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How To Get The Most From Your Hotel Stay

As times have changed, many people feel uncomfortable about asking for special requests from other people. Or think it is an unusual request and are embarrassed to ask. Hotel clerks understand the many reasons people come to stay at the hotel and have seen all and done all! Below I will talk about some of the many requests that you should not hesitate to ask for to help make your stay better.

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  • If you call the hotel desk that you will be staying at, instead of using an online booking site, you may be able to receive a discounted price if you ask. Many hotels pay up to a 30% fee for using them. So if you call the hotel direct, and ask for a discount they just may be able to do that. Also staying at an independently owned hotel offers much more flexibility at lowering rates than chain hotels are able to.
  • There may be times that you are staying at a hotel just to get away and would like for people to not be able to find you. Hotel clerks will be happy to help you with this. They can put an alert to the other clerks to say that you are not a guest there. They can also advise you on where to park your car so that it is not readily visible to other people driving by.download (15)
  • Many hotels offer a continental breakfast. A continental breakfast can range from a small breakfast with muffins, cereal, and juice to a big hot breakfast buffet. If a hotel offers both, most generally the hot breakfast buffet is paid for separately. When you call the hotel to make your reservation, a lot of times you can ask for the hot breakfast buffet to be included and they will usually grant that request.
  • Are you frequently traveling to the same area? Try to always book at the same hotel room. This way you will get to know the staff and they will treat you differently. You will be more likely to receive special upgrades, discounts, and offers of free tickets to local events.
  • The desk clerks most generally may have any of the little things you may be missing. Before running to the store late at night when you realized your forgot your tooth brush, be sure to check at the desk first. They can accommodate with extra towels, razors, and toiletries.
  • Lastly, if you are planning for a special stay, the hotel clerks are always more than excited to help you stage the room. Hotels have seen families book a room to celebrate a child’s birthday party at the pool to celebrating an anniversary, one of the most common reasons clerks have seen. At the time you are calling to make the hotel reservation, simply ask the clerk about coming prior to the stay to bring in supplies and to make notes about how you want the stuff set up in the room. There may be times that you can request to speak to the manager and they can take care of getting the items you would like in the room and have it set up for you for an added fee to your bill! How awesome and easy is that?

 

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Dirty Little Secrets When it Comes to Booking Hotel Rooms

Hotels can offer many levels of excitement and comfort. Walking through the doors often fills the body with a thrill of being pampered and not having to cook or clean. Whether you are staying there for an important event or to just get away you are always comforted by thinking about the wonderful room you will be able to sleep and rest in.

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Unless you have worked as a housekeeper or registration clerk in a hotel room, you will never understand some very important factors to request before your stay.

 

  • An absolute must, is to request fresh linens for the room. Yes, the sheets get changed every night, but that is all! The blanket on the bed might get washed once a week. The bedspread might get washed if it has a stain on it once a month. That is a rather nauseating thought if you really consider everything that happens on a hotel bed! Also if the towels appear untouched they will not put up new ones. You never know if someone may have wiped something up, then hung the towel back up nicely, just so that it looks nice during their stay.
  • If you were lucky enough to score a room with a nice Jacuzzi bath tub, requesting some sanitizing cleaner to take to the room with you may not be a bad idea. Many times the bathing facilities may not have been cleaned in between each different guest. I have heard of many people contracting everything from planter warts to STD’s. Many people would not even consider thinking about this as the room is supposed to be clean. How do you know if the house cleaner was having a bad day, or was not feeling well, or simply did not care? Take the extra few minutes to clean the facilities yourself so that you can truly enjoy your time using them.
  • If you are looking for a room that might be a little more spacious but do not want to request an upgrade, simply ask for a handicap room or a corner room. Many times if there are no other customers around, simply requesting an upgrade for free may be no problem for the clerk to do. Most of the time, upon check in, clerks will automatically give you an upgrade if there are many open rooms. If that is not the case, and you are still looking for extra space, a handicap room can offer that to you. My only setbacks for requesting a handicap accessible room is that you are taking it away from someone who may actually need it, and secondly the bathrooms usually only have a walk-in shower. I personally hate the walk-in showers because the bathroom floor is usually covered in water after your shower and it can make getting dressed quite unpleasant.

