10 Secrets You Should Know About Hotels

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The hotel industry is renowned for keeping a few little “secrets” and the staff has seen it all. Here they spill the beans on 10 of those secrets you should know when booking to stay at a hotel.

1. Ask in private for a room upgrade. The chances are, if you are asking for an upgrade when other guests are around, you will get turned down. Reader’s Digest suggests requesting a corner room or handicapped one if you are after something more spacious without having to pay extra.

2. If you are arriving early, call ahead. You can actually request an earlier check-in if you are ahead of schedule. However, you need to call ahead to let the hotel know so that they can arrange to have you room cleaned as a priority, Insider noted. However, not all hotels will accommodate earlier check-ins.

3. Ask about excursions at the front desk. You may not know this but some concierges actually get kickbacks for sending hotel guests to the more expensive tourist attractions. The front desk can provide you with a more unbiased recommendation, Readers Digest noted.

4. Be smart about complaining. Most complaints should be delivered to the front desk, and the staff will likely be able to solve the problem immediately, but it depends on how you approach the situation. Jacob Tomsky, author of “Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality” suggests outlining the issue, offering a possible solution then ask whether or not you should speak to a manager, Mental Floss noted. Tomsky adds that it helps to address staff by name. “Nothing tightens up an employee’s throat like being directly identified,” he said.

5. Everyone lies at some point. One hotel receptionist confessed to Reader’s Digest that lying was common place in the hotel industry. “Sometimes my boss makes me lie, like when the elevator’s not working and I tell you someone is coming to fix it soon. I know it won’t be fixed until Monday, because the manager doesn’t want to pay the repairman’s weekend rate.”

6. Some hotels will price match. Insider suggests making a reservation at one hotel where you can cancel at no additional cost, then contact anther hotel and tell them you saw their good reviews and would like to book, but that you already have a reservation. Then ask the concierge if they could offer you a better rate.

7. Room service isn’t always the best option. It may seem like a luxury but according to Insider, there are certain things you should avoid ordering- like coffee, which might be stale and burnt, and seafood, which may not be as fresh.

8. Take the shower soaps. “We love it when you steal the soap, shampoo, and lotion,” a hotel receptionist told Reader’s Digest. “That’s why we put our logo on them. But pillows, bedspreads, and irons? We’re billing your credit card. Learn what else you can (and can’t) steal from hotels.”

9. Booking from a discount site means a discounted experience. If you are making reservations through online discount sites, you will likely be slated for the worst rooms, said Tomsky. “Does this seem unfair? First of all, we earn the slimmest profit from these reservations. And honestly, those guests didn’t really choose our property based on quality; they chose based on value,” he said.

10. Request clean linen when checking in. According to one hotel receptionist, sheets are washed every day but blankets are usually only washed once a week while bedspreads are often only washed when stains show. 

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