Have a trip coming up and planning on checking into a hotel? Here are 9 essential travel tips from hotel managers themselves:
1. Just walk in. It is a bold move but you can save money by forgoing the booking agent. Showing up without a reservation gives you more room to negotiate a price, provided there are rooms available, Flavio Serreti, manager at Soprano Villas in Italy, told Reader’s Digest. “Even if we undercut our website’s listed prices a little, we would still make more revenue than if we had to pay commission,” Serreti said.
2. Be polite. The difference between a good room and a great room may come down to how nice you are to the front desk agents. Remember, they are the ones in charge of assigning rooms and if you are polite, they may just give you an upgrade, Michael Nenner, area general manager for Gurney’s Resorts, told Reader’s Digest.
3. Get on social media. Never underestimate the power of social media. Patrick Cook, regional director of sales and marketing at Swissotel Chicago explained to Reader’s Digest that many hotels connect with their guests in real-time through social media and review sites. “Hotels want nothing more than to surprise and delight you during your stay, so if you are celebrating a special occasion, let the front desk know; if you had a great meal in the restaurant, spread the word,” Cook said. “It’s very possible the hotel will show its gratitude with a special treat in your room.”
4. Be early to request a late check-out. If you are hoping to get a late check-out you need to make the request much earlier in the day as hotels can only allow a few late check-outs, Ric Tanner, general manager at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, told Reader’s Digest. It is a case of the early bird catching the worm.
5. Travel with binder clips. It may seem like an odd suggestion but Tanner explained that binder clips come in handy for closing up that pesky gap that forms in the middle where black-out drapes meet. “A skirt hanger from the closet will also work in a pinch,” he added.
6. Book well in advance (or last-minute). Chances are you can land a good deal if you are booking well in advance but hanging on until the last minute before making your reservation could also clinch you a few good specials. “Hotels want to fill spaces and get heads in beds,” Megan Walters, manager of Selvista Guesthouses on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua, told Reader’s Digest.
7. Have faith in your concierge. Rather than reading over dozens of reviews, go straight to your concierge, who is more reliable than anything you may read online, Anderson Foote, general manager of The Talbott Hotel in Chicago, told Reader’s Digest. “Know you’ll be guided well,” he said.
8. Get on that loyalty program. There are dozens of perks that come from joining a hotel’s loyalty program. From free internet to specials and discounts and even possible upgrades, there is nothing to lose. “Singing up during check-in will often get you an immediate upgrade or amenity from the front desk agents who are tracked on signups,” Robert Hannigan, general manager at Kimpton Tryon Park in Charlotte, NC, told Reader’s Digest.
9. Befriend the bellman. Want to get off the tourist trail and discover the hidden gems that aren’t found in the guidebooks? Speak to the bellman. “Bellstaff are experts in what the locals are doing,” said Hannigan. “They’re a perfect resource for finding out about that hold-in-the-wall bar, or small family restaurant that everyone in the city loves, but is reluctant to share with someone from outside the area.”
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