Read these 13 Misc. Hotel Issues Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hotels tips and hundreds of other topics.
If getting the best hotel deals is important then consider the time period you travel. Discount hotel reservations at the best rates can be difficult or
impossible to get during the so called high (or busy) travel season. Discount hotels are usually more readily available when schools are in session. In
addition when traveling to places like Las Vegas, Orlando and other Florida cities, going in the spring and fall during time periods when there are no school breaks you may get the best hotel deals and experience optimum weather. Flexibility in timing can be key to finding discount hotels. Research your travel destination thoroughly and determine if traveling in the off season makes sense or is possible for you.
If you will need any special handicap-friendly accoutrements in your hotel...whether bars, a cooler for insulin, wheel-in shower, a ground floor room...book the hotel direct or contact the hotel after it confirmed to verify that your request can be met. Explain- people are generally very understanding.
Some hotels have programs where your stay will accumulate frequent flyer mileage. You may be able to charge meals and other Hotel services to your room to get even more frequent flyer points. Check before making a reservation if frequent flyer reward programs are important to you.
Although not all Hotels have a concierge, if they do, a good concierge can be very helpful. They can help make your hotel stay extra special. If you want help getting a good tee time or reservations at the hot new or difficult to get into restaurant, the concierge may have the connections to make it happen. Remember a concierge works for tips and since they can provide such a wide variety of services, there aren't really standard tipping guidelines. Simple requests can be rewarded with small tips, but more complex and difficult requests should be rewarded accordingly.
When contacting a hotel's customer service department:
Make sure to write soon after the incident, while the information is fresh and you are still within any time limits.
Be sure to include as much specific information as possible when describing the problem including:
The location, date and time of the incident.
Your full name, reservation or confirmation number.
Include copies of any relevant paperwork (Keep the originals).
The name, title, employee number or physical description of those you dealt with if you have them.
Include a description of the actions taken by those involved.
Question the customer service department about your treatment, if you think you were not treated according to proper company policies or feel those policies don't provide for proper customer service.
Include any effects this problem has on your past and future impressions of the company. Don't make any baseless threats. They may write you off and leave you unsatisfied.
If you can think of any satisfactory solutions to your problem, suggest it to the customer service department to give them a chance to win back your business.
Se sure to include your name, address and a telephone number where they can reach you with their response.
What to do to handle a problem with a hotel:
First speak with the front desk, explain the problem and ask for it to be fixed.
Suggest any possible satisfactory solutions to the problem with whomever is working with you.
Allow a reasonable response time taking into account the nature of the problem.
Don't play "big shot" unless you are one. Computers do a great job keeping track of customers and they may have your information right in front of them. If you try acting like a "big shot" and your not, they might just think you are trying to get something for nothing and doubt your whole story. You have a right to demand good service.
Be sure to remain calm and keep it business like. Making a personal attack against the person who is trying to help you won't help in fact it will probably hurt. Acting calmly and professionally will bring you better results than unleashing your anger.
If the person whom you are dealing with isn't being helpful, ask to see a supervisor or manager.
Calmly explain the problem to the supervisor and allow them time to fix the problem.
If your still unhappy after going through the local chain of command, contact the hotel's customer service department.
To get a hotel to honor your special request, simply ask. Repeat business is based on customer satisfaction.
Don't forget to make your special requests when making a hotel reservation. There's no guarantees, but letting them know your special request as soon as possible helps them to find a room that will make you happy.
Most hotels are required to have nonsmoking rooms. If you want one, ask for one.
Many hotels will honor a request for a room in a certain location of the hotel.
Many hotels are have business suites designed for the business traveler.
Some hotels will childproof a room before you arrive.
To help save money on your hotel room rates:
Make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. Usually only a limited amount of the cheapest rates are available to the first few that reserve on a particular date and they go quickly.
Being flexible about when you travel can often save you money.
The best rates are usually found during the off-season and at other times when hotels tends to have empty rooms. Business hotels in the downtown area will often have specials on the weekends.
