A hotel provides more than just a cozy, fully-furnished room to lodge for a couple of nights - more than anything, they pride themselves in selling pleasurable experiences. Since hotels are a traveler's temporary home, they provide essentials (and extras), from luxe amenities and furnishings to top of the line services to improve their guests' stay. Some of these perks and privileges, however, aren't publicly disclosed yet are available upon request.
If you're an average hotel guest and you don't ask about them, then you might be missing out on a big chunk of what you're paying for. Make the most out of your stay by asking for these things when you check in.
1. Late checkouts, upgrades, and specials. Whether you're stuck with a late return flight or you're having that “Still not ready to leave my suite” moment, asking for a late checkout is often necessary. You can also get a room upgrade without having to pay for it. Don't make special requests at the time of the booking; the best time for these requests is when you've already checked in.
- Ask if there's a corner room available at the same pricing level, which is more spacious and has better window views.
- If you're a regular, then you have a higher chance to be granted such privilege.
- If you're celebrating a special occasion, like birthdays, honeymoons, and anniversaries, say so for you might get a bonus upgrade.
- Do not book the cheapest room; the more you pay for the room initially, the bigger your chance to have it upgraded.
- Choose your time carefully; Off-peak days, like on weekdays, and after 6 pm, where more rooms become available, are the best times.
- Tip the concierge to return the favor.
One of the Parramatta Hotels in NSW Australia offers a weekend special, where you can enjoy a buffet breakfast for two and a 4 pm late check out.
2. A room with a view. Nope: All rooms are NOT basically the same. There are rooms, like corner rooms, that can give you better views of the ocean and larger square footage than the rest. The view from your hotel room is probably the major reason why you booked a room with a balcony, right? So get the best out of your buck by requesting them.
3. A quieter room. Are you a light sleeper? Then asking to be put in a room away from the elevator can be a relief. Aside from the sounds of bulky steel doors opening and closing and the distracting "ding" sound, you can be saved from hearing laughing drunk peeps entering and exiting the elevator in the middle of the night.
4. Fresh linens. If you're delicate, make sure to request a full set of clean linens, from bedsheets to blankets. There are some high-end hotels with a “pillow menu” to ensure guests are getting pillows of their preferred levels of firmness, shapes, and suitability for sleeping habits.
5. Rentals. Have you ever heard of electric guitar and amplifier rentals from Hard Rock Hotels? Your hotel may offer amazing rentals you might need to improve your stay, although they don't advertise them.
Want to document a special event? You can get Go Pro camera rentals in some hotels. Need a quick hair transformation? Next to hair blowers, you can have straightening or curling irons delivered to your room. You can also rent vehicles, from bicycles to golf buggies. One hotel is known for lending you a goldfish just in case you get lonely in your room. You just have to ask.
6. Complimentary things . Apart from rentals, there are a lot of hotel freebies available to guests who know how to ask. Lobby snacks, for instance, are sitting on the front desk for a reason so don't hesitate to take some.
Complimentary toiletries, water bottles, access to flat irons and hair blower, free newspapers, coffee, tea, pens, pencils, notepad, and in-room welcome gifts - these are the items found in the rooms, yet some guests often don't realize they're available. In addition, you can have free access to some of the things that'll make your stay more enjoyable, like free use of yoga mats, nightlights, and kid's entertainment pack and board games.
7. Leisure facilities and services. Yes, you know they've got a fully-equipped gym and a gorgeous, cerulean indoor swimming pool, but have you visited other luxe amenities yet? Some hotels have their own spas, saunas, and steam rooms. Hotels also offer services like airport shuttle runs and private cars for your traveling safety and convenience.
8. Special Experiences. Does your hotel have private massage offerings, therapies, and beauty treatments and services? Or fitness and art classes? How about daily complimentary sunset cockails, access to pool bar drinks and snacks, and candlelight dinners? Do they have celebration packages? Are there special tours and excursions in the resort, like wine tasting tours, private sailing tours, and cruises? Ask for extraordinary experiences they can offer.
9. Unbiased recommendations. When you go out for a meal or for an amusing trip with the kids, you may ask the hotel staff about highly recommended nearby places to visit. Some hotels partner up with affiliate establishments or sister companies, so they'll likely to send you to them even if they're a bit overpriced. However, make sure to ask the concierge for genuine, unbiased recommendations that are good for your budget.
10. List of hidden extra charges. Wi-Fi, parking, newspapers, breakfast, and in-room entertainment – it's great to take advantage of these things but how sure are you that they're free of cost? Know the things that are truly free and the things you're actually being charged for. In addition, ask for other fees, taxes, and extra VAT that could surprise you as you pay your bill.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.