Sometimes the difference between an enjoyable or forgettable hotel stay is a matter of following practical tips.
First, all pleasant hotel experiences usually start with careful planning. Just like a blueprint for a dream house, choosing a hotel to stay in greatly depends on the purpose of the guest – whether he opts for a relaxing stay, a grand time at the hotel spa, or a convenient starting point for a sightseeing or shop-til-you-drop experience. For example, a guest planning to shop at Thailand’s Siam Square likely will not mind staying at a nearby budget hotel so long as he is able to shop conveniently and quickly and rest his heels. On the other hand, a business traveler may necessitate a high-profile hotel accommodation to spruce up his image.
Keeping in mind the purpose of the hotel stay, good planning can now be facilitated by researching online. With hundreds of websites advertising and rating hotel accommodations worldwide, guests are given a wide range of choices. They can even preview hotel rates and accommodations down to minute details like the type of hotel rooms available. The discriminating hotel guest can learn in advance if a certain hotel has won accolades or earned criticism from its guests.
Second, the guest should contact the hotel regarding the information posted on its websites and advertising materials, since there is always the possibility that the promotional packages or special discounts are no longer offered. Inconvenience can also be avoided if the hotel clarifies the fine print of any special offer for the guest. If the guest is making an online reservation, he can request that the hotel email him a copy of a hotel confirmation. In cases where the hotel reservation is made by a travel agent as part of a package tour, the guest should make sure that his preferences are taken into consideration. As such, he should review the hotel’s website or promotional materials and make the necessary adjustments with his travel agents.
Third, an arriving guest must take note of the hotel’s check-in time. If he expects to be late, he should inform the hotel accordingly. This is to avoid the cancellation of the reservation or not being accommodated if he arrives at a time when the hotel is fully booked. On the other hand, an early arrival at the hotel means that the guest might have to wait for the room to be readied. In such an event, the guest may opt to deposit his baggage with the hotel concierge. This will enable him to go on with his business while waiting for room availability without worrying about safety.
Fourth, the guest should make sure that he has extra cash, as most hotels require a deposit to fully cover incidental expenses like mini bar consumption. Others ask for a credit card with sufficient a credit limit for file purposes. To avoid the inconvenience of not being able to make the required deposit, the guest should inquire about the amount of deposit that the hotel may require and the credit cards which are honored at the hotel.
Fifth, most hotels have amenities which cannot be readily appreciated from their promotional materials alone. A bad photograph may not do justice to a sparkling eternity pool or a breathtaking rooftop view. Some hotels may forget to highlight their best features that guests may greatly appreciate because they think of them as standard. Authentic room decoration may seem ordinary for the hotel management, but for most tourists it is a showcase of the place’s rich cultural heritage. As such, it is recommended that the guest allot time to explore the hotel and appreciate its amenities firsthand.
Sixth, the guest’s peace of mind is also a key ingredient to a comfortable stay. Once the guest is settled in his hotel room, he should try to familiarize himself with the hotel safety features. He should know the route to the nearest fire exit and how to use the room’s safety deposit box so he can store his valuables while inside or outside his room. It is also practical to request a personal emergency lighting device and fire extinguisher from the front desk, as some tropical hotels do not have such provisions in their rooms.
Seventh, for the guest who plans uninterrupted slumber in his hotel room, prior arrangements to ensure the same should be made. If there is no doorknob “do not disturb” notice available, he should advise the front desk that housekeeping be notified of his request. The guest should also make sure that he has set the room’s air-conditioning unit to operate at tolerable levels so he will not wake up in a freezing room or be disturbed by profuse sweating brought about by over-warm room temperature.
Eighth, the guest who is staying for an extended time at the hotel should establish rapport with hotel personnel like the concierge, bellhops and front desk receptionists. Although they are tasked to ensure the comfort of the hotel guests, a courteous attitude from hotel guests will surely bring out that extra special service. Hotel personnel make good shopping and restaurant guides for first time hotel visitors. Likewise, in a country where English is not usually understood or spoken, being familiar with hotel staff who converse with the guests can be very helpful.
Ninth, guests should inquire about the proximity of the airport from the hotel in order to catch his return flight. There are foreign cities like Hong Kong wherein hotel guests have to take the services of hotel bus shuttle and airport express train to get to the airport. Guests do not have to pay the airport express train fare, as the hotel usually shoulders the same. Most hotel bus shuttle drivers are not adept with the English language, so it is practical to clarify matters before the guest leaves the hotel.
Finally, it is practical that guests leave their contact information at the hotel in order that they can be contacted for items which they may leave behind or for future hotel promotions. Cultivating a healthy guest-hotel relationship will surely ensure a better and more enjoyable stay at the same hotel the next time around.