The secret to making the most of your hotel experience is to ask for more. If you think hotels are going to hand over everything that’s on offer, think again. From surprising free amenities to finding out exactly what is covered in your fee, it pays to know what to ask for.
Here are some surprising things to ask for next time you check in to a hotel.
What’s the first thing you do in a new hotel room before you even take off your coat? That’s right, you steal the tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles. Typically, hotels offer a range of bath products, from body lotion and soap, to tooth brushes and a sewing kit. While some of these products could potentially come with a hidden fee, most of them are free of charge. Make sure you ask at the front desk upon check-in, so there are no surprises later.
A fresh bedspread
The faint of heart should avert their eyes for this one. While hotels do change the sheets and pillow cases between guests, they might not always change the bedspreads, doona covers and blankets. This must not pose a great health risk for most people, since hotels seem to get away it. But if sleeping under the same blankets as a horde of people before you makes you uneasy, go ahead and ask the hotel staff whether it’s possible to access some freshly-laundered bedding.
Tip: citing a hypoallergenic reaction (real or not) can work wonders in having your request met.
Ask who your neighbours are
When you’ve gone on holidays to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the last thing you want is for your relaxation to be disrupted by your next-door neighbours. Before agreeing on your room number, find out who will be staying either side of you. The most diplomatic way to ensure the rooms next door won’t be party rooms, is to ask whether your neighbours are a young family or a couple.
Before giving up your credit card
Hotels will often put a small hold on your credit card to cover any incidentals. This hold can have an effect on your available credit. So, before handing your card over, it’s a good idea to ask how much that hold is and at what point the funds will be released. This way, you’ll be better placed when it comes to shopping and dining out.
These days, hotels have upped their game in terms of complementary entertainment and facilities. Obviously, the larger (and swankier) the hotel, the more of these things will be on offer. Things you can reasonably expect are gym facilities, exercise equipment (think: yoga mats, workout gear), bike rentals, movie rentals, flat irons, phone chargers and electronics adapters.
Did someone say ‘snacks’?
You will probably be told if your hotel serves a complementary breakfast, so that’s no problem. However, a lesser known fact is that some hotels also offer their guests complementary snacks, ranging from tea and coffee, to fruit and pastries. This can be a life saver if you have to squeeze in a quick lunch before heading back out into the wilderness. If your hotel has a bar, find out whether it has a happy hour too – and please, let me know!
Have you got any tips on how to get freebies when you travel? Are you concerned about ‘sharing’ bedspreads and doona covers?