Customer Reviews for

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Heads in Beds: A Reck­less Mem­oir of Hotels, Hus­tles, and So-C

Heads in Beds: A Reck­less Mem­oir of Hotels, Hus­tles, and So-Called Hos­pi­tal­ity by Jacob Tom­sky tells about the author’s decades of expe­ri­ence within the hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try. Mr. Tom­sky has started work­ing in hotels as a valet, got pro­moted to man­age­me...
Heads in Beds: A Reck­less Mem­oir of Hotels, Hus­tles, and So-Called Hos­pi­tal­ity by Jacob Tom­sky tells about the author’s decades of expe­ri­ence within the hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try. Mr. Tom­sky has started work­ing in hotels as a valet, got pro­moted to man­age­ment and worked in many other roles within the industry.

The book is a per­fect book for the trav­eler, a look into what peo­ple in all lev­els in hotels go through to make your stay smooth and how you can make it smoother. The book is a quick read, funny and some­times offen­sive (in a good way).

Mr. Tom­sky started out his career in New Orleans, but is now liv­ing for a long time inNew York City. The writ­ing reflects East Coast humor, jest­ing which in other parts of the coun­try is deemed offen­sive, rude and would likely get you beaten up or killed in some parts.

In my trav­els, I have tipped room ser­vice and bell hops before but never thought to do so with desk clerks. Now I know that I need to shall out a few bucks to make my stay more enjoyable.

How­ever, unlike other indus­tries where tips are given, in the hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try tips go a much longer way. The author claims that when you give a tip to the desk clerk (it’s a bribe, come on who are we kid­ding?) the desk clerk will do a lot to make your stay bet­ter, from upgrades to free “stuff”. Some­thing I will per­son­ally have to try next time I stay anywhere.

The dif­fer­ence between a bribe given to a front desk clerk at a hotel and your friendly neigh­bor­hood politi­cian is that the bribe you give to the desk clerk actu­ally gets bet­ter results. The desk clerk will work and hus­tle for you to earn the money he/she was given and you will enjoy the results (or so the author claims — I'll try it myself at my next hotel stay.

The book could use a bit of edit­ing, not much but some of the sen­tences are too long and sev­eral of the chap­ters skip back and fourth between sub­jects. I read an advanced reader copy (ARC), so please take this with a grain of salt since I don’t know if the final book will be the one I read.

The author’s frus­tra­tion with his cho­sen pro­fes­sion, or a pro­fes­sion which chose him (the case for most work­ing Amer­i­cans if it’s any con­so­la­tion for Tom­sky), comes out with wit and intel­li­gence while spit­ting bolts of fire – a remark­able achieve­ment in my opinion.

At the back of the book Mr. Tom­sky included two very funny appen­dices "Things a Guest Should Never Do" and "Things Every Guest Must Know" which are an excel­lent way to close the book.

posted by Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com on November 20, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Mmmmm its ok

I read this, and while I enjoyed some of the authors stories, I found his writing style kind of boring. Some of his stories were kind of blah too. I purchased this hoping it would read like Steve DuBlanica's "Waiter Rant", a funny insightful look into the hotel industry...
I read this, and while I enjoyed some of the authors stories, I found his writing style kind of boring. Some of his stories were kind of blah too. I purchased this hoping it would read like Steve DuBlanica's "Waiter Rant", a funny insightful look into the hotel industry. I just did not like it as much.

posted by 10286544 on November 26, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 6
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Heads in Beds: A Reck­less Mem­oir of Hotels, Hus­tles, and So-C

    Heads in Beds: A Reck­less Mem­oir of Hotels, Hus­tles, and So-Called Hos­pi­tal­ity by Jacob Tom­sky tells about the author’s decades of expe­ri­ence within the hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try. Mr. Tom­sky has started work­ing in hotels as a valet, got pro­moted to man­age­ment and worked in many other roles within the industry.

    The book is a per­fect book for the trav­eler, a look into what peo­ple in all lev­els in hotels go through to make your stay smooth and how you can make it smoother. The book is a quick read, funny and some­times offen­sive (in a good way).

    Mr. Tom­sky started out his career in New Orleans, but is now liv­ing for a long time inNew York City. The writ­ing reflects East Coast humor, jest­ing which in other parts of the coun­try is deemed offen­sive, rude and would likely get you beaten up or killed in some parts.

    In my trav­els, I have tipped room ser­vice and bell hops before but never thought to do so with desk clerks. Now I know that I need to shall out a few bucks to make my stay more enjoyable.

