Helpful Tips for Hotel Stays
Staying in a hotel, motel, hostel or B&B on your next vacation? Here are a few handy tips…
Make your preferences clear over the phone when booking your room:
Number and size of beds — king, queens, double, twins, baby crib
High floor or low floor
View options — city view, ocean view, beachfront, riverfront, etc.
Patio or balcony
Preferred floor/location — Away from/Close to:
- Elevator and the stairs
- Ice and vending machines
- Hotel gym/pool/recreation area
- Hotel construction
- Elevator access
Access – inside only or from parking area? (For safety reasons, you might want to choose a hotel that only allows access to rooms inside the building.)
In-room and/or hotel safe
WHN Tip: While booking, get details (height, width, depth, type of lock) on in-room safe. Will it hold your laptop plus other valuables (jewelry, cell phone, money, passports, credit cards)? Is it key (one more thing to keep track of) or combination? Is a larger one available at the desk?
Membership discounts (such as AAA or senior citizen rates)
Special rates (room free with multi-night booking, kids stay free, etc.)
Amenities and services
Continental breakfast, pool, cable, other?
Airport shuttles –If available, details on when and where to meet them for arrival and departure. (Catching a red-eye? Check availability?)
Personal services: dry cleaning, room service, other?
Business services: wireless internet access, business center availability (onsite or nearby)
WHN Tip: Have the booking agent repeat the details when you're done making arrangements. Then call again to confirm your reservations a few days before you arrive to avoid mistakes or omissions.
Call if you're going to be late, even if it's only ten minutes late. (Hotels may give your room away if you're not on time.)
WHN Tip: Switching Rooms
If you need to switch rooms, have the hotel manager (or whomever) take you around to show you the options. Don't take your luggage with you when you do this. Make your choice to move (or stay where you are) and THEN have them move your luggage.
Ask about check in and out procedures.
Ask about tipping policies. Some hotels (all-inclusives) include tips in services and request that you NOT tip. If you're at an all-inclusive, ask how much of a tip is included in the fixed price (10-15%). You may want to tip more. It's usually at your discretion, but it's good to know.
WHN Tip: If staff are helpful or friendly, tip them where appropriate. If not, let management know. Don't be shy — most management want your stay to be the best they can make it.
Hotel Safety and Security
Lock your luggage once you've arrived at your hotel. Use sturdy locks either with a key or combination.
Don't put the Maid Service tag on your door if you won't be there. It alerts burglars to an empty room.
Leave the TV or radio on while you're gone. People will think you're in the room.
Don't prop doors open while moving in and out of the hotel room. It could be an invitation to trouble!
As you walk through the halls, notice the location of exit signs, fire stairs, fire extinguishers and pull fire alarms.
Read the emergency exit plan in your hotel room (usually located on the back of the main door).
If the alarm sounds, exit immediately! The alarm sounds for a reason!
Need directions? Reservations? A certain service? Transportation arrangements? Ask a concierge.
A concierge is a hotel employee who assists you and meets any and all of your requests. Don't hesitate to ask them for assistance. It is their job to be there for you and treat you as a honored guest.
You can also use a concierge service even when you're not traveling. To locate a concierge service nearest you, visit the National Concierge Association's web site.
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