Have you ever had your dream holiday ruined by hotel mix-ups and high jinx? Here’s how to have the perfect stay.
Show your loyalty
Nothing will kill your holiday spirit faster than arriving at your destination to find out you’ve got the worst room in the venue. The easiest way to prevent this is to sign up with the hotel chain’s loyalty program, even if you don’t know if you’ll ever stay in another one of their properties. The reason is simple; all major hotel chain loyalty programs, even for their entry level members, offer guests the opportunity to input their preferences. These can literally be ‘away from elevator’, ‘high floor’, ‘good view’. What’s more, as a loyalty program member your requests will be given priority by that same ‘Rooms Controller’. All hotels will employ a Rooms Controller who, yes you guessed it, controls the rooms.
Play the Twitter game
In the old days the only way you could score special amenities at a hotel was if you made it clear you were a high roller or were getting married. Times have changed and some hotel chains have created guest incentives for Twitter users. When staying at a hotel, tweet them the details and there’s a good chance you’ll be greeted by a personalised surprise gift in your room, like complimentary wine, pastries, and food baskets. It’s all about laying the ground work before your arrival but just beware, they’ll be expecting a slew of thank you tweets.
It’s all about how you book
Since the average no-show rate at most hotels is 10 per cent daily, hotels will overbook whenever possible. The sales and reservations departments are encouraged to book the property to 110 per cent capacity, in the hopes that with cancellations and no-shows they will fill every room. If all customers show up it means an unlucky few have to be walked. This means the hotel will now pay for the entire night’s room and tax at a similar hotel in the area. Reasons you may be the customer who gets walked includes booking using Expedia and having a deeply discounted rate, being a first time customer and unlikely to visit the city again, holding a one night booking and most importantly of all, acting like a jerk.
Make friends with the staff
Many travellers are uncomfortable about asking for special treatment but hotel staff can be remarkably adept at solving problems, from a forgotten toothbrush to a forgotten anniversary, so you want them on your side. Hotel staff have been known to do anything from lending suits to wedding guests who have lost their luggage to sourcing items for dubious in-room activities. So if your problem is an uncomfortable pillow or a funny odour in the room, don’t be afraid to ask.
Time your arrival
The front desk needs to know the inventory of rooms they have to work with. If you check in later, say between 4pm to 6pm, you can increase your chances of scoring an upgrade because they can see the cancellations and no-shows for the day. Also, if your dates are flexible, you’ll want to avoid busy holiday times, as upgrades cannot be given if a hotel is at full occupancy.
What are your tips for having a better hotel stay?