LUXURY HOTEL shops, how much do you get paid and how much free time do you actually have? Why bother?

ANYBODY actually enjoys luxury hotel evaluations?

On all the ones I have done, I was so busy writing the reports that I had zero time to enjoy the hotel. You have to fork out about $1,000+ of your own money to then actually earn $100 or less IF AND ONLY IF your report is satisfactory.

After having slaved away for 10-for 18 hours per day of work while at the luxurious hotel, you realize that you have the most ridiculous job on the planet.

It's unbelievable that it is even legal.

I would seriously only recommend the hotel evaluations experience to my worst enemies.

Hotel evaluators, please enlighten me on what your payoff is. How much do you get paid, for how many hours of work? And, how much free time do you actually get to enjoy your hotels?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2018 07:00PM by abclaudia.

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I used to love them, and found plenty of time to do the report in sections (one step at a time). loved being productive and getting a couple days away while working and playing. I used to schedule one near the Chicago airport and my daughter would visit, spending the night with me, going out to dinner, she'd have fun while Mom was on computer....we still had time together and caught up on our lives...loved it now going to look for another.
Did my ego good to have a great dinner to take daughter too, and felt nice, "picking up the check" (if you will).

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there
Will Rogers
Which company allowed you for plenty of time? When at the restaurant, I am too busy working and remembering stuff to entertain an intelligent conversation with anybody.
I think you are probably approaching the evaluations wrong. I love the hotel stays, but hate the reports.

I enjoy myself while on property (otherwise what's the point?) and then book a day or two afterward to write the report where I can miserable at home.
You generally have 12, or at the most 24 hour to turn in a report that takes hours to write. I find it impossible to remember the 100s of details unless I write them down immediately.
I enjoy them. I work as I go along - but I still have time to enjoy the sun, the pool, the fine dining, the bar, the breakfast room service; usually with a guest who I am catching up with, gossiping, planning our next vacation, or just hanging out with.

In addition to the fee (which for me could be well less than $100 or five times that - depending on the situation), you also get the airline points (for some assignments that pay travel), the hotel points (in many cases), and the ability to treat a guest to something that they would not otherwise be doing for themselves.

If you don't enjoy it, then I encourage you not to do it. I don't enjoy car dealership shops and so I don't do them.
@abclaudia wrote:

You generally have 12, or at the most 24 hour to turn in a report that takes hours to write. I find it impossible to remember the 100s of details unless I write them down immediately.

First off, that generalization is not true. The majority of companies I do hotels for offer between 48 & 72 hours to turn the reports in. Those that require 12-24 hours are very limited reports that can be done quickly. I have NEVER encountered a narrative-heave report with less than a 48 hour window for submission.

Taking notes carefully in your phone and writing a full narrative are two different things. I have a shorthand for notes that I've developed which allows me to notate all the needed details in real time.
@MickeyB wrote:

I work as I go along - but I still have time to enjoy the sun, the pool, the fine dining, the bar, the breakfast room service; usually with a guest who I am catching up with, gossiping, planning our next vacation, or just hanging out with.

I have witnessed this and am in awe of Mickey's ability to finish reports on site. She can write an entire housekeeping section in the time it takes me to compose a snarky post on the forum....
@MickeyB wrote:



In addition to the fee (which for me could be well less than $100 or five times that - depending on the situation), you also get the airline points (for some assignments that pay travel), the hotel points (in many cases), and




the ability to treat a guest to something that they would not otherwise be doing for themselves.

THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I did two crap shops last night, at the last minute and will do a 'fairly' narrative heavy report in order for my husband to have a $160 steak (yes, the steak alone is $160... total dinner reimbursement is close to $400). As a 'stay at home mom' I can't afford to treat my husband to a dinner like this any other way then MS'ing. And I don't mind!

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
@abclaudia wrote:

Which company allowed you for plenty of time? When at the restaurant, I am too busy working and remembering stuff to entertain an intelligent conversation with anybody.

I have done fine dining (and hotel) reports for Coyle, A Closer Look as well as a few other companies. I have never NOT been able to have an intelligent conversation with my husband during the meal.... If you're spending THAT much energy, effort and time remembering details your not taking proper notes.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
On top of the fee, sometimes I enjoy the reimbursed travel expenses and $25-50 worth of hotel points, the experience, trying out food and drinks I’ve never had, etc.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 28 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
In addition, if I have a heavy travel schedule after checking out, I have never been denied an extension of the report deadline. You just have to ask in advance.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I don't enjoy these shops and probably prolong the suffering by dragging it out and complaining, but it is nice and I am thankful for the opportunity to treat my family to these nice stays/visits. I take these shops so others can have a nice time.
Hotel mystery shopping: the ultimate act of self-sacrifize in order to help friends and family have a great time while you are slaving away at your report. ;-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2018 12:15AM by abclaudia.
Luxury hotel shops are definitely a lot of work. I do them because I get to see and experience awesome places and great hotels. I have taken my husband, sister, niece, and the best part is that they still talk about it and how great everything was. That really makes me feel good. So, yeah, I think I do it for my family, for us.
Abcclaudia- So funny! So true!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2018 04:01AM by MikiNV.
@abclaudia wrote:

You generally have 12, or at the most 24 hour to turn in a report that takes hours to write. I find it impossible to remember the 100s of details unless I write them down immediately.

You must work for True Guest? I do not. That guy is insane.
How much do I get paid?
It depends, on average $100.00, not including reimbursement for gratuities, and if included, travel. I don't do it for the fees.

