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Read Before You Book A Hotel Room

Updated on July 28, 2016

I remember when I was in high school I always dreamed to work in the hotel industry. There was something about it that really fascinated me. The people look so happy when they go on vacation, having a good time, forgetting about their daily routine, about their problems. I also wanted the opportunity of meet different people from so many different places. Well, to make the long story short, I finally got my chance. My dream came truth when I moved to Florida a few years ago. I have learn so much from my experience, it's been wonderful. What I liked the most is meeting so many people with different backgrounds, learning about other cultures. I can't tell you how many interesting stories I have heard from the guests every day, well it's been amazing. But I also love another part of my job, to be able to help the guests to have a pleasant experience during their stay. With all the time spent behind a front desk also comes some knowledge that I did not have before and that I wish I knew sooner. For this reason I want to share with you some tips that I have learned along the way that probably will help you the next time you need to book a hotel room and during your stay.


First Thing First: Read Hotel Reviews

You may know this already but is always helpful to know what other people have to say about the hotel you are planning to stay and about the area it is located. Very often the guests want to share with others how good or bad was their experience staying in the hotel. How clean was the room, how friendly is the staff, how good is the food, how convenient is the location are only a few things you can learn from only reading some reviews. So go online and search what people have to say. A good website to do this could be Travelocity. Usually when people doesn't like something during their stay, Travelocity is the website they use to transmit the message. Same when a guest is happy with everything during the stay. They often go to Travelocity to thank for their good experience. There are a bunch of other websites you can also use to do your research. At the end you will be glad you did.

Call The Hotel Even If You Find A Good Deal Online

Trust me on this. Even if you find a good deal online you need to call the hotel before you make any room reservation. You will find hundreds of websites promising the best rates when it's time to book your hotel room. But let me tell you, usually this is not true and I am going to tell you why. Websites like Expedia.com or Hotels.com make deals to sell the empty rooms on low days. Of course you can find lower room rates on these websites, but also remember that they need to get paid for this service. They bring more guest to the hotel for a commission, but often the hotel is willing to make a better deal directly with you to prevent the commissions payments. Since you probably are going to pay less than you'll pay on any website, you should try to book the room directly with the hotel. Also if for any reason you are unsatisfied with your hotel experience or have any issue at the hotel is easier to solve the problem directly with the hotel and not thru a third party company. This way all refunds, cancellations, and other claims can solve directly with the hotel. Otherwise you need to call the third party company to solve this kind of issues. The hotel can't do anything for you in this cases. So there you have another reason to book directly with the hotel.

Set Your GPS or Print Your Directions

Before you head to the hotel make sure to set your GPS or print your directions, specially if it's a long drive.Trust me, it is very difficult for a front desk clerk to be attending guests at the hotel and trying to give you directions. It is very difficult as well to try to find out where you at in order to give you the right instructions by phone. So, to avoid delays and misunderstandings, just do your homework and make sure you are well prepared for your trip.

Once You Arrive

Here are more tips to help you have a nice experience on your next stay:

  1. Make sure to read and sign all the paper work. Make sure the front desk clerk give you back your id and credit card as well.
  2. If you don't like noises and need a peaceful room, make sure to ask the front desk clerk to assign a room far from the elevators and snack or ice machines.
  3. Once in the room, first thing you need to do is inspect the room and make sure everything meets your expectations. If not you can ask for another accommodation.
  4. If you need housekeeping service don't forget to hang the sign on the door. Try not to do it late during the day since usually the housekeepers leave after they finish their work and nobody will be able to go clean your room.
  5. Usually breakfast is served early in the morning. Ask for the breakfast schedule so you get up on time and don't miss it.
  6. Ask for local menus, attractions, even maps at the front desk. It could be very useful during your stay.


Before You Leave The Hotel

Here are some things you need to pay attention before you leave the hotel:

  1. Before you leave the room make a quick inspection to make sure you are not leaving anything behind.
  2. Stop at the front desk to check out and ask for your receipt, make sure all the charges are right. It's easier to fix any mistake while you are still there face to face than by phone. Now, if you rented the room by a third party website, you are probably not going to receive any receipt from the hotel. You receive your payment receipt by email from the booking website.
  3. In case you leave anything behind at the hotel, make a call as soon as you find out. If you live far from the hotel and you are not able to go back to pick up your belongings, you can always ask the hotel to send it to you by mail. Usually you need to pay for this service.

Enjoy Your Next Stay!

And there you have it! I hope my tips are useful to you the next time you need to book a hotel room. As a front desk clerk I know your next stay are going to be a nice and pleasant experience. Have a good time!

© 2014 jameygc

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