Book Review: "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality" by Jacob Tomsky

This read was a bit of a gamble. Written by a employee in the hotel business it professes to tell great stories, tips on getting the best service and an insider look behind the scenes. With many other writers this could have been quite dull, but Jacob’s wit, heart and cynicism makes this a great read that does deliver on all the promises.

The memoir part takes up most of the book with a chronological tale of his employment from a valet parer in a luxury hotel in the southern U.S., through the lofty heights of management, and finally to a bitter front desk clerk in New York. You get to experience the differing hotel environments in each hotel he works in and see the direct effect of these styles on the staff, which of course reflects in the service of the clients.

Jacob has wonderful tales from his time in each hotel from the classy woman who only hires a New York room for 3 hours regularly, to the CEO client who stays multiple times a week and leaves a bag behind containing some interesting luggage.
So many funny and weird tales.

Interspersed throughout is Jacob’s advice to us, the paying public. How do you get the best service and the added perks? What the fuck is up with minibars and how do you get stuff for free from them? And why do people constantly underestimate the power of the front desk clerk? This person has complete control over your stay and if you treat them like shit, they can make your stay hell. The methods for making a client’s stay not so nice are rather funny and clever, but do not worry, you probably won’t get to experience these methods unless you are an asshole to the clerk, or do something nasty in their presence such as treating your wife, girlfriend or especially kids like crap in front of the clerk.

This book is a wonderful and fun read, with the added advantage of being educational on what happens behind the scenes in the hotel industry and how you can make the most out of your next stay at a hotel.

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