The Dream job – a Hotel tester
Whenever I am asked about my profession and I answer that amongst other things I test Wellness Hotels, I receive envious comments such as “Wow, that must be great” or “what a dream job”.
How could never-ending pampering in great ambience not be dream-like? However, it is also a job and has, like any other job in the world, boring aspects and less favourable responsibilities, such as documentation which entails plenty of desk work.
A hotel tester spends a lot of time on one’s own
First of all, one has to understand that a hotel tester spends a lot of time far from home. Those who do not feel comfortable sitting in a restaurant on their own for all meals, including:
- afternoon tea
- 5 course dinner
…may not enjoy this job.
Regular leisure activities are also tricky to maintain (for example I can rarely attend Happy Hour with the girls or go to sports classes on a regular basis).
Wide area of duties
Issuing complaints is part of the everyday life of a hotel tester (including the not so nice discussions with staff members); similarly, testing areas that I might not have any personal interest in.
I have to:
- try as many different dishes as possible
- study the wine list
- attend the variety of activities offered by the hotel
- check all corners of the hotel
- be deliberately awkward at times
- study heaps of collateral
- have lengthy conversations with staff members
- be attentive at all times and act as natural as possible, so no one suspects you’re the hotel tester
- and eventually meticulously report all the findings in incredibly long questionnaires and summaries
One has to adopt some self-discipline to deal with those long questionnaires every night, following a rich dinner and wine tasting, and remember all the details:
Were the candles lit when I got to the table?
What did the service staff wear?
Was wine and water re-filled after each course?
Were the dishes fresh and tasty?
Were salt and pepper shakers clean, and the flowers fresh?
The lift – my doom
However, the beautiful moments prevail, despite unpleasant or particularly funny incidents happening:
Once, I was about to take the lift back to my room from the Wellness area in the lower ground floor. I wore my bathrobe over my swimsuit and had my room key card in my robe pocket. I also had my mobile with me, always ready to take a picture in case something worthy cropped up.
Shortly after the lift started to move rather jerkingly, somehow it got stuck between two floors. Now I have to admit that I avoid lifts at all costs, usually out of claustrophobia, and therefore only used the lift in question once, purely to test it and check cleanliness and functionality for the hotel testing process.
“Well then”, I said to myself, “don’t panic”, press the alarm button… which I did, and which triggered an old fashioned ringing that I could hear myself. Unfortunately no one else but me could hear the alarm…not even when trying again several times. Hence I pull my phone out of my pocket, however I don’t know the hotel phone number! I am incredibly lucky as I not only have a phone connection, but also internet connection, thus I am able to google the hotel phone number. I call.
When the lovely receptionist answered my call and I responded with, “I am stuck in your elevator and no one can hear me” she dropped her phone in shock, yet reliably alerted the technician, who rescued me after a few more minutes.
I can never have enough of mother nature
My reward for my labor and effort during those tests however, are not those seemingly endless glasses of Prosecco (sparkling wine), which the hotels like to offer for welcome drinks, or to be treated like a princess, but the opportunity to travel to different locations, meet new people and experience extraordinary things. After the 20th hotel for example, I was no longer as inspired by some special interior design feature, however I can never get enough of a spectacular view from a balcony, or meeting an inspiring person, or enjoying an outstanding natural phenomenon!