For every industry, there are trade secrets. Guarded, but somehow always accessible if you are smart enough. The travel and tourism industry is on fire everywhere. Travelling has become a rage and hotels, hostels, guest houses, homestays…all make a killing with the number of people that knock their pretty doors.
Therefore it is always good to know the fine print, to know some trade secrets, and to simply be prepared. Here are a few things that they don’t tell you about the five-star hotels that everyone covets so much.
1. Celebrities and famous people sign up at hotels using fake names.
Remember that scene from Notting Hill where Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) who plays the role of an actress signs up at her hotels with names from various Disney Princesses? Yeah, that. Incognito mode on. And no matter what, the hotel will release no information.
2. Rooms are more expensive during the morning hours.
Makes sense, right? The checkout hour is close, rooms will open up and ready to be let out. But if you make reservations after 6 PM, chances are you will get a room for cheaper because there are always cancellations and no-shows and rooms get freed up.
3. Don’t ask for upgrades when other guests are within earshot
Duh? You don’t want to put the maître d’hôtel in a spot right? Because he won’t mind giving you an upgrade but he won’t like to be put in a spot where everyone else asks for one because he gave you one.
4. Corner rooms are more spacious.
Need a bigger room without asking for an upgrade? Ask for a corner room, which is mostly always the bigger ones. And bonus, you won’t have to pay more.
5. Don’t trust the small safe provided by the hotel.
You do know that technically, the whole hotel staff has access to your room yes? And even if you want to use that safe, make sure you don’t put things which are very, very valuable. What you can do is keep the valuables in the hotel safe and ask for a receipt. Now THAT one is insured.
6. If you don’t know what to do in the area, ask the bell boys and staff members.
No, we are not saying don’t talk to the concierge, they will, in fact, give you a lot of information. But sometimes the concierge sends you in a direction that won’t be easy on your pocket. To change that, make sure you communicate your budget to them and reach out to other hotel staff.
7. Always, always request for fresh linen when you check in.
Of course, when your room is being readied for you, that is taken care of. But even so, if your OCD is tingling, you might want to ask for fresh linen because sometimes the bedspreads and blankets are not changed.
8. No matter how hard you try, you will not get info on another guest staying at the hotel.
No matter if they are a celebrity or not, try as you may with all your might, chance are that the hotel staff will release no information on another guest staying there. So if you have a great one night stand with another guest from the hotel, make sure you exchange numbers. #JustSaying.
9. Things like “great view from the room” and distances from popular points may be exaggerated.
You know how they say in the brochure “the room comes with a breathtaking view”? Yeah, that might be stretching it too far sometimes, because you have to stretch your neck a little too far to get that view.
10. Be nice, and get some of those extras.
It is just that simple. Your “please” and “thank yous” will go a long way here. Long way enough to get you a complimentary snack, a bottle of champagne or maybe that upgrade you were hoping for, maybe some decorations in your room, reservations at special restaurants et al. Don’t demand, just be sweet.
11. Your room tariff might be less if you contact the hotel directly rather than go through a third-party travel website.
Because who wants the third party websites to get the commission?
You have been warned, and armed. Be wise my child.