50 Hotel Secrets That You May Not Know
Staying a night in a hotel is often a chance to get away and relax. However, there are many secrets that the hotel industry does not want you to know. When you check into a hotel, you expect clean sheets, clean glasses, and a clean room in general. That is not usually the case. Hotels are not all they seem to be and are full of interesting information. Some may rethink wanting to stay at a hotel after reading these secrets that hotels are hiding. There are a few good secrets as well, but the bad ones definitely outweigh the good.
You Can Lose Your Room To Someone With Status
Many times, you book your hotel months in advance and sometimes even pay in advance. There is still a possibility that you could show up at the hotel and not have a room. Hotels sometimes overbook to minimize lost revenue from unsold rooms.
If you are the unlucky one, you could end up losing out and needing to go to a different hotel. Of course, the hotel will pay for your room at a different hotel, but it can definitely be a hassle. The person lowest on the totem pole will be the one looking for a new hotel.
Your Free Breakfast Isn't Really Free
Most hotels advertise complimentary continental breakfast. However, most are not actually free because the cost of the meal is simply bundled into the price of your room. It is still probably cheaper than eating out at a restaurant but don't let the word "free" fool you.
There are also hidden costs of your complimentary breakfast, such as fewer jobs for waitresses and more trash polluting the planet in the