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19 Need-to-Know Secrets From Hotel Staff

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Secrets hotel staff actually want you to know.

Secrets hotel staff actually want you to know.

If you're a traveler, there's a high chance that you look forward to your vacations. You're excited to check into your hotel because it means time away from home. You get to stay in a place without thinking of who changes the sheets, cleans the toilet, and throws out the trash. All of these things sound like the vacation you've always wanted, but no hotel runs without secrets.

Insiders Reveal Some Hotel Secrets

Every place has one. Casino managers, bank tellers, salespeople, and even airport staff all have something to share about their workplace. When it comes to the hospitality industry, knowing those secrets can help you find the right hotel and improve your stay. Sometimes, they're worth remembering so you have future references. Either way, here are 19 secrets from various hotel staff. Beware . . . you might rethink your reservation after reading them.

Hotels provide a beautiful view, but they aren't always what you think they are.

Hotels provide a beautiful view, but they aren't always what you think they are.

1. Most hotels pay housekeepers per room.

Cleaning or any job the hotel requires (repairs or renovation) is often paid based on the number of rooms covered. It's because it takes to clean or work in the area. If they paid per hour, they wouldn't earn as much profit. That's why you'll find some rooms with stained sheets, dusty windows, or sticky surfaces. They only call in the housekeepers at the end of the day.

2. The best day to check in is Sunday.

You should schedule your travels and out-of-town trips during the first Sunday of the month. During this time, most vacationers are leaving and business travelers are still on their way. Get in the hotel early so you'll have the option to pick the room you want.

3. Hotels and the local police are on great terms.

Hotels are always part of celebrations and vacations. Sometimes, a party goes out of hand and authorities need to interfere. It's not hard to imagine how many times the police paid a visit to the site. Hence, most hotels and local law enforcement and medical units have a great relationship.

4. Third-party booking sites are costly.

Here's the truth—you won't get the best deals from third-party booking sites. Often, hotels go to these sites to sell their rooms because of their high vacancy rates. If you want to know if the hotel has available rooms, you should call the hotel directly. You can ask for their "base" or "rack" rates. You will not only get a decent deal. You can also form ties with the management. You never know what you'll get when you become a loyal customer.

5. You won't know if there's a celebrity in the building.

Hotels respect their guests' privacy. Hence, they keep quiet when there are high-profile visitors or A-listers in the vicinity. There's a chance there's a celebrity on your floor, but you won't know it. Most of the time, they come out at night when there are fewer people in the lobby. They also schedule transportation with the help of management to have the least possible disruption.

6. Hotel glasses and sheets are dirty.

As much as possible, you should avoid hotel cups and glasses. They are often neglected and placed together with greasy plates and flatware. Thus, they can host a lot of germs and bacteria.

Another thing that is icky is the sheets. They don't wash them as often as they should. Think about all the hairs and dead skin sticking to the bedding. It'll make you think twice about booking a room.

7. It pays to be nice.

It doesn't hurt to say please and thank you once in a while. The least you can do for the people who get your drinks, hand you coffee, and prep your meal is to smile. Being kind to the staff can be your ticket to complimentary service, an exclusive offer, or a freebie.

8. The rooms are not the same.

Some places have a nice view. Others have a bigger than usual bathroom, an extra couch, or a huge TV. Don't be afraid to "discretely" ask the front desk to give you the best room in the house.

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9. You can get free stuff.

Toiletries aren't the only things you can get from the hotel. You can ask for other things like a writing kit, some stamps, alcohol, and fruit baskets. You can also request for a complimentary drink or meal vouchers for the hotel's restaurant or bar. Some hotels can even give you VIP access to a nearby club.

10. Avoid cancellation fees by rescheduling.

If you must cancel your reservation, there's a way to do it without being charged a fee. Call the hotel and request to move your reservation to a later date. Ensure that it's outside the span of days you'll get charged for canceling. After a few days, try calling to cancel the new reservation.

There are some things you should skip when in the hotel, but you won't know unless you ask.

There are some things you should skip when in the hotel, but you won't know unless you ask.

11. Purchase tickets through the concierge.

You can ask the hotel's front desk to help you score tickets to nearby museums, concerts or games. The concierge knows who to contact and can even get you discounted prices.

12. Call if you're arriving early.

You can request an earlier check-in time, but you must call in first. Delays in check-in happen because rooms aren't ready. When you call an hour before arriving at the hotel, you give time for housekeeping to tidy up. That way, you minimize waiting time and increase the chance of your room being ready. However, you must ensure the hotel doesn't charge you a fee for coming in before the set time.

13. The higher floors are perfect if you want peace.

If you want to get away from the ruckus on the lower levels, you should request a room on the top floors. The rooms are far from the streets, function halls, and party groups entering and leaving the place.

14. Getting "walked" exists.

When hotels are overbooked, they can pitch you to another hotel (usually within walking distance) to get a room at the same price. Guests who are only staying for a night are likely to get walked. A first-time guest that seems like they won't visit the place again is also a candidate for getting walked.

15. Room service isn't advisable.

Don't order a salad with avocado, seafood, and fries. Don't even think about ordering coffee. Most of the time, it's burnt, stale, old, and gritty. You should also think twice about ordering eggs. They may be nice and runny when they come out of the kitchen, but they won't be the same by the time they reach your room.

16. Work with a travel agent.

A DIY travel plan sounds like a great idea. It can save you bucks, and you don't have to follow the restrictions you get from taking bundled travel packages from travel agencies. In reality, you can save more when you work with a travel agent. Travel agents can help you find accommodation with special rates and discounts.

17. You get what you pay for.

If you scored a good deal from a website, then that's good for you. But don't expect to get the best room in the hotel. The staff knows when their guests get a bargain, and they match the price you paid to the room you get.

18. Local businesses work together.

Local businesses team up to get more people into their establishments. If you're looking for places to eat and places for entertainment, you shouldn't always rely on the concierge. It's better to do your research and check what people are saying about the areas you wish to visit.

19. Online ratings are more reliable than the official star-rating system.

Traditional star ratings are based on the number of amenities a hotel has, the size of the rooms, the number of electrical outlets, and other things. Unfortunately, the rating system doesn't cover the kind of service the establishment provides. That's is why it's much better to find a hotel based on the star rating from user-review apps. It is much more comprehensive and helpful in giving a full picture of what you get when you stay in the hotel.

A Final Word

A lot of things happen behind the scenes in busy places like hotels. Of course, they won't tell you these things, as it may damage their reputation. Good thing there are hotel workers who are willing to give you a glimpse of what happens in the place you look forward to spending your vacation!

© 2018 Katrina Maldonado

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