How much do I actually work?
A lot. At least 70% of the time I'm on property - and by work, I mean calling In-Room-Dining, dining on In-Room-Dining, having breakfast/lunch/cocktails/dinner, getting (a) massage(s), checking out the pool, etc., AND filling out SOME of the report. I also lock myself away for two - seven days, depending on the complexity and scope of the assignment(s), after the actual stay, just typing away. Don't forget about answering any questions the team may ask after you submit your report.

That being said, I once spent a four-hour block of time working on a report, while sitting on a king-size outdoor bed, on the deck of my 1,576 square foot overwater fare/bungalow - the nicest one on the resort - looking across the incredibly blue, almost unreal, turquiose water, at a very majestic and very Instagram-worthy, and easily recognizable mountain.

I ain't complaining.

(The 30% I'm not working, includes sleeping.)

Is it worth it?
To me? You betcha. To provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for my guests and me? Yup.

On the monetary side, one assignment, a two-night stay, resulted in a folio just a little shy of $9,000.00. So, yeah.
I wouldn't take someone I didn't know well on a shop that needed a lot of attention, but I've been married for 38 years. My husband and I can pretty much read each other's mind by now, so the occasional silence while I text notes to myself don't bother him.
@luckygirl0100 wrote:

I have done fine dining (and hotel) reports for Coyle, A Closer Look as well as a few other companies. I have never NOT been able to have an intelligent conversation with my husband during the meal.... If you're spending THAT much energy, effort and time remembering details your not taking proper notes.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
abclaudia, this is the exact reason why I don't do fine dining shops! I want to enjoy my meal and the ambiance of the restaurant, not stare at a timer trying to figure out how many nanoseconds after something happened. Shortly after I get home, I want to fall into my carb coma instead of spending 9 hours writing a report on an hour dinner.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I belong to another group comprised of many route shoppers. Many of them schedule a full day of shops of different types, then schedule a dinner shop as the last shop of the day, then stay at a local hotel often at their own expense and then shop on the way back home. Seems like a minimum of 6-7 reports to do with each route.

A higher end hotel stay will also involve 6-7+ reports.

So what's the difference? hotel reports require more narrative and take longer (generally speaking) than reports for retail outlets??

On the other hand, with route shops you are spending the day driving, not staying one place where you have a possible option of working on a report in between?
Several have mentioned the importance of note-taking​, with respect to hotel shops. How do you do that without appearing obvious?
Dramatic much? It sounds like you've already made up your mind. I do it for the perks, not for the hourly payoff. If MS was only about the hourly payoff, I wouldn't take 90% of the jobs out there. Luxury hotels are a ton of work, but in between I get to genuinely enjoy my spa treatments and meals (yes I can enjoy them while still being observant enough for reporting). As someone else said, I'm writing the reports from a bed I didn't have to make, or on a patio with a view of somewhere beautiful, and eating room service I didn't have to cook or clean up. Getting the credit card and airline points is great too. I generally have a few block of personal time to get out and see the city for an evening or afternoon. It's not much time, but it's worth it to me. The reports for a luxury stay take at least 10 hours or more? I do as much while I"m on property or on the plane as I can.
@BarefootBliss wrote:

Several have mentioned the importance of note-taking​, with respect to hotel shops. How do you do that without appearing obvious?

Who doesn't have their phone in their face 90% of the time in 2018? While doing valet parking shops I like to sit in the quiet lobby of the hotel (all upscale) and work on the report/people watch. AT LEAST 75% of the hotel guests have a phone out/in their hand. It's totally normal to be texting in these situations. My photos are time/date stamped. It is EASY to snap photos of everyone, and text myself their opening and closing statements. I can remember the jist of the interaction when that is ALL I have to actually remember. Makes it even easier when my husband or 16yr old is with me..... They snap photos like crazy and text me names and notes. It's actually pretty easy.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
OP is not being dramatic. Several people feel as she does.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
@OP: I do few hotel shops because I don't have much time for them. I have not shopped at the most expensive and swank properties. I do not have time for that. But I evaluate properties that are veeeeerrrrrryy nice. My # 1 reason for doing them is the challenge of getting everything done in the given time. It is a big old kick in the butt to complete all requirements and write a bit about them. Mind you, I do shops that last for one night and have relatively few things to discuss: Valet, check in, bell service, security events, maintenance events, condition of room, condition of public spaces, room and restaurant services, bar, etc. This is little compared to some hotel or resort shops that last for several nights and days and involve many more interactions and write-ups.

It is not fun in the sense of play, relaxation, ease, and R&R. For me, it is wonderful to rise to the occasion, do given tasks, finish a report, and get back home in time for the usual life and work. For me, this is pretty fun. It is like resting from one type of work by doing a different type of work.

Are you absolutely certain that you don't want to try even just one little hotel shop? One night, two meals, maybe a drink at a bar or a snack somewhere. I bet you could do it. Consider the skills you might have from doing other types of shops. When you are evaluating an associate, are you able to remember their name and detailed appearance for at least a few minutes-- until the end of the shop and a time when you can take notes or complete the report? Can you remember just one or two timings and use your devices to help you notate others? If you have a guest, can they help you with tasks such as remembering what people looked like or said? Can they do some of the timings for restaurants or bars? Or, better yet, what do you do when you gather data for your shops? Can you use those techniques during a hotel shop? Will they ease your stress by making at least a few elements of the hotel shop seem familiar and easy?

As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation's wars. - John M. McHugh


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2018 01:04AM by Shop-et-al.
Great responses, Thanks. Even if the OP never thanks everyone or doesn't want to learn, I learned a lot from the responses.

My take away: Coyle restaurant shops tend to stretch my personal limits. I will not tourcher myself with Hotels. As much as I will not shop car dealers, nor even shop for electronics or cell phones. I will stick to my simple shops that I enjoy and fit my abilities and time constraints.

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