    How­ever, unlike other indus­tries where tips are given, in the hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try tips go a much longer way. The author claims that when you give a tip to the desk clerk (it’s a bribe, come on who are we kid­ding?) the desk clerk will do a lot to make your stay bet­ter, from upgrades to free “stuff”. Some­thing I will per­son­ally have to try next time I stay anywhere.

    The dif­fer­ence between a bribe given to a front desk clerk at a hotel and your friendly neigh­bor­hood politi­cian is that the bribe you give to the desk clerk actu­ally gets bet­ter results. The desk clerk will work and hus­tle for you to earn the money he/she was given and you will enjoy the results (or so the author claims — I'll try it myself at my next hotel stay.

    The book could use a bit of edit­ing, not much but some of the sen­tences are too long and sev­eral of the chap­ters skip back and fourth between sub­jects. I read an advanced reader copy (ARC), so please take this with a grain of salt since I don’t know if the final book will be the one I read.

    The author’s frus­tra­tion with his cho­sen pro­fes­sion, or a pro­fes­sion which chose him (the case for most work­ing Amer­i­cans if it’s any con­so­la­tion for Tom­sky), comes out with wit and intel­li­gence while spit­ting bolts of fire – a remark­able achieve­ment in my opinion.

    At the back of the book Mr. Tom­sky included two very funny appen­dices "Things a Guest Should Never Do" and "Things Every Guest Must Know" which are an excel­lent way to close the book.

    18 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Good quick read

    Interesting insight into the luxury hotel industry. A bit repetative at points but all in all a fun and quick read.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Great Read

    If work in a hotel or have ever worked in a hotel (lifer myself) you will LOVE this book. I cant say enough how great this book is. So just do yourself a favor and read it.. you can thank me later.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Cracking me up.

    As good as Kitchen Confidential!

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Mmmmm its ok

    I read this, and while I enjoyed some of the authors stories, I found his writing style kind of boring. Some of his stories were kind of blah too. I purchased this hoping it would read like Steve DuBlanica's "Waiter Rant", a funny insightful look into the hotel industry. I just did not like it as much.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Author: Jacob Tomsky Published By: Double
























    Author: Jacob Tomsky
    Published By: Doubleday
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Blog For: GMTA
    Rating: 4

    Review:

    "Heads in Beds:A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality" by Jacob Tomsky was quite a interesting memoir read especially for those of us who have travels and stayed in many hotel establishments. This author shared with the reader many laughs, a lots of repetition of anecdotes...with some attitude and his personal life especially his hospitality experience. You are able to follow him from New Orleans as valet.. got promoted to management ..then to work in many other roles within the industry. Mr. Tomsky visit Europe but finally ends up in New York. I felt that this author tells it all.."including the shortcuts the housekeepers take, the hustles the bellhops make, and what is required to motivate your front desk agent to give you a better room (hint: money)."

    The essential points of the memoir aspect of this book are "A degree in Philosophy was useless for him.. working with the general public sucks, and bellhops make good money." A lot of this was humorous for the reader but when you think of it...couldn't this be true? Yes! This was a quick read that was even humorous at times and let me mention that the language was a little offensive... however, I still liked this novel and how this author felt about this job. I definitely felt this novel can make you a lots smarter... for instance...I did learn a little more about the tipping of the desk clerk...hay...they can make your trip more enjoyable. So, why not tip? I also enjoyed the two funny appendices "Things a Guest Should Never Do" and "Things Every Guest Must Know" which are an excellent way to close the book." What is up with the 'crinkly handshake' that you give the doorman? I found out about tips on "how to get out of Movies, Mini bar, Upgraded Rooms, and the best one how to get out of a late cancellation without paying the cancellation fee." Now I am not saying you should do this but.... This is where I say you must pick up this novel and you can get a real awareness of what goes on inside the hotel hospitality system.

    With that being said, Yes, I would really recommend "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality" as a good read. If you are looking for a funny read with a lot of interesting experience ....you have come to the right place. Now..... let me also say: This is a ADULT READ...due to its language.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    So so.

