Heads in Beds

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

Tomsky, Jacob

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Heads in Beds
"A humorous memoir by a veteran hospitality employee that reveals what goes on behind the scenes of the hotel business. Includes tips on how to get the most out of your hotel stay"--

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0385535635
Characteristics: 247 p. ;,25 cm.


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Nov 30, 2014
  • ChristineT_RPL rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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
  • writermala rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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."

Aug 19, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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
  • tea_n_tomes rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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

Mar 03, 2014
  • DanniOcean rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

Feb 16, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Sep 26, 2013
  • ErnieK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Tomsky tells an interesting story of how a nice guy turns into a hustler. He clearly comes from a love of service, and cares enough about the matter to tell how he got from a good place to that of a front desk robot.

If you have ever worked in customer service, this book is for you. Why, oh why, do we keep coming back to do these demeaning, embarrassing jobs for little or no recompense, and no respect from management. The adversarial feeling will not go away until management stops treating staff like cogs in a machine, and customers stop trying to game the system.

Tomsky is a hellbent speed writer; this book is a swift read. It is not an advice book for tourists. It is snarky and funny and sad at the end, though clearly he's still in the business.

Remember, only losers use the name on the name tag without asking permission first. You know who you are.

Jul 09, 2013

would like to come back to this and read it didn't have time

May 29, 2013

There is really nothing about this book that I liked. So why did I finish it? Despite the egocentric, alcoholic, mean-spirited author's glee in exposing the very worst of the worst in people on both sides of the desk, there was interesting information that can be useful for my (rare) hotel stays. It did, however, confirm to me that a so-called luxury or five star hotel is not a place I want to be. Give me a clean, efficient, well-run three star with staff who do not trash me if my tips are too small--but may even help educate me on the proper amounts. I hope the resulting adversarial feeling and cynicism toward all hotel staff wears off before I stay in another hotel. I'd like to think some "regular people" work there, who actually see guests as fellow humans, deserving of respect.

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Feb 16, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Feb 24, 2014
  • DanniOcean rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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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