Spring break is just around the corner. Kids everywhere will be out of school and everyone is planning a vacation. During this time of year, the hotel industry is a huge cash cow, and rooms are almost always marked up to hundreds of dollars. So, when you pay those high premiums, what exactly are you paying for?
If you've ever wondered if the sheets you are sleeping on have been changed, how to get a free movie, or how much bang you're really getting for your buck, check out the tips and secrets below.
In most hotels, the sheets are washed daily. The blankets may be washed weekly and the bed covers are lucky to see soap and water monthly. If you ask for a full set of clean linens at the front desk, everything will most likely be changed.
One hotel employee confessed, "The mattress cover and the sheet – those are the only parts that get washed."
The remotes for the TV are rarely cleaned and are the perfect place for the rhinovirus, a germ that can cause the common cold.
Normally, hotels aren't liable for what happens to your car at the hands of a valet. Think twice before handing your keys off.
One hotel employee reported, "I worked for the Ritz Carlton for a few years. In my orientation, the HR rep told everyone that each employee has a special allowance of $1,500 to make sure they can help the guests feel like their stay would be memorable."
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to cancel and want to avoid the fee call the hotel and have your reservation moved out a week for whatever reason, then call back and cancel your future reservation.
Due to their extremely high levels of chlorine, hotel pools aren't exactly hotbeds for bacteria. However, the pool furniture might be.
Most hotel rooms are not soundproof. So, if you are up partying or enjoying each others company, please keep the noise down and stay on the good side of the other guests and hotel security.
Do not ask for an upgrade when other guests can hear you. Politely and quitely ask and quite possibly you may receive. A tip discreetly given to the front desk clerk may help.
Instead of booking online, call the hotel to book your room and sweet talk your way into an easy 20% savings on the room rate, just by being nice and asking them directly.
One of the best glass cleaners is furniture polish. Your room glass may be very clean, but was it cleaned with furniture polish and wiped with the same rag that was used on the counters?
Housekeepers typically make minimum wage and have more rooms to properly clean than is humanly possible. A small tip on the pillow will make a world of difference in the job that is done in your room.
A big scam around vacation time is to call hotel rooms in the middle of the night and request your credit card information. If the hotel needs it they will let you know during daylight hours and it will be taken care of at the front desk, not by outside phone line.
Nicer hotels have better quality toiletries and once the packaging is opened the housekeeper throws them away. Most hotels expect the guests to take the soap, the shampoo, and other items in the bathroom. Don't take the towels, linen or other items in the room - if you do, you'll be billed.
If you call the front desk between check in and check out time (usually 11:00 to 2:00) chances are you might not be pleasantly received. If you call the front desk at a less busy time you will be treated much less hastily and may get that special service you request.
The bellman knows everything. He has the ability to make things happen and appear without charge and make your stay so much more enjoyable.
One belllman from a three-star resort Hilton in Arizona said, "I can give you free water bottles, tampons, valet parking, tours, shuttle rides, reservations, dry cleaning, hell even an upgrade to a better room if you just ASK ME. Butt no one ever does cuz they think I’m just a doorman…"
Most front desk personnel will waive movie fees if asked, at check out. Do not ask ahead of time for a waiver.
Hotels commonly book to 110% of capacity. The standard for cancellations and no shows is about 10%. If you used an online booking service and are only staying one night, you might be one of the guests that gets "walked" to a different hotel if your's is overbooked.
Again, housekeepers have a lot of rooms to clean, and if you arrive early and expect to check in, no telling how clean your room may be.
A twenty dollar bill slipped to the front desk person will work wonders in getting a better room. The clerk knows which rooms are bigger, based on hotel layout and which rooms have bigger or newer tvs or newer mattresses.
In some hotels, concierges get kickbacks from local establishments where the guests are sent. But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. With each recommendation, his or her reputation is on the line so If you want the real answers as to where to eat, where to go, or what to see, ask the front desk.
Want to know more insider secrets? Here's 21 Secrets Airlines Are Keeping From Their Passengers.