10 Quick Tips for the Best Hotel Stay

10 quick tips for the best hotel stay

Everyone has a hotel stay horror story. Whether it’s a story about the hotel you chose specifically for it’s awesome pool only to find it closed when you get there, a hotel that double charged you or the hotel whose website said it was minutes to everything and turned out it was actually located a long 45-minute walk from anywhere.

When it comes to hotel stays, we’ve done our share in 14+ years of travel together. As such, we’ve come up with a quick list of some of our most surefire quick tips for the best hotel stay.

Make sure you know what you’re getting

I wish it wasn’t the case, but many hotels have misleading information in the hotel description and amenities. I can’t count how many times we’ve checked further into a hotel that says it’s walking distance to downtown to find that the hotel’s definition of walking distance is over an hour.

In most cases, it’s easy to double-check the hotel’s listing. Google Maps is great for quickly verifying a hotel’s location. Recent hotel reviews are also a helpful source of information.

We’ve also learned to call the hotel directly to ask if specific amenities are available during our stay. We’ve been disappointed before to find that the lovely outdoor hotel pool we’d been looking forward to was closed for renovations, or even more puzzling, closed for winter even though it’s still summer.

Let the hotel know about a special occasion in advance

If your hotel stay marks a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary, you have a chance of getting an upgrade or special treatment if you tell the hotel before you check in. If you let the hotel know when you arrive, it may be too late to give you special treatment if all the upgrades have already been used.

A better strategy is to call the front desk ahead of time and let them know about your special occasion, which gives staff time to prepare.

Quick tips for the best Hotel Stay MF

Get the best rate

I’m often surprised by how many people think that a hotel’s rack rate is a hotel’s average rate for a hotel room. In fact, a rack rate is actually the maximum price that a hotel normally charges for a room.

Even if you’re not a big fan of hunting for discounts, it’s usually worth a 10 second Google search for a discount code to make sure you’re paying less than rack rate.

There might be some rooms even if the sign say “No Vacancy.”

If you’re like us and often travel spontaneously, you might sometimes face a sad hotel sign saying No Vacancy. If this is the case, don’t despair, as the hotel may have a room or two available.

In some cases, a room is marked as booked because of a maintenance issue. Chat nicely to the hotel agent, and you may  find yourself with a good discount for a room with a minor issue.

No Vacancy MF

Don’t be a jerk

Anyone who’s ever worked in customer service knows damn well that a rude customer gets worse service. Why? Would you be motivated to help out someone who was rude, condescending or outright abusive toward you? No? Well, you can bet that the front desk agent won’t be either. It’s worth remembering that front desk agents wield a lot of power in a hotel.

Not only can they give you free things, they can also make sure you get the room with the noisy air conditioner, or the room with curtains that don’t shut fully if you’re not so nice.

Always be kind. It costs nothing.

On the other hand, a little kindness and respect toward the front desk can work wonders. A front desk agent who’s on your side can help you get an upgraded room, get a late checkout, or help with a thousand other little things. Even if they can’t help you out, at least you made someone’s day a little better. And that’s worth a lot. If you’re really looking for great service, try a $20 tip.

Tip, even just a little

It’s no surprise, people working in the hotel industry, and especially in room service, have one of the lowest salaries, so every tip they get makes a difference. Tipping your cleaning person a little every night (don’t just save it for the last day), can help you get an impeccable room service for the whole stay and a squeaky clean room.

Ask to see a few different rooms

If you you aren’t happy with the first room you receive, ask if you can look at the other rooms available. Often, managers try to fill the least desirable rooms first, so you may be surprised to find that other available rooms have a much better view, or even more room.

Join the hotel’s loyalty club

Even if you’re only planning a one-time stay, joining the loyalty club can have some perks. It usually takes less than five minutes to fill out an online application form for a hotel’s loyalty program, and it can pay off in perks that are only offered to loyalty members. Most often, loyalty clubs are free to join and, since you’re staying there anyway, you might as well earn some points for it.

Avoid cancellation fees

If you find that you have to cancel a hotel room past the cancellation date, call and politely ask to move your reservation to the next week. Then, call back in a few hours or the next day and cancel your new reservation. This little trick may just be able to save you a cancellation fee. If it doesn’t work, you can always use Roomer to try to sell your non-refundable hotel room.

Looking for some more tips for the best hotel stay?

I had a lot of fun researching this post, and even found a few great books about hotels, and the hospitality industry. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality 

“Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel.”

Heads in Beds A Reckless Memoir of Hotels Hustles and So-Called Hospitality

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip–Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

“Eye-opening, outrageous, and unabashed—replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen tidbits of human grace in the most unlikely places—Waiter Rant presents the server’s unique point of view, revealing surefire secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and ways to ensure that your waiter won’t spit on your food.”

Waiter Rant

Concierge Confidential: The Secrets of Serving Champagne Bitches and Caviar Queens

“Michael Fazio is the ultimate behind-the-scenes support man. Want two orchestra tickets to the Broadway musical that just won the Tony? Call Fazio. How about an upgrade to first class on an overbooked overnight flight to Tokyo? Call Fazio. Or a roomful of fresh hydrangeas―in winter? That’s right. Call Fazio.”

