Things I hate about hotels

Not a shower curtain – a ragged bath towel

2. Bad bathroom design
In old buildings, it’s a given that bathrooms may not be as modern or as functional as you’d like. In new hotels or those where the building has been extensively refurbished, there’s no excuse. Here’s a great example from our recent trip to Milan where the towel rail was bolted next to the toilet. It was impossible to be able to sit straight while one was using the, ahem, convenience. This hotel had been completely refurbished in recent years and a lot of its marketing referred to the superiority of its comforts from both a design and sustainability perspective. It was, without a doubt, the most uncomfortable hotel room we had on a five week journey. Style never triumphs over substance.

Things I hate about hotels

No room to sit

3. Breakages
There are things you never want to happen in your hotel. Being locked out of your room is one, but being locked in? A door handle that comes off in your hand is never a good look.

Things I hate about hotels

Hmmm. Detachable door handle?

4. Getting steamed up
Anti-fog glass should be standard in hotel rooms now. Again, with older hotels, one can understand if the ventilation of bathrooms isn’t top notch, but having every glass surface in the room obscured after a quick shower is not a good look.

Things I hate about hotels

In a fog

5. Pedal bins
There’s something to be said for having a bin in the bathroom with a lid but, given they’re emptied every day by housekeeping, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The biggest gripe with pedal bins is that the foot lever never works. One is forced to manually lift the lid to put anything in there which, frankly, can be a bit gross.

Things I hate about hotels

The bathroom pedal bin

6. Nasty surprises
Given duvets are pretty much ubiquitous in hotel rooms these days, we often remove them from the cover to be able to sleep. We most often travel in summer – if we can avoid sleeping with the air-conditioning going we take that option and prefer to have just the cover or sheet on top. However, we don’t like to make discoveries – one such nasty surprise was in Napa where a pair of men’s underpants came out of the duvet cover. Ewwww. In Boston, on the same trip, we pulled back the duvet to find the sheet didn’t actually cover the mattress. A complaint to the front desk resulted in no action whatsoever. One wonders if these people would accept that if they were, in fact, guests in the hotel.

These are just a few of our bugbears. It doesn’t take much to have standards – at whatever price point.

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