Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.

I really liked Kitchen Confidential so I decided to give this book a try.

Heads in Beds is billed as a book that is in the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant. That is, it's an inside look at a service industry and all the nitty-gritty stuff that goes on.

How does this compare to the other books? Well, I haven't read Waiter Rant but I have read Kitchen Confidential. While this book is good and the self-deprecating style and no-holds barred look is very similar to Kitchen Confidential, I prefer Anthony Bourdain's book just a little bit more.

Jacob/Thomas is funny and he does have some good stories. You really get a glimpse at the lives of the people who serve you at hotels. You also learn a few secrets about hotels and amenities. First off, while I knew that yes, some rooms are better than others and that those who get discounted rooms won't get the better rooms, I had no idea that you actually had a choice in the matter. It never occurred to me to ask the front desk agent to give me a room with a nice view. I guess it makes sense, though. Why shouldn't you get to choose a room if there are a lot of available rooms?

He gives a lot of tips that people can use to get upgrades and other stuff for free from hotels. I don't know if I'd use any of it, though. I'm not comfortable slipping people money to get better rooms or whatever. I don't feel comfortable getting food from the minibar either. I would feel too bad about it.

Overall, though, there are some very interesting and useful things that are described here. Frequent travelers should try reading this.

Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for the e-ARC. Publication date of Heads in Beds is on November 20, 2012.


  1. You can learn a lot of tricks you can use when you visit a hotel.
  2. There are a lot of interesting hotel stories.
  3. Jacob/Thomas is quite a storyteller.


  1. Some people might not be comfortable with using the tips he suggests.

Can you imagine how it feels, as a human, to be part of someone else's efoort to multitask?

  1. You're a frequent traveler.
  2. You wonder what it's like to work at a hotel.
  3. You wonder how to get free stuff and upgrades at hotels.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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