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As you can see, you really do need to think about cleaning while you are away and requesting fresh linens. I always thought it was a given that the bedding would be all nice, fresh, and clean! It’s also a special treat to enjoy a Jacuzzi, so thoroughly enjoy it with no worries of bringing anything unwanted home with you.

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The Best Way to Book a Hotel Room

 

Booking hotel rooms can always lead to much distress. Wondering if you are getting the best deal, hoping they will have everything you are looking for, and so on. With all the technology available to us today, it does help to make the decision easier, as we have all the information we need at our finger tips. Former guests leave all sorts of reviews and pictures on the internet to help make these decisions easier.

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First and foremost, everyone portrays all the 3rd party internet sites like orbitz, kayak, expedia, travelocity, and priceline.com as being the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to reserve a room. Yes, the internet is convenient, but you need to be aware of how to make the reservation properly and what risks you may be taking. The biggest technological error with a 3rd party site is that they do not properly connect to the hotels booking system. It is an often occurrence that you book a room, arrive at the hotel, and they have never heard of you. Even if you have your reservation number from the site you used, the hotel will not be able to help you. You will need to contact the on-line site for a refund. Then you will also have no place to stay. Contacting the actual hotel is the absolute best way to ensure a complete reservation.

 

Many hotels do offer online reservations at their hotel website. Make sure you are on their actual website, as some 3rd party sites have sites that represent the hotel website. Once you are at the right page, you can begin filling out the room selection process. Be certain to accurately fill in each area of the selection process to ensure you get the proper room match. You do not want to arrive at the hotel to find out you were put in a smoking room or one with not enough beds because you did not mark two children on the reservation form.

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Once you have successfully reserved a room via the internet it is a very wise decision to call the hotel to confirm the reservation. At this time, you will be able to confirm the arrival and departure dates, when you can check in, and confirm the room rate and taxes. Make sure the credit card you used came through properly, because if it did not the reservation can be canceled and the room could be given to someone else.

 

After you verified all the information and the reservation is complete you will need to confirm your reservation and get a confirmation number from the clerk. This will ensure there are no misunderstandings when you check into the hotel.

 

As you can see technology in this department leaves a lot of room for errors and can make it much more complicated than it needs to be. Even 3rd party sources that are paid to try and help customers can make a lot of errors and when you are that far from home, an error is the last thing you want to encounter. The best way to prevent that from happening is still a good old fashion phone call. Besides you never know where a conversation can go and you may luck out and get an awesome upgrade or free tickets to a local event!

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What Kind of Hotel Room Should You Be Looking For?

Before any vacation begins, making reservations for a hotel is one of the first things you need to do. There are several factors that need to be thought about before you can determine where you are going to stay.

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  1. First and foremost, deciding how much money is available to spend on your hotel accommodations for the trip. This way when you are shopping around you will be able to know what is available to you, and if you need to work extra hard to find the deals and discounts.
  2. Next you need to decide what kind of accommodations you need during your stay. Do you only need a small room with beds and a bathroom, or would you like a suite with a small kitchenette and living room? Depending on where you are going and what you will be doing through the day will help decide that. What would be the point of spending money on something that you do not need.
  3. Now you need to decide on the location you would like to stay. Sometimes you need to give up on some of the accommodations you wanted if you want your hotel to be located at a specific spot. Will you have a vehicle with you to be able to have a little drive and stay somewhere more secluded or will you need to be centrally located within walking distance to a certain location.
  4. The next step would be to start searching online through a hotel search engine or by calling the specific hotel. Reserving your hotel through a hotel search engine can have some pros and cons. Pros can be lower prices for rooms, you can compare hotels, and show your options from cheaper to more expensive. Some of the cons are not always seeing any extra fees that may be charged to you during your stay, and not exactly knowing where you will be staying, as some sights do not give you the hotel name until after you have reserved the room.images (17)
  5. Lastly the most important part of finalizing a reservation is to call the hotel. By calling the hotel you can sometimes land a better rate, verify added fees, question amenities that are offered, and make any special requests. Making a special request from the online sight does not receive much precedence at the hotel. If you want anything special for the room, then a personal phone call will give you a direct answer as to whether or not they can make your request possible. Finding out if there is a restaurant closely available, room service, and if there is a breakfast included and what does it consist of is another very good question. I know my biggest concern is always if there is a fridge in the room. Lastly asking what the cancellation policy is just encase there is an emergency and you need to change your plans. Some hotels do not allow you to cancel, while others have a 3 day in advance notice, and some allow you to wait until 4pm on the day of arrival.
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Booking Deals on Your Next Hotel Room

Booking a hotel can lead to many frustrations, especially if you do not want to pay a high price for a room that you will be barely sleeping in. Then you worry if that cheap hotel is going to have bed bugs and if the room is so dirty the town dump may have been a wiser decision. Below I will explain 5 easy steps to booking a decent room at an even better price.