Concierge Confidential The Secrets of Serving Champagne Bitches and Caviar Queens

Quick tips for the best Hotel Stay

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac Hotel photo by Prayitno. Modified for our use.

22 Responses

  1. Silas Knight

    I think looking for a place to stay on vacation is part of the fun. You have some great tips here that apply whether you stay in a hotel, apartment, inn, or anything else. I like how you emphasize being nice, and not being a jerk, both being great ideas.

  2. Hazel Owens

    I didn’t know that some hotels with “no vacancy” signs may actually have an opening or two. Even so, I would have thought that such vacancies would be caused by cancelled plans, not maintenance issues. However, I’ll definitely try asking for openings next time I’m desperate for accommodations! Thanks for the article.

  3. Katherine


    Thanks for including A Luxury Travel Blog

    This is a amazing sightseeing near the hotels and the sea view is very awesome. You have provide a great list of all luxurious hotels.

    Luxury Hotels are for people who are used to lavish lifestyles. The employees at these hotels are specially trained to cater to everything that the guests need.

    They aim to provide their guests with all the luxuries they desire during their stay. These hotels were built in such a way that their guests’ stay is absolutely as stress free as possible.

    Thanks a lot for the share.

    Keep doing good work.
    God Bless U!

  4. Ridley Fitzgerald

    It’s important to enjoy the hotel you stay at. I like the tips you have for having an enjoyable stay, because I hadn’t thought of all of these before! I like how you talked about looking at other rooms. I normally just stick with whatever room I am given, so your method is much better.

  5. Christina

    You make a good point about the no vacancy sign. There may be a room available and checking is a sure way to learn, as you shared.

  6. Ivy Baker

    This is some really good information about accommodation and how to get a good hotel room. I liked what you said about asking to see a few different types of rooms. My family is going ot be going on vacation soon and this might be a good thing for us to do. After all, our family is quite large.

  7. Larry Weaver

    That’s interesting that many managers will try to fill the least desirable rooms first. I’m looking to book a hotel int he upcoming weeks while I travel, and would like to have a room with a nice view. Asking to see a few different rooms is something I’ll have to try out when I’m traveling.

  8. Oscar O'Malley

    I really like that you mentioned asking to see other rooms in the event that the one you’re given isn’t what you expected. My wife and I are planning a stay at a hotel this weekend while visiting some friends, and I’d love to have a nice room that we’re comfortable in. Knowing that asking to see other rooms is a possibility is great information!

  9. Kyle Wayne

    I love that you talked about how a little kindness and respect toward the front desk can work wonders. My younger sister is looking for lodging so she can take her family there for vacation. I’ll be sure to talk to her about being extra kind to receive professional service.

  10. Ivy Baker

    This is some really good information about hotel booking. It is good to know that it would be smart to look at a few different types of rooms. That does seem like a good way to get the best fit for your needs at the price point you need.

  11. Bernard Button

    We love to travel, so these hotel-staying tips are pretty great. I like how you said that searching for 10 seconds can get us a discount on rates. We’ll have to do better at doing research so that we can save some money.

  12. Chail

    These tips are very helpful for travelers. When your booking, your hotel online, then be sure to read each itemized charge before hitting the “book now” button.

  13. Kit Hannigan

    I’m glad that you mentioned how tipping your cleaning person a little every night will probably get me an impeccable room service for my stay. My wife and I are planning a trip overseas for the upcoming holidays. This tip will definitely help us enjoy our vacation more and receive top quality service from our hotel.

  14. Gary Puntman

    I agree that you can ask to see multiple different rooms. This will help you know what to expect and can help you find the room that you want. If you want a room with a view, you can ask to see one first, like you said.

  15. Mina Edinburgh

    It sure got me when you said that hotels with signs that say “no vacancy” is probably not really full and that there might be a room available that has a slight maintenance issue that we can ask them about. I have no problem with that since I do not usually stay in a hotel for more than two days. Though I will be sure that for this year’s family vacation I plan in advance we will be spending time there for well over a week.

  16. Ellie Davis

    Thank you for suggesting that you should make sure and double check the hotel listing. My husband and I are wanting to go stay a night in a luxury hotel and we need to find the right one for us. I’ll have to do some research and see if we can find a great hotel nearby.

  17. Manuel Antoni

    For choosing the best and memorable family vacation trip you should choose the right place which could change your opinion of travelling as there are many parts of the country which you can explore the beauty of that country especially Europe such a big country.

  18. Gillian Babcock

    My brother and his friends are planning to stay in a hotel for staycation next weekend. It was explained here that they should ask to see a few rooms before booking one. Moreover, it’s recommended to go to a trusted lodging place for a quality stay.

  19. Brooklyn Johnson

    Thank you for your tip on how if you aren’t happy with the first room you receive, ask if you can look at the other rooms available when staying in a hotel. My family and I are going on a big trip this summer and are staying in a hotel, but I have never stayed in one with my family before. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when staying in a hotel with my family.


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