Hotel Alarm Clocks

On the checklist hotel housekeeping uses when servicing a room, one thing seems lacking. It is a small thing, something that would take almost no time (a second or two at the most). But in my experience, it is almost never done:

Check the alarm clock, and if it is on, turn it off.

Usually, I am awake before the alarm goes off, but when we are traveling as a family, Kelly and I are up before the kids to get things ready before the kids wake up. Inevitably, the alarm will go off and wake up the kids while we are getting things ready.

One might argue: if it is so easy to do, why not check it yourself? When traveling alone, I almost always do this. When traveling with the family, we are usually at the end of an 7 or 8 hour drive, during which there is the usual sibling bickering, to say nothing of frayed nerves from traffic, and long hours on the road. Checking the room alarm is the last thing on my mind.

So if there is anyone out there in the hospitality business, a humble suggestion from a fairly frequent traveler: Add checking the room alarm clock to your housekeeping checklist. I think you’ll find that many, many weary travelers will appreciate it.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

4 thoughts on “Hotel Alarm Clocks

  1. Another thought: it would be great if they actually set the clock itself, too. I travel quite a bit on business and have learned never to rely on hotel clocks because inevitably (probably 7/10 times?) the clock is never set right (this is everywhere in the world, not just in the US), and I can’t be bothered how to figure it out myself.

  2. Marjorie, good point. I generally don’t use the clocks in the room and trust the alarms on my phone–which is why it is all the more disconcerting when the room alarm does go off. Sometimes, if the clocks are too bright in the dark, I just unplug them.

  3. Michael, how about we all just agree that we don’t need those hotel room clocks in the first place since we have plenty of alarm capability on our mobile devices. The money the hotels save can be used toward employee wages instead.

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