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  1. Timing is everything! It used to be said that the earlier you can book your room the better price you will get. Studies actually show that 2 to 3 months before a stay is when prices are at their highest! If you are trying to find a better deal and want to book in advance, then booking at one month before the stay will give you the better price. If you are really adventurous and can take the chance, waiting until 24 hours before the stay will give some really great deals. At this time, hotels will slash their prices to avoid having empty rooms.
  2. Sometimes belonging to a certain affiliation or group can add added discounts to your bill. Certain employers can get rate discounts if you are employed with them. AARP, AAA, and many universities can also get reduced rates at many hotels. Calling the hotel and asking if they offer any group discounts is the best way to see if you are able to apply any of these to your stay.download (10)
  3. Rewards points or traveler miles. Many credit cards or online shopping sites offer rewards and savings for hotels rooms. It would be wise to check with your credit card and see if you have reward points towards certain hotel stays and what hotels will apply.
  4. When checking in to your hotel, often times if you need or want an upgrade, you can negotiate a deal instead of paying for the upgraded room. If you are traveling at an off peak time you have higher chances of this happening. There are a few other things you can try to score an upgrade. Calling a manager to see of any other rooms are available due to a special occasion sometimes works. Showing up exactly at check in time may lead to your room not being available yet and they will upgrade you to a better, prepared room. Money always talks, tipping before your stay and asking nicely does wonders!
  5. Lastly, checking the room rates frequently before your stay may lead to a better rate. As with most things on the market, rates for rooms fluctuate on a regular basis. Once you book your room your rate is not set in stone. If you find a week or two down the road that the rate for your room, on that night, has dropped significantly you can call and ask for a rate adjustment. If you do not have the time to keep looking for the room rate, there are a few services on the internet that can help with that. Yapta will track the room and let you know if the price drops. Then the other site is Tingo. Tingo will even re-book the room for you and refund your account if the price drops.
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What to Expect with Your Hotel’s Final Bill

Planning a vacation leads to all kinds of excitement, especially when thinking about all the features of your hotel. Does the pool have slides? Is there a hot tub outside in the snow, with trees around it, and a bonfire? Are you looking at the pictures of a ginormous breakfast buffet? All of these extras can cause many misleading idealizations of the hotel, the room, and the prices you are going to pay. Below I will talk one big misleading mistake that could easily be avoided.

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The pool! I know that every time I book a hotel room my children are always comparing the pools at each facility. My daughter had come across a hotel one time that she was very excited about because it had several water slides at the pool. She insisted this was the one! At first it appeared that pool use was included in the stay as there was no separate fees listed for pool use. After reading a few of the online reviews about the hotel I did find that there was a fee to use the pool facilities. This then increased the amount of the room for the night, putting us above the price I intended to pay. After contemplating it, I decided it was still worth the extra fee as there was many other attractions I wanted to do. The nice walking trail through the woods and the bonfire at night with entertainment.

 

After a fun-filled mini vacation it was time to leave and check out at the front desk. Upon receiving the bill, I was quite surprised as it was much higher than expected. I asked the receptionist to please explain why it was so much higher than the price I was given when I made the reservation. The receptionist then quickly spatted off all the different fees. The biggest fee was a resort fee! I asked what that entailed. The resort fees were for the bonfire, the entertainment, upkeep of the trails, and equipment to use on the trails. On the hotel website it says you can enjoy all of this included in your stay. The receptionist very polity says, “yes that is included in your stay and that is why they add the extra fee”.

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While some hotels clearly are a nice resort, some hotels do not come across that way as they are smaller and quaint which can lead to some confusion when booking a hotel room online and looking at pictures. Many of the online booking sites are not required to list the different fees that you will be charged when booking a room. I have found through personal experiences, and through reading many online reviews, that the best way to avoid unknown fees is to call the hotel personally and inquire about the final cost of the room and fees. The receptionist can very clearly list all the added fees and what will be included in your stay. This way you will know exactly what to expect and when you leave it won’t be in disappointment with yourself wondering how you missed those details.

