While you’d be forgiven for thinking hotels these days don’t give you much more than a room to rest your head in, if you play your cards right this is far from correct. A true case of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’, with a few strategic enquiries you can end up with a lot more than you bargained (and paid) for.
Not all rooms are created equal, even if they are sold that way. Make sure you make requests including an upgrade where possible, smoking or non-smoking, a quiet room or a room with a view depending on what is your preference. Another good request is a corner room, as these tend to be away from lifts, with more windows (aka light) and better views. Don’t forget to specify if you’d like a bath or not, as not all rooms are equipped with tubs.
If you have breakfast included but won’t make the allocated timeslot, tell the hotel in advance and ask them to prepare it takeaway for you. While they may not make a big song and dance of this offer – it isn’t an out-of-the-ordinary request.
Don’t be shy about sharing a special occasion with hotels. Whether it be a birthday, anniversary, new job or anything else worth popping bubbly for – it’s worth letting the hotel know about it in advance. Like most service providers, hotels want their guests to have a memorable stay so they will try to organise something special accordingly. Be careful about stretching the truth here, though … hotels have access to your date of birth, after all!
Don’t be suckered in by the hotel minibars, as there are easier ways to get bottled water and even snacks without the extortionate price tag. Often your room will come with a complimentary bottle or two of water, which can then be replenished for each additional night you stay. Hotel gyms and spas also provide water, so all it takes is a sneaky trip to one of these with a bag followed by a fast-faced walk back to your room. If you’re lucky, the spa or reception may even have packets of fruit and nuts.
If time is the most valuable thing in the world, then this is potentially the most valuable tip. As long as they have capacity, most hotels are more than happy to extend check-out time or allow early check-in. The earlier you ask, the better. And if they can’t extend your room time, they are highly likely to let you use their facilities, such as the gym, spa or business centre so you can relax without having to stress about how to fill in time or worrying about your luggage.
The moral of the story here is that it always pays to ask. Furthermore, if something is genuinely wrong with your experience or room, you won’t get anywhere by keeping quiet about it. Let management know and be polite but firm about wanting a remedy such as an upgrade or credit to use at the bar or spa. The worse that could happen is they will say no and you’ll be in the same position you were five minutes prior!