Travelling and staying in hotels might be routine for some, while others may enjoy a stay once every few years. What most travellers have in common is their desire for certain consistencies. Spending time in a hotel renders certain expectations, like clean sheets and functioning plumbing, lights, and television.
There are other expectations that I may not complain about, but would determine whether I returned to the same hotel or hotel chain. I would expect prompt, friendly service, quiet neighbours, and clean common areas, such as the lobby, hallways and restaurants. Of course if any of these are particularly good or bad, I would let someone know.
Always be sure to let the hotel know if you are celebrating some occasion ahead of time. You never know if they will include other freebies.
What I want to focus on is when you arrive at the hotel. What you can get to “make your stay more comfortable”? You can always request the following and it will take only a moment of your time:
- Room upgrade
Feel free to request a room upgrade at check-in time. You don’t even need to see the room before asking. If the hotel is not at capacity many hotels will oblige. Also be sure to use this tactic if your room has poor heating/air conditioning or any other significant annoyances. Stay firm and polite.
- Meal voucher
Many hotels use meal vouchers as a way of satisfying irate customers. They also have deals that include breakfast vouchers or meal coupons depending on how you reserve your room. If you did not get any extras at the time of your booking, you may be able to pick up one or two of these with minimal effort. Just ask!
- Toiletries and clothing
You probably know that you can get a free toothbrush if you forget yours, but there are plenty of complimentary items available. You can pick up deodorant, pain relievers, and razors. Some hotel chains offer gym clothing if you want to dash down to the gym but only brought your formal attire.
- Concierge/Information Desk
If you plan to explore the city, check out the information desk. They’ll have an expert on hand who can point you to places that you may want to visit. There are usually booklets containing 2-for-1 coupons or other deals on local attractions. You may also be able to score free event/attraction tickets, if you ask nicely.
Other things that should look out for that may be free:
- Internet Access
- Shuttle bus between airport and hotel
- Boarding pass printing
- Laundry Facilities
Readers: What else have you asked for that made your stay more comfortable? Did a hotel ever provide you with a freebie without being asked? Are you loyal to a hotel chain because of a customer experience?