Hey Clever Girls!
Since everyone’s traveling this summer, I wanted to send out a few tips I picked up while working at one of the major hotel chains. I started out at the front desk, ended up as an event planning manager and have visited more hotels than I can count to really know what both sides of the experience are about. Keep reading to learn a few hacks for your next vacation!
When you book…
Get personal! Don’t be afraid to leave a comment and tell them what you’re celebrating or why you’re traveling. The more detailed, the better. And if it’s a super special trip or you’re surprising someone, give them a call a day or so ahead to see if there’s anything extra special they can do for you. There’s usually someone on the team who really enjoys going the extra mile to impress a guest, but try to get their names to thank them later. When you make the effort to fill the room with pictures of someone’s favorite celebrity or make a trip to the store just to get their specific beverage, you hope to at least have it noticed.
Speaking of favorites, be sure to sign up for the rewards program, book directly through the hotel’s site if possible, and fill out a profile with your preferences. The programs are usually free and almost always bump you ahead of a non-member, regardless of your tier in the program. Plus, it gives them another opportunity to make you happy, so be specific! BUT know that there are only so many rooms and no matter how loud you yell on a sold out night, they’re not going to build you a new room just to meet all of your preferences. Eek! I just broke out in hives from flashbacks of that last one.
When you arrive…
If having a nice room is a priority to you, never check in early. If you try to get a room before check in time, you’re likely to get the least favorite room from yesterday or at the best, a room no one wanted to ask for a late checkout in. If you get in early and still want a nice room, just let them know and ask to hold your luggage. It’s NBD!
Speaking of wants…ask for it! Want a high floor? Nice view? Quiet room? They’re never gonna know if you don’t ask! My husband’s favorite saying “You can’t feed a closed mouth” has never been more relevant. Sometimes they have day-of upgrades for a super low fee or even for free! Just don’t demand anything. Remember, these people listen to complaints ALL DAY LONG, so just being friendly and nice goes a long way!
While you’re there…
A lot of hotels have stopped putting so many amenities out in the room, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have them if you need something. Forget your toothpaste or razor? They probably have one for free. Many hotels even have things like yoga mats they can send to the room, so just give ‘em a call before heading out to the drugstore. Just don’t forget your blingsling®!
While the list of things employees will do to keep guests happy keeps growing and the lines keep blurring, remember they are working a job. So if you’re in a country that tips, remember to pay it forward. I might be throwing myself under the bus here, but I never thought of tipping housekeeping before I started working at a hotel. They’re just the same as everyone else! If you’re not willing to throw something down for their daily service, I recommend asking them to skip your room or putting on the Do Not Disturb sign.
When you leave…
You’ll probably get a survey after your stay and I definitely encourage you to fill those out. Personally, I’m more likely to fill them out when things were great, but it’s also helpful for them to know if something went wrong so they can rectify the issue so you’ll come back. Again though, especially if your stay was less than amazing, be kind. Keep in mind there are people behind the emails and serious repercussions. As an event manager, my bonus was dependent upon these and anything that wasn’t a 9 or 10 counted as a 0! Crazy right?! So you might be thinking they were incredible and give them an 8, but to them, they just failed. But if you had a connection with someone truly fab, I totally say call them out by name because at every level in the hotel, they can get recognized or even compensated and you have the power to make someone’s day!
Well, there are your quick hotel tips for your upcoming trip. The major takeaway is if you’re friendly and open, they’ll generally reciprocate the feeling so everyone wins. Yay kindness! I have a million other thoughts and stories on this one, so leave a comment if you have a question or another tip I missed!
Love. Inspire. Grow. Enjoy.