Most tourists and travelers stay in lodges during their trip or vacation. Whether it is just a cheap bed and breakfast or a five-star luxury hotel, these places serve as a home away from home.
But here’s a fact: thousands of people from all over the world check in at hotels every year; therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’re not the first and only person to be that room. It’s just that, before you even get there, the staff had already made their efforts to tidy everything up—leaving no “visible” trace of its previous occupants behind.
Then, this question was posted on Reddit:
”Hotel staff of Reddit, what is something that hotels keep from their guests?”
And while you might find some of these things nasty, they’ve also shared a few helpful money-saving tips and information that could help make your stay more pleasurable.
Here are 20 secrets revealed by active and retired hotel employees from across the globe:
Nice to Know
#20. A file for every guest
“At the four seasons, or really similar hotels of that calibre, you can ask to include things in your client file such as preferences. A friend of mine asked to include ‘loves chocolate chip cookies’ in their file, and when he stays at the four seasons, they have a plate of cookies in his room.”
#19. Last-minute cancellation without charge
“The best way to cancel your reservation without getting charged, if you’ve waited after the cancellation time, is to call 1st and say you’re changing your stay to a later date, then call back within a few hours,(hopefully getting a different clerk) and the cancellation fee will be bypassed because there’s now a new cancellation time on the new date.”
#18. Leftover freebies
“Often you can find ‘treasures’ left behind by former guests. Rip the room part! Look under the mattress and box spring in vents, move the night stand and dressers, just be sure to put it back together before you leave. If you stay in enough hotels and do this, you will find something left behind. Housekeepers generally have 10-15 min to clean each room.”
#17. To get discounted room rates…
“Any haggling or outright complaining you will do will likely get you a discount. I’ve realized people are more likely to complain at older properties because frankly they’re more likely to it unquestioned. Most won’t even bother to go look if its minor. You’re almost always going to get a 10% difference if you give the clerk any kind of problem with your rate. Selling the room for 30% off is still better than no sale in the eyes of hotel owners, and depending on the situation, as long as it’s not too frequent, can nearly always slide.”
#16. To get fresh towels…
“Maybe everyone knows this, but if you want fresh towels, you should put the towels on the floor. If you hang them they will not be changed and you’ll have to ask for new ones.”
#15. No smoking
“If a hotel is ‘smoke-free,’ and you smoke there, you are liable to get pinned with a $150 or more damages fee. ‘Happened at the hotel that I worked at every time someone smoked inside.”
“Hotels love charging smokers. It’s really not worth even trying. A towel doesn’t help.”
“Always tip your housekeeper on multiple night stays, they will remember you and they will pay more attention to your room until you leave.”
#13. The “Do Not Disturb” sign
“For the slower hotel-goers, ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs on a door most certainly means you will not get housekeeping service at any point during the day. I don’t know how many people I have had to tell this to.”
#12. Waive some charges
“Ask the hotel to remove such fees as WiFi, newspaper, gym, and pool. These are often included but they will remove if requested.”
#11. Why nothing beats the Ritz
“I worked for the Ritz-Carlton for few years. In my orientation, the HR told everyone that each employee has a special allowance of $1,500 to make sure they help the guests feel like their stay would be memorable. There was a story about a guest who lost his Rolex and asked the front desk if they had seen it or if one of the maids took it and complained a lot. When the guest finally left, the guy from the front desk went out and purchased the guest a new Rolex and was reimbursed fully by the Ritz. The guest was extra happy and is now returning to the same property every year. So, every Ritz-Carlton employee in the U.S. has a $1,500 account for guests if needed. Not many people know that.”
“I stayed on the “club” level of the Ritz once and the butler guys in the club would say yes to just about anything I’d ask (it was all free in there). ‘Can I have two red bull vodkas, a jack and coke and a warm chocolate chip cookie?’
‘My pleasure sir.’
“I asked if they ever said no. His response was ‘We aren’t allowed to perform sexual favors and we can’t sell you drugs, but what you do in your room is your business.’ “
The Dirty Secrets
#10. The Minibar
“Check the seals on the things in the minibar. I once had a guest who had drunk the whiskey and then peed in the bottle, closed it, and put it back. I’ve also seen candy three months past the exp. date.”
#9. That chair…
“Use a towel or a sheet on the chairs or sofa, LOTS of people sit on them naked. It’s nasty but there is often a brown streak on the desk chair that no one thinks about.”
#8. The bathtubs and jacuzzis
“If you book a jacuzzi, be warned, the jet system is often completely clogged up with really nasty gunk.”
“If you book a room with a tub, don’t check underneath, that’s the place some personnel miss to clean.”
#7. Never use the coverlet or duvet
” I cleaned hotel rooms for two weeks. During my training, I once found an obvious jizz crust on the coverlet. I told the woman I as working with that it needed to be cleaned and she responded, ‘Just wipe it with a damp cloth until you can’t see it anymore,’ like it was no big deal.
“So yeah, try to only touch the top and fitted sheets because at least those come out of the wash.”
#6. Bed bugs
“Bed bugs are more common than you think.”
#5. They rarely clean the glasses
“No longer a hotel worker but: do not use the provided glasses. Or if you need to, wash them yourself first.
“The glasses for toothbrushes are not always washed since the cleaners are in a hurry, often they are just held under the tap and rinsed (if even that). Check for lip prints.”
#4…Even the remote control
“The remote for the TV are rarely cleaned.”
#3. The breakfast food
“Your breakfast food is likely always been handled in an unsanitary manner during set up.(typically desk clerk in lower end hotels)”
#2. That ice bucket
“Do not use the ice bucket without a liner. It may have been used as a puke receptacle.”
#1. Search for hidden mementos
“Check the backs of the pictures hanging on the walls. I was fairly in a cheap hotel at the beach when I was a teenager, and or some reason we took the pictures down. On the brown paper that lined the back of the pictures, people had been signing and leaving messages for over a decade. I wish I had taken a picture of it but this was pre-cellphone camera days.
“Ever since, I tip the pictures just to see if anyone left something on the back side.”
How about you? ‘Care to share your hotel tips and experiences with us? Sound off in the comments.
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