What Are The First Things You Do When Entering a Hotel Room?

Photograph by FlyerTalk member afterDawn. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by afterDawn.

Mikel Bowman — one of the people instrumental with the launch of The Gate almost eight years ago — was prompted to highlight an article posted at the Points, Miles & Martinis weblog by The Weekly Flyer about hotel habits, which asked “What’s the first thing you do when you get into your hotel room?

I thought that was an interesting question; so I searched for — and found — a discussion on FlyerTalk pertaining to that very topic.

I was going to be a smart you-know-what and say that the first thing I do is walk into the hotel room; but that can only occur if the key works — so the first thing I do is open the door to the hotel room…

…and FlyerTalk member Tennisbum admitted to spending five minutes trying to get keycard to open the door to the hotel room.

It is frustrating when I cannot open the door to the hotel room which I was assigned — only to endure the trek back to the front desk. That is not so bad when the room is down the hall from the front desk; but it can be rather time-consuming if the room is located on the 53rd floor of the hotel property and only one elevator is in operation.

Once I enter the hotel room, I lock the door with the latch, turn the lights on if it is too dark, and immediately put my bag down on a hard surface — this is to avoid attracting “hitchhikers” such as bed bugs — with the hotel room key next to it so that I may easily find it whenever I need it. I then look around the room to acclimate myself to its furniture, features and amenities in both the sleeping area and the bathroom before looking out the window to see the view. I check to see where the nearest emergency exit is located; as well as ensure that the room is equipped with safety features such as a smoke detector and sprinklers. If necessary, I adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature.

All of this is moot if the room reeks of cigarette smoke, is noticeably filthy, or has pest activity — all of which require a change to a different room.

Also, my first steps can vary depending on the circumstances: if I am really tired, I might just collapse on the bed. If I am really, really hungry and too tired to first search for a place to eat, I will immediately check the room service menu and maybe acquiesce — contrary to my thoughts — to place an order if I find something that I want; although I usually have something in my bag to tide me over and stave off my hunger until the next meal. If I feel really grungy, I will take a shower — but only after first checking if the hairs of other people are on any of the towels. If so, those towels immediately get tossed onto the floor. If I have been traveling for a long period of time without being able to stop and find a toilet…well

…enough about me. What are the first things FlyerTalk members do when entering a hotel room?

“Flush the toilet”, posted FlyerTalk member TWA4Ever. “If that doesn’t work, then staying any longer in that particular room is a no brainer.”

The room is usually too cold for FlyerTalk member BamaVol; or too warm for FlyerTalk member TRRed. One thing on which both can agree: adjust the climate control unit — as long as they will never need to share a hotel room.

FlyerTalk member SlickRick will clean what are purportedly the three devices in a hotel room that have the most bacteria on them: the remote control to the television; the alarm clock radio; and the telephone — although I suspect that guests in hotel rooms use the last two items fewer times due to the advent of portable electronic devices such as tablets and “smartphones.”

I rarely watch television; but if I do use the remote control, I will wash my hands immediately afterwards.

Many FlyerTalk members posted that they would remove the bedspread; open the curtains to see the view; check to see if the plumbing is operational; ensure that the room is reasonably clean; and a few even said that they will read the hotel guide.

I only read the hotel guide when I have absolutely nothing else to do or when I am too tired to do anything else…

…so what are the first things you do when entering a hotel room — and why?

Comments (Showing 11 of 11)

  • hugh2 at 5:28pm June 06, 2014

    First thing i do, i find the fire exit guide, and then walk to the nearest exit, making note of the direction you turn as you exit your room, counting how many doors/footsteps to the exit

    in a smoke filled corridor you may not be able to stand, so counting the doors makes it easier to know – in the corporate “brand orientated” world of hotels, all the doors look exactly the same

    • Brian Cohen at 7:19pm June 06, 2014

      That is great advice, hugh2 — in fact, it sounds quite similar to what flight attendants advise during the safety announcement…
      …excuse me — I mean what you see on the safety video before the aircraft takes off…

  • Mikel at Webflyer at 5:44pm June 06, 2014

    Great find Brian! Not at all surprised that FTers have touched on this topic and I am VERY impressed with your ninja search skills – it’s no small feat finding a thread on a specific topic from 2005.

    I love this topic. There are so many different answers – and almost all make me think, “That’s a good idea too.” And in this thread I particularly like Luubert’s #5 answer in post #84 – just to check if people are still paying attention 🙂 – http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/3739491-post84.html

    • Brian Cohen at 7:20pm June 06, 2014

      If you love this topic, Mikel, then you will like the “sequels” I have planned for airplanes and rental cars.

      Do not change, Mikel — and thank you. I follow Thread Tripping regularly.

  • Melbourne at 10:26pm June 06, 2014

    If it was the hotel room in that picture, walk out

  • cmh flyer at 2:52pm June 08, 2014

    The first thing I do is to pull the bed sheets back and check the seams of the mattress for evidence of bed bugs.

  • ok2uselane at 3:05pm June 08, 2014

    Set my bags down. Then check out the cleanliness of the bathroom, then the bed and pillow situation – I can never have enough pillows!

  • alomme at 4:18pm June 08, 2014

    First thing I do is put a business card instead of the key in the energy saver switch.

  • BuildingMyBento at 6:39pm June 08, 2014

    Agreed out the cigarette smoke, though I’ve frequently had to just deal with it. On those occasions, I ask housekeeping to “spray” the room, which has never been a problem. Though, I then have the mysterious contents of the spray can to inhale…

    When that’s not an issue, the first thing I do is place a Do Not Disturb sign on the door/wherever it goes, and then check the bed for reddish spots. I’ll also see if the pillow is comfortable enough.

  • BuildingMyBento at 6:40pm June 08, 2014

    @alomme when a business card doesn’t work, try using a comb handle.

  • chentaiman at 3:56am June 09, 2014

    I will use the shower cap to wrap around the remote control.

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