Heads in Beds

Heads in Beds

A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-called Hospitality

Large Print - 2014
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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.
Jacob Tomsky never "intended" to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in "hospitality" for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In "Heads in Beds" he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we "think" we know.

"Heads in Beds" is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who's seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department's dirty little secrets--not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it's like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.

Along his journey Tomsky also reveals the secrets of the industry, offering easy ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle. This book (and a timely proffered twenty-dollar bill) will help you score late checkouts and upgrades, get free stuff galore, and make that pay-per-view charge magically disappear. Thanks to him you'll know how to get the very best service from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, you will keep the bellmen from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and bashing it against the wall repeatedly.

Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2014.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410473974
Branch Call Number: 647.94 T66h
Characteristics: large print.
423 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Call Number: 647.94 T66h


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Apr 17, 2017

Hotels, like restaurants, employ lots of staff who don't stay very long. It's also a staff that observes, judges, and hustles every person it can. Tomsky pulls back the curtain on luxury hotels and lets the reader see all the magic or un-magic behind the posh lobby and courteous staff. He also has more than one tale to tell about celebrity behavior when the camera isn't rolling or their handler isn't in the room. Appendixes include Things a Guest Should Never Say, Things a Guest Should Never Do, Things Every Guest Must Know, FYA -- Finding Your Agent, Standard LIES That Spew from the Mouth of a Front Desk Agent, and a Brief Guest Survey. You'll never look at a hotel front clerk the same way again.

Apr 22, 2015

A very good read....funny, interesting and entertaining.

Apr 16, 2015

Funny and snarky. Interesting insight to the hotel business.

ChristineT_RPL Nov 30, 2014

This is an eye opening account of the hotel industry. Jacob Tomsky has written about his experiences over many years from scandals to fraud in the hospitality industry. From driving high end cars as a valet to meeting Hollywood stars. This is a fast and interesting read. http://staffpicks.yourlibrary.ca/

Aug 21, 2014

Jacob Tomsky has written a no-holds-barred account of life in a luxury hotel. While it is told from the perspective of a hotel employee, it is a true guide for guests in hotels too. Tomsky tells his tale with humor and a current of realism flowing through. I read the book in one sitting. The author sums up his experiences as a hotel employee in one pithy statement: "Those who do not have, will always serve those who do."

WVMLStaffPicks Aug 19, 2014

Fresh out of college with a “useless” philosophy degree and no job prospects, Tomsky works as a valet parker. Having plenty of street smarts, he rises up the ranks of the luxury hotel business. There are plenty of revealing upstairs-downstairs horror stories here, but Tomsky’s literary instincts, observant eye, and sensitivity (lurking beneath his cynicism and colourful language) truly make for an entertaining and readable memoir. You’ll have new respect for the people who check you in, park your car and clean your room—and you won’t dream of not tipping them.

Jun 27, 2014

If you travel & stay in hotels you may find his insights helpful.

DanniOcean Feb 24, 2014

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, Feb 2014 (see Summaries)

Feb 16, 2014

A fun to read book, gives a lot of tips and such about how hospitality really works. (Apparently, completely on tips, and large ones at that...) Book starts to get creepy around the subject of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, but other than that, a fun read.

Nov 18, 2013

Great read and true from my experience.

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Feb 16, 2014

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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DanniOcean Feb 24, 2014

What is surprising about Jacob Tomsky’s memoir of hotel hustles is not that it is (yet) another whistleblower exposing the darker underbelly of his chosen industry, but that his writing is so fluid. Yes, there is a vague tang of bitterness and a lot of cussing, particularly when recreating situations with co-workers and customers alike, but instead of lowering the tone of the book to the lowest common denominator it instead keeps the tone easy, conversational and hence, the pages keep turning, almost by their own volition. In fact, I tried to put this book down at the end of four different chapters and found that I could not; not only because I like to travel and Tomsky peppers his memoir with insider tips on how to get the best service at hotels - usually involving crossing a palm with money – but also for the sense of Schadenfreud that comes from being thankful at not being in the hotel industry. Reading this book was akin to watching a disaster unfold, a morbid fascination takes hold of you to see how Tomsky deals with the next incompetent co-worker/ irate customer/ faceless corporation / entitled celebrity / union boss or all of the above on any given day. But most people with jobs in any service industry can identify with such things, making Tomsky’s stories eminently relatable – well, except for maybe the celebrity interactions. With these Tomsky drops a few names, respects the privacy of others and avoids liability where necessary (silver fruit-bowls of pills – heck that could be anyone in Hollywood, couldn’t it?). What I found myself admiring – even among the minefield of f-bombs – was Tomsky’s resilience in such a chaotic atmosphere. His moral compass is set firmly in the middle, neither so high to be arrogant nor so low to be contemptible; not one to party with guests, but not above the occasional subversive gesture at heartless hotel owners. In short, Tomsky seems like a good guy, if a bit on the jaded side, and though he may never get hired in the hotel industry again, his new career as a writer seems off to a good start. Find Heads in Beds on the shelves at libraries in Stratford and Listowell, and at downloadlibrary.ca


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