8 Things hotel staff know and don’t share
Much as a service station does not tell a driver that there is usually no need to purchase the more expensive high octane gasoline, so too do hotels not tell guests every helpful tip about their accommodations. Here are eight things to ask the desk clerk on arrival or over the course of a stay.
1) Is Today’s Rate Better than the Reservation Rate? – Hotel rates fluctuate and a room reserved weeks or months in advance has a rate predicted for the day of arrival. Always ask on check-in if the day rate is better than the reserved rate. The hotel should give the guest the better of the two.
2) Is This the Right Room? – Being on the ground floor of a hotel can be a great convenience if one is driving. However, they are often the most expensive rooms. Isn’t ridng up an elevator worth $10 a day in the pocket?
3) Free Late Checkout? – Hotels usually have a checkout time somewhere around 10-11AM in order to accommodate the housekeeping staff. If a departing flight time is not until late afternoon or evening, ask if a late checkout fee can be waived. At the very least, the hotel should be able to store luggage until the guest needs it.
4) Can Guests Get Bacon With That? – If a hotel offers both a price included continental breakfast, as well as a hot breakfast with an additional cost, ask if the hot breakfast can be included. Given that a set amount of hot food has to be laid out by the hotel in the morning anyway, on slow days the hotel will often rather have a happier guest than a waste of food.
5) Registering a Complaint? – Perhaps the greatest secret hotels keep to themselves is that they appreciate complaints! Are the neighboring guests noisy? Did housekeeping forget bath towels? Complain! The front desk staff would much rather fix a situation right away, as opposed to a guest saving them up until the end and demanding a discount.
6) What Groups Get Discounts? – Hotels often offer discounts for members of AAA, or other organizations. Ask. Be sure to have a membership card available as proof.
7) Are There Frequent Guest Bonuses? – Particular with chain hotels, loyalty programs can quickly lead to free stays within the chain. Ask about them.
8) Is There a Weekend Rate? – Contrary to travelers’ instincts, weekends are often the slowest time for a hotel in terms of occupancy. Business travel is much more the core business for hotels in major cities. If one’s stay will overlap any of the weekend days, ask if the weekend rate can apply to the entire stay. There may be a pleasant surprise in store.
And after all, aren’t pleasant surprises better than unpleasant ones?
Have a great stay!