A poor hotel stay can have a major impact on your overall vacation experience. When you are in an unknown destination, your hotel should be something you can rely on. No one enjoys paying hundreds of a dollars (or more) for a vacation and feeling disappointed.
After studying hotel management and working at various hotel properties, I'm a true believer that you should be blown away throughout your whole stay. Regardless of the brand you choose, the team at the property should be focused on servicing its guests and enhancing your experience. Below, I've listed my insider tips to ensure your next hotel stay is truly memorable.
MAKING YOUR RESERVATION
When booking for your vacation, you'll want to do your research. Once you've determined the hotel you want to stay at, make the reservation directly with the hotel. When a front desk staff member sees that you booked through a third party (Expedia, Bookings.com, Hotwire etc), they will likely place you in a crappier room location and won't be as motivated to go above and beyond. That's the sad truth. Typically, they will see this guest as a one-time visitor or someone just looking for a deal. Although these third party websites can be slightly more cost-effective, check the hotel's website for specials or ask the staff member you're booking with because sometimes they have better prices than you think.
CELEBRATING SOMETHING SPECIAL
We typically go on vacation to celebrate something special. ALWAYS inform the hotel - it doesn't matter if it's a birthday or a 10-year anniversary. What you'll want to do is call the hotel directly and ask for the general manager and front desk manager's e-mail addresses. Send them both an e-mail describing your celebration and ask if there is anything the hotel can do to make your occasion even more special. Normally, you will be sent an amenity or a room upgrade. This is great, however, it's the service from the hotel staff that will really knock your stay out of the park. Hotel employees love knowing the reason for your visit so don't be afraid to tell them. Even if you're not celebrating anything, don't be shy about telling them the reason why you choose to stay at that property and how excited you are for your stay.
UTILIZE THE CONCIERGE
You know all the research you do before your trip? Whether it be trying to find the best restaurant in town or the cutest boutiques to shop, it can be overwhelming. The hotel's concierge should be very familiar with the property's surrounding areas. Don't be afraid to reach out to the hotel and e-mail them questions or ask the concierge to make a reservation for you. Hotels have a good partnership with restaurants so even if you think a restaurant is booked for the night, try asking the concierge for help!
DON'T LIKE SOMETHING? SPEAK UP!
So if you're at the hotel and disappointed in your stay or feel that you wasted your money, speak up! Perhaps they placed you in a room outside the elevators or you have a nosy neighbour. As I mentioned above, hotels are all about service! Be polite and fair and they will likely be happy to move you or go above and beyond to ensure your stay improves. Just make sure you tell them during your stay - don't wait in frustration and try to burn them online! That won't solve the problem.