Hotels are traveller’s temporary homes. They have different amenities, like elegant interiors, cozy bedrooms, gorgeous bathrooms, relaxing balcony views, state-of-the-art public facilities, and warm customer service, which make their guests feel at home. Hotels make you feel nothing but bliss – until it’s time to see the bill.
Let’s admit it. Hotel accommodations are quite expensive. And we’re not just talking about the five-star hotels but all hotels in general. The only way to relieve yourself after spending a couple of dollars for a three-night stay is the fact that you got the best of what you have paid for.
From the tricks in receiving exceptional hotel experience at a lower cost to the list of goods and services you can get for free, here are eight hacks in making the most out of your hotel stay.
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Don’t book on discount sites
Thinking of booking on discount sites? Then expect a discounted experience as well. According to Jacob Tomsky, a prominent personality in the hotel industry and author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, And So-Called Hospitality, reservations made through Internet discount sites are often reserved for the worst hotel rooms.
Hotels usually set aside a certain block of rooms for third-party platforms and save the best rooms and more variety for direct bookings. Additionally, you can negotiate if you call the hotel directly.
Use the time to your advantage
Great timing is key if you want to get the best out of the hotel’s service. If you don’t want to get upset that your room isn’t ready yet, don’t show up at 11 a.m. when your check-in time is 2 pm. For sure, you don’t want the housekeepers to rush in preparing your room. If you have a special request, don’t call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for these are rush hours. Chances are receptionists are serving a long line of guests and they may not be able to process your request effectively.
Still hoping to score an upgrade? Checking in near the end of the day might work. Hotels have a greater sense of occupancy during this time and are more likely to offer available upgrades.
Ask for a corner room
“All rooms are the basically the same”- this is probably one of the top lies of a front desk agent. If you want to have a better room for the same price, always opt for a corner room. These rooms, no matter what floor you’re on, tend to have a square footage.
Corner rooms also allow you to witness more scenic views from your balcony or windowpane. Just be discreet when asking for an upgrade, especially when other guests are waiting to be assisted.
Request a fresh bed as soon as you arrive
Most hotels wash the sheets everyday but blankets only get washed once a week. Bedspreads, on the other hand, are usually washed once a month, unless there’s a visible stain.
Never pay for the minibar
Minibar fees are outrageous, and most guests choose not to touch the cabinet to avoid fees. However, you don’t have to pay for the items you consume (or steal) from the minibar. Why? Minibars are known as the most disputed charges on a hotel bill. Delays in checking and restocking, double stocking, keystroke errors, moving rooms and other mistakes make the charges of the minibar the most voided item.
Even if you claimed to never have touched those items even if you did, the hotel management will never accuse you of lying. They won’t go through your trash bin, searching for an empty bag of Lay’s you consumed yesterday.
Steal the toiletries
Or should we say, “take advantage” of the free toiletries? In contrary to what you think, hotels love it when you take home their soap, shampoo, lotion, sanitizer, and other stuff. That is why they put their business name or logo on them. If you want other free hotel stuff, all you must do is pick up the phone and ask.
However, you’re still not entitled to everything. Stealing the bathrobe, bedspreads, pillows, towels, coat hangers, and even toilet seat covers is a different story.
Be a smart complainer
Have complaints? Instead of hysterically talking to the front desk agent, respond in a calm manner, briefly outline your problem and ask whom you should speak with to have the concern addressed. It would also be great to offer a solution if you have one.
Another way to make sure the attendant won’t just nod and forget to solve your problem is by getting his or her name. Just casually say, “I’ll drop by at your desk later to make sure everything has been taken care of, James” and expect the identified employee to be as attentive to your concern as possible.
The bellman, valet, doorman, and housekeepers can either be friends or foes. Take care of them and you’ll get a higher reward of service; treat them badly and you’ll get, well, nothing special. And since most of them are paid minimum wage, there’s only one word to make them happy – tip.
A decent tip may get a long way. Jacob Tomsky recalled, “when I feel that $20 (£12) you slipped me burning in my pocket, I will find that upgrade for you, as well as other options like late checkout, free movies, free minibar, room service amenities, and more. I’ll do whatever it takes to deserve the tip and then a little bit more in the hope that you’ll hit me again.”
Carmina Natividad is a writer who has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementoes from different places. She also enjoys writing for Holiday Inn, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travellers in Australia.
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