Hotels often have valets or bellboys that handle luggage. In Venezia, as I checked in at the front desk, the bellboy was quick to take my 20.5-kilogram wheeled bag and guide me to my room. The desk was on the second floor, and my room was on the third floor, next to the elevator in this small hotel.
I had just trudged more than two kilometers on uneven cobblestones and up and down staired bridges through brisk and windy weather to arrive at my hotel. Do you honestly think I need help with the last five meters in a climate-controlled, carpeted hallway with the benefit of an elevator?!
Normally, I am fast to decline any help with my belongings, but in this instance, the bellboy effectively expropriated my bags before I had a chance to assert my luggage independence. Standard protocol is a dollar per bag, and the bellboy was clearly loitering in my room for several seconds, waiting for the gratuity, which I ignored on account of my annoyance.
This example is not even the worst of its kind because at least the luggage arrived with me, the distance being so short. What is particularly loathsome is when the bellman insists on handling my luggage, saying he will send it right up. What usually happens is that I go to my room, and I wait 15 minutes for my property that I could have easily carried on my own.
I can think of only a few exceptions to declining the services of a bellman. One, an injury such as a broken leg or fractured collarbone may be reason to lessen physical strain. Two, I may be carrying so much luggage that a bellman may be better equipped with a cart. Other than that, I see no reason why I should pay for a service that actually adds inconvenience to the process! What are your opinions on this (comment below)?