How to get the Best Hotel Rooms and Service

By on December 17, 2015

No matter how much they all try to be alike, every hotel in the world is unique. The main thing to keep in mind is that the management and ownership of a hotel may be somewhat important, but the individual people who work for and represent the hotel are far more important to you in terms of what your experience staying in the hotel will be like. Interestingly, many people get this quite mixed up, fawning over management and awed by the brand of the hotel, but treating the staff like nobodies. This is a big mistake.

While keeping that in mind, the following is a comprehensive guide to getting the best hotel rooms and service:

1. Your adventure begins with the booking process

The first step in getting the best room is to book it. Of course booking is essential, as you’ll almost never get the best deal if you just show up unannounced, unless you’re very good at making a great first impression.

A simple task like booking a Niagara Falls hotel shouldn’t be too overwhelming for most people, but you would be amazed how many people don’t know the right way to do it. For a start, visiting hotel discounting sites doesn’t normally save you much (if any) money over the normal rates, and could cause you to miss out on the best savings you could get. There can be exceptions to this rule, but in general you can often get better value by going directly to hotel websites and checking the rack rate and whether they have any special offers going. This is especially true during the off-season and the shoulder season, as hotels will often post more attractive offers at these times.

When a discounter is offering a better rate than the hotel, you could always ask – as politely as you can – if they are willing to offer you a better deal than the price you found online. Often they will, since it’s actually better value for them to deal with you directly at a lower price than to give up to 22% of their earnings in fees to the booking service (depending on which service it is).

2. Stay in the same hotels often

Becoming a familiar face is a great way to ensure that you’ll be treated as a valued customer rather than just somebody passing through. While all staff in all hotels should treat all guests with the highest level of courtesy, the very human reality is that this rarely ever happens. Even when a hotel worker is such a master of self-discipline that they can achieve this feat, they’ll probably be lacking sincerity, and that’s something you should care about.

So, if there are few rooms available, if the staff know you and like you (or at least don’t have a grudge against you) then you’ll be more likely to be given the best available room than somebody they’ve never met. And if you don’t like your room and ask for a switch, they’ll be more likely to try and help if they can instead of giving you the brush-off.

3. Always treat others as you’d like them to treat you

Just because hotel workers are there to serve you doesn’t mean you should treat them with any less respect than you expect to receive yourself. If you show respect to the hotel workers, and always be sincerely polite, they should respond in kind. That means they’ll go out of their way to ensure you have a pleasant stay, or at least they’ll avoid doing any of the annoying things that would lead to an unpleasant stay.

How to get the Best Hotel Rooms

4. Tip appropriately

If it is culturally appropriate and not forbidden by policy (and sometimes even if it is), a tip won’t usually go astray. But you should not tip people who don’t genuinely deserve the tip. When you tip appropriately and fairly, you’ll be remembered.

Don’t tip just to be a big-shot though, as that can backfire. Although you’ll still probably get decent service, the staff may feel on some level that you’re looking down on them. In some cultures tipping may be frowned upon, and may even make you unpopular with other hotel guests, so do make sure you do your research before travelling.

5. When possible, call and make your booking in person

Hotel front-of-house staff are busy people and the last thing they want to do is deal with you. Except… if you call and you’re really friendly and polite, you’re going to be an exception to many of the people they deal with that day, and the “breath of fresh air” effect will sometimes score you better service, especially if you make sure to get the name of the person you are speaking with, and talk to them as a real person.

The best time to call is towards the end of a shift (remember to look up local times and make the necessary adjustments), as the staff will have had a long and unpleasant time dealing with various rude people before they get your call.

The worst time to call is between 2am and 5am, because staff don’t expect to be bothered at those times and you’ll be considered more annoying than if you call at a more reasonable hour.

6. When you have a complaint, still be polite

It can be difficult to keep your cool when something is really wrong with your room or the service you’ve received, but try to be professional and polite if you can possibly do so. Losing it and overreacting will not get you what you want most of the time, and probably will result in even worse problems for you.

If the complaint is really serious, take it to a manager, and explain the situation calmly and clearly, then you can be more certain that something will really be done about it than if you were to show anger.

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