Set Your Expectations

If you’re planning vacation travel right now, be aware that a lot of places are operating well under-capacity on staffing. I don’t want to call out our hotel in particular, because I suspect this is a widespread issue, but for example, some of the things that have come up this trip:

– main pool closed, only smaller pool open, jam-packed with kids a lot of the time, making it difficult to do laps (I managed to swim laps daily, but it took some planning and care, and willingness to swim in the colder part of the day)

– hot tub also jam-packed with kids a lot, including late at night

– may be packed into a smaller segment of the hotel, and therefore rooms may be smaller or lacking amenities (one of our two rooms didn’t have the patio they were expecting)

– housekeeping is on a once-every-three-days cycle; you can request something to be done sooner, but we had to go to the front desk and ask for it

– why the front desk? Because the phone to housekeeping was always busy, every time I tried it

– why *go* to the front desk? Because most of the time when I tried calling, it rang and rang and rang without anyone answering

– it seemed like half the restaurants are closed, and the rest are operating reduced hours (including pool bars)

– no room service; you had to go and pick up food from the restaurant (which was five buildings and a ten-minute walk away), and when the weekend was over (and presumably less staffed as a result), they couldn’t even take the order over the phone — you had to go there to place it

– a lot of the staff seems either very harried or seriously undertrained — I suspect that much of hospitality has lost people to COVID (death, illness, realizing they were wildly underpaid and switching careers), and they’re hiring new people now, but it’s going to be a rocky transition for a while

So plan for all of that; you may not get as many amenities as you would normally.

Please be kind to your hotel & restaurant staff; none of this is their fault. If you are polite and patient, many of them will go above and beyond to try to take good care of you.

I still had a really lovely time — it just helps to set expectations.

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