 

 

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Finding the Right Location When Booking a Hotel Room

Searching for the right hotel can be a challenge, especially in a city. There are many factors to consider when booking a room. Many people trust the online sites for booking hotel rooms to make the best decisions for them after selecting key features that they would like. Central Location, outskirts of town, near shopping centers, or by the amenities the hotel offers are just some of the decisions to choose from. This is not something you want to overlook as it could greatly impact the convenience of which you are able to do things with your friends and family.

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Centrally located is a very broad term when it comes to a city. Centrally located to what, the airport, the museum, the night clubs, the amusement park, or the shopping malls. Telling Orbitz.com you want a centrally located hotel room could leave you in a two-hour commute time mistake. There are a few options you could do to easily avoid making this error.

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  1. Know the address of the location where you want to be located. Then you can compare the addresses of the different hotels you are looking at with Google maps to see if it is in close proximity. This will also help you decide whether or not you want to rent a car. Everything you want to do may be so close to the hotel that it might be a wasted expense.
  2. If you are basing your vacation on wanting to be at a certain hotel, planning your itinerary would best be done by calling that hotel specifically. If you are looking for a few close attractions for the kids, or just any nearby spa if the hotel does not have one, this will help to make the most of your time.
  3. If you have found a few hotels that are all within a close proximity to the central location that you desire, then a phone call can also help with deciding which one to choose. One of the hotels me be located at the top of a hill, and that would not be enjoyable with a five-year-old if you are walking. One might be right next door to a family sports restaurant with a floor of entertainment for kids, where dinner would be perfect with a family. Do they have free parking at the hotel if you are driving a vehicle?
  4. Another big misconception is being located near the airport. Some hotels are right next door to the airport while others will have stay and fly packages but are not near the airport. These hotels usually offer a shuttle service to the hotel but often there are limits. The shuttle may be down between the hours of 12 am and 5am, then requiring you to find a taxi. The commute time to the hotel after a flight is another factor to consider. Who wants to have to travel another hour to the hotel room when there was one right next door to the airport for the same price!

 

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How to Avoid a Scam While Booking a Hotel Room

The world has definitely changed into a not so trustworthy kind of place to live. There is not much you can do without having to worry about being part of a scam. A simple trip to the store to buy groceries can land you with a cricked cashier who takes extra cash from your card. Let alone someone stealing your identity and leading a double life at your expense. The internet offers a lot of loopholes to enable people to scam other people quite easily without being traced. In this article I will list a few things to watch for that may indicate it could be a scam.

  1. Always make sure you have a written contract for the services you are paying for before you make a deposit or pay in full.
  2. Never accept transactions to be done through a currier service. This could mean they are trying to avoid mail fraud statutes. This should definitely raise some suspicion and be a cause of concern.
  3. Be aware of transactions that can only be done over the phone. At least with firms that are only done on the web you can see what you are paying for and get a confirmation email. Be sure to ask the company why it is there policy to only be done over the phone. Ask if you will be able to see a written contract either from an email or a letter from the post office before you pay for the reservation. If the person starts giving you snarky answers, then most likely this is not something to follow through on and end the conversation.
  4. If the seller belongs to a company with a different name than the provider at which you want to reserve a room with then most likely it is being done through a third party vendor. This person is working to close a deal for the hotel and is aiming to please them. They will not care one bit about your satisfaction once the deal is made. This is where a lot of mistakes with the reservation can occur and I would avoid using this route to reserve a room.images (21)
  5. One of my biggest dislikes about certain online reservation sites like Price line and Hot wire, is that you do not know what hotel you are pricing a room for until after your bid has been accepted. It could be some dirty shack or the Ritz Carlton. If you are an avid gambler and do not mind losing out than maybe this would work for you.
  6. If the term “split pricing” is ever mentioned, you need to proceed with caution. The seller will start with a low number for the room rental but then all the amenities will be charged individually and come at a great price. When all is said and done, paying for a more expensive room with everything included would be much cheaper.

 

As always with any type of transaction that involves money or buying something always keep your guard up and ask a lot of questions. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see it in writing. Remember it is there job to accommodate you and help you with your plans if indeed it is a reputable company.

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