In a survey released today by The Sunday Times Travel Magazine noisy neighbours are most to blame for good getaways going bad.
28% of the 500 people surveyed said that noisy neighbours were their biggest bug-bear, followed by tired and shabby décor (21%), hair in the sink (19%), noise from the street (6%) and not being able to open the bedroom window (5%).
In the poll designed to unveil what makes and breaks a hotel getaway, 29% of travellers claimed that their stay at a hotel had been ruined because their room stank of stale cigarette smoke. Filthy bathrooms (12%), dirty bed linen (12%), rooms not being ready (9%) were other reasons stated. Most worryingly, 8% claimed to have had an unwelcome visit during a stay from rodents or insects.
The survey was conducted to mark the annual release of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine's prestigious ‘The World's 100 Best Places To Stay.' Holiday makers further revealed that a big comfy bed is what makes their stay in a hotel most enjoyable (38%), followed by spacious accommodation (16%) and modern décor (11%).
Luxurious big rooms (33%) were the most popular reason given for returning to a hotel time and again, followed by location and views (24%) and friendly staff (22%).
Katie Bowman, travel expert from The Sunday Times Travel Magazine comments; "We visit a hotel to rest, refresh and recuperate. You could be in the most beautiful hotel in the world, but with noisy neighbours and an uncomfortable bed, hotel heaven can fast become hotel hell."
14 hotels in the UK made it into The Sunday Times Travel Magazine "The World's Best Places To Stay" article:
Under the 10 Best Budget Busters category: The Langham in London
Under the 10 Best Romantic Retreats category: Endsleigh in Devon North Lees Hall, Hathersage, Derbyshire Skibo Castle, Scottish Highlands
Under the 10 Best Gourmet Greats category: Plas Bodegroes, Llyn Peninsula, Wales Hambleton Hall Rutland Gidleigh Park, Devon Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
Under the 10 Best Sandy Beaches category: Burgh Island Hotel, Devon
Under the 10 Best One-off Wonders category: VW Campervans, Bristol
Under 10 Best Pools for Posing category: Babington House, Somerset
Under the 10 Best Family Fames category: Feather Down Farm, Hampshire
Under the 10 Best Bargain Beds category: Hartington Hall Youth Hostel, Derbyshire The Bull Hotel, Bridport, Dorset
Full survey results from The Sunday Times Travel Magazine are listed below:
What's the most important thing in a hotel room? The tea and coffee making facilities - 3% The size of the room - 16% Large TV with cable/satellite - 1% Modern amenities (ie internet access, stereo system) - 3% Free toiletries in the bathroom - 1% Modern décor - 11% Central air conditioning and heating - 7% The bed - 38% The view - 6% Other - 14%
What about your hotel bed is most important? Size (queen, king, super king) - 18% Soft sheets - 6% Style and design - 4% Comfy mattress - 48% Feather pillows - 1% A double bed is a double bed (not two twins pushed together) - 18% Other - 5%
What about your hotel bathroom is most important? Must have a shower - 32% Must have a bath - 6% Two sinks - 1% Free toiletries - 3% Big, fluffy towels - 5% Cleanliness - 51% Sink area should be separate from toilet area - 1% Other - 1%
What one thing turns you off about a hotel room? Hair in the sink - 19% Noisy neighbours/thin walls - 28% Old décor - 21% Dodgy security - 7% Bad view from room - 4% Noise from the street - 6% Not being able to open the window - 5% Size - 5% Other - 5%
When it comes to hotel room disasters, what one thing have you encountered in the past that has ruined a holiday for you? Bathroom was filthy upon arrival - 12% Bed linens were dirty upon arrival - 12% Room not ready - 9% Not the room you booked - 7% Walked into a room that was already occupied by other guests - 3% Rodents/insects in hotel room - 8% Bed bugs - 2% Stale smell of cigarette/cigar smoke - 29% Unhelpful staff - 11% Other - 7%
What is the main feature of your hotel room that has you returning time and again? Friendly staff - 22% Luxurious big rooms - 33% Location and views from rooms - 24% Comfortable beds - 8% The hotel's spa services - 3% Nice restaurants on-site - 2% Other - 8%
What makes British hotels unique? Tea making facilities - 25% Corby trouser press - 4% Bible - 2%Floral wallpaper - 4% Landlady - 4% Sheets and blankets - 4% Full English breakfast included - 47% Other - 10%
How much do you typically spend on a hotel room per night? £25 - 2% £50 - 16% £75 - 31% £100 - 35% £150 - 13% £200 - 3%
About Sunday Times Travel Magazine The Sunday Times Travel Magazine is a monthly glossy travel and lifestyle magazine looking at all aspects of holiday and foreign travel. The title is a stand alone publication available at newsstand and priced at £3.40.