Depending on the amount of dough you shell out, and the amount of stars the property has, you have certain minimum expectations for your hotel and its staff. But what you see on the surface isn't always what you get when it comes to your stay. Here are some of the BTS things hotel employees think you should know.
1. Cleanliness isn't always guaranteed.
One of the best parts of traveling is knowing someone will come into your room every day and clean it, like an invisible, wonderful elf. Except that whole fantasy might not always play out exactly as you think — so you might want to prepare some best practices just in case. "I used to work at a hotel in Scotland as a laundry [person], and we really didn't want guests to know that every other sheet wasn't washed," says Joe Black of the travel and outdoors site Nature Rated. "Our laundry maid simply did the sniff test. She was an expert at sniffing a sheet or towel and getting away with it for years. I think over the course of the year she saved the hotel thousands in laundry bills." Speaking of cleanliness? Cleaning staff is not your momma, and they don't appreciate being treated that way. "Don't cut your toenails in the hotel room," says Jessica Grentner, a third generation hotelier. "Seriously, many people do this."
2. They do try really hard to meet your special requests.
People ask for some weird stuff when they travel. And it turns out that many hotel staff are actually eager to play along for the fun of it — so folks might actually get their wildest asks, and with a smile. “Under the reservation when you book your stay with us online, there’s a special request tab. Someone posted in their special request tab that they wanted Nicolas Cage photos in their room," says Colby Brock, general manager for the Radisson New Rochelle. "We saw the Nicolas Cage request, and we decided to deck out this particular guest's room with photos of Nicolas Cage. It was very bizarre and quirky, but we all had a good laugh!”
3. They have feelings, too.
This should go without saying, but treat the front desk person with kindness no matter what kind of day you're having. You don't know the kind of day they're having. They say they would love it — and even be repaid sometimes in courtesies with monetary value — if you'd just play by the golden rule!
4. They wish you would stop booking through third-party websites.
"These sites are creating real issues for the hotel industry as a whole by creating a huge cost to acquire a reservation that has to be passed on to the traveler to keep doors open," says Grentner. "Travelers are incentivized by points et cetera, but really they are just making their travel, and everyone else's more expensive. It also ties the hands of the hotel should any changes need to be made as the hotel can't really provide excellent customer service if they can't accommodate the guests needs."
5. They get asked lots of dumb questions — and they judge people for them.
For example, Lisa Niver of We Said Go Travel spent years on board at Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Renaissance Cruises, and was asked questions like "What time is the midnight buffet? Is this the same moon we have at home? Does this elevator go to the back of the ship? Does the crew sleep on board? These are real questions, I promise," she says — and she got in trouble occasionally when she couldn't contain smartass replies.
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