    It started out great. Held my interest, and was hysterical and true, But it quickly became repetitious and a bit boring.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I wanted to love this book, however, it wasn't meant to be

    I happened to read the review of this book while traveling. It sounded interesting so bought it when I got home (I had nothing to read on the plane so looked for it at the airport in Miami - it hadn't been released to airport stores yet.) As a frequent traveler, I really wanted to love this book. Other than being an elite member of a chain of hotels, I was hoping to learn the secrets to securing upgrades and freebies. While I was surprised to learn that front desk agents welcome "tips", little else about the book gave me concrete advise. I felt the pain and frustration that "Tom" often experienced with his employer - yet I'm sorry to say that unless one stays in hotels on a regular basis, I don't see much reason for reading this book other than getting into the head of a guy that is unhappy, frustrated and has little direction in life.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    Having been in the travel industry for 10 years and, more recent

    Having been in the travel industry for 10 years and, more recently, been a corporate traveler, I learned a great deal from the stories Tomsky told. And no, I didn't realize tipping/bribing the front desk clerk would get me an upgrade, etc. This is a must read for all travelers.
    However, the F word was used entirely too much. I'm not a prude (heaven knows, I use the F word myself) but there were times it seemed to be thrown in for shock value or just because. That made the last few chapters drag for me. I wanted to know whether he left the industry or stayed on but forced myself to read to the end.
    By the way, the information he tells is invaluable to all travelers so I guess it was worth the reading.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    Great book!

    Entertaining, funny, and educational!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2012

    Working as a Front Desk Manager (read that to mean Assistant Gen

    Working as a Front Desk Manager (read that to mean Assistant General Manager since he's not around much), in a much smaller hotel, I can say there is a lot of truth in Heads in Beds. Although we don't have bellhops, large housekeeping staff, restaurant, etc. I think I've met most of the guests he describes! My wife kept asking "what" when I'd laugh or comment on what I was reading. I just wish we got the tips he did (I think I've gotten $10 in two years ...). Liked this book so much I bought two more to share with my Hospitality friends!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Tori

    Here

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Jacob Tomsky rocked it!!! Well written, hilarious with such an

    Jacob Tomsky rocked it!!!

    Well written, hilarious with such an easy flow. He explains from all points of view from front desk, to valet, to bellman, to doorman,...to guests and their etiquette. He covers a lot of detail and opens your eyes in such a concise witty book. 

    What you will get from this book is excellent details and tips on how to book and get better rooms, how to cancel a room and not pay a penalty, how to use the mini bar, and not at your own expense, how to treat the bellman to get tourist guide, or for anything you need from directions to sports or best plays and restaurants without bothering the concierge. It's quicker anyway. And most importantly, how to approach the front desk and get them to give you the room you really want, after all, the  check in clerk has access to the computer and sees its layout, not the doorman or concierge, so treat accordingly;-).  You will get all this useful info through funny stories, laid out matter of facttly, from the man that checked in celebrities, tourists, and locals. That's right, he includes all types and it's insightful. 

    Again he rocked it! Solid integrity to hospitality! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Great read. Entertaining as %$*%!

    Loved the book, loved the writing voice, loved the characters, loved the details of the hustles. Should be required reading for anyone with a platinum or higher AmEx card.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A delightful book!  Lots of humor, lots of tips on how to "

    A delightful book!  Lots of humor, lots of tips on how to "work the system" when staying in American hotels.  Am I the only person who hasn't thought to tip the desk clerk?  Just hadn't thought of it, and to think of all the benefits a bill or two could possibly come my way.  Even without the tips, this books is well worth the read.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Good read

    Funny and informative

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    My husband commented "I hate it when you find a really good

    My husband commented "I hate it when you find a really good book." 'Cause I had trouble putting this page-turner down. I thoroughly enjoyed following the author from his first job as a parking valet in New Orleans to his last job as a front desk guy in New York. All the little behind the scenes politics, minutae and fun, without being gross or scary.

    I highly recommend this read for all writers, travelers and hospitality industry workers. Bravo, Mr. Tomsky!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Trash. This book has a very shallow plot and is laced with profa

    Trash. This book has a very shallow plot and is laced with profanity. The author loves the F word and other 7th grade vocabulary. I usually give away books when I finish them. This time I will throw the book away.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Huge disappointment

    tomsky's writing is overly repetitive, and he uses vulgarity gratuitously. It's too bad that he lost his humanity along the way and became solely interested in large and frequent tips, but it makes for vacuous reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    This is an awesome book and one of the most entertaining I have

    This is an awesome book and one of the most entertaining I have read in a long time. I found myself compelled to read the entire book in a weekend. For work I spend a lot of time traveling so I can relate to the goings on that I often catch a glimpse of. This is a must read for anyone in the hospitality industry. JT writes what so many of us have wanted to.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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