Be sure to ask about weekly rates or weekend specials.
Be sure to ask about suites. A hotel might have a suite available that would be less expensive than two separate rooms. Remember to check on the bathroom arrangement.
Shopping on the internet is usually the quickest and easiest way to compare many hotels' rates and to find the best deals.
Booking a room through a consolidator can often save a lot of money. They buy large blocks of rooms and often will pass their large discounts on to individual consumers.
Also check the national chain's 800 number and with the hotel directly, since one operator may be offering a special of which the other is unaware. Ask for the best rate available.
Try booking your vacation as a package. By booking your room along with a certain airline, rental car or attraction ticket package, you should be able to save money.
Be sure to ask apply any special discount programs for which you are eligible.
Finding hotel discounts is easy. Hotel discounts are available everywhere you look: magazines, newspapers, email, billboards, coupons, travel clubs, groups, associations, special internet rates, special hotel direct rates, etc. Examples of groups, retailers or associations offering hotel discounts are AAA, AARP, COSTCO, Sam's Club and TripRewards. Remember to read the fine print and provide the necessary membership or coupon number when booking discount hotel reservations.
Tipping hotel staff is a way to reward good service. There is no way to say what is appropriate across the board. You should tip at your own discretion, and only if you feel it is warranted. Here are some general guidelines:
Valet: $1-$2 each time he gets the car (more in bad weather)
Shuttle Driver: $2
Doorman: $1-2 for hailing a cab
Bellman: A tip of $1-$2 a bag if he brings your bags up to your room and again if he carries them back down
Room Service: 15% of the bill or at least $2 (unless gratuity is included)
Housekeeping: $1-$5/night (depending how good they are)
Concierge: The concierge at a hotel is your go-to person. If you need any kind of arrangements made during your stay, they can often make you dinner reservations, get you theater tickets and in general attend to you for anything you may need. It is a good idea to tip the concierge the first time you request special attention, anywhere from $2-$20 depending on the service provided and the services you anticipate needing.
AAssuming you don't have a GPS unit in your car, don't have personal experience going to a particular hotel or aren't being driven by someone like a cab driver who knows where the hotel is located, maps, directions or reference books are valid methods for finding a hotel's location. Books like AAA TourBooks provide a great way to find the location of a hotel. Calling the hotel directly and asking can also be useful. Most internet hotel reservation systems now have hotel maps included with hotel descriptions. Click here for an example of an internet reservation system. Type in a city like New Orleans as the destination city and using the default dates & room information (or anything you desire if making a real hotel search) and click on "Search". You will go a page of available hotels. (Note: there is a search box that says "Show Hotels Near Landmark" within about 5 inches of the top of the web page, clicking on down arrow on the search box and going to French Quarter (for New Orleans) takes you to a page which shows the hotels in or near the French Quarter). To the far right of each hotel name is the underlined words map and info. Clicking on map will get you a map that you can zoom in and out of showing the location of the hotel. Using a web sites like http://mapquest.com and entering a hotel's address is also a great to get a map of a hotel's location.
Many Hotels have loyalty programs where a stay will earn points toward gifts or free days on future Hotel stays. You should check into joining a hotel's loyalty program before arriving at the hotel.
Many hotel chains have partnered brands. They can offer brand names at several economic levels, from budget roadway hotels all the way to luxury resorts. Staying at any location within their chain can earn you points on their loyalty program.
Tese loyalty program may also qualify you for further discounts, upgrades or other special deals.
Some hotels even have special floors of upgraded rooms available for their loyalty program members.
These loyalty programs may also allow you to skip the big lines and reduce your check-in and checkout times.
Hotel deals come in many forms. If your vacation or trip includes the purchase of round trip airline tickets and staying at one hotel, then purchasing a hotel and airline ticket package (also know as air and hotel, travel or vacation package) can be a great way to great to save some money. It can getting a hotel deal and airline tickets easier. Click on --> http://saveontravelpackages.com to research and possibly purchase a discount hotel reservation and airline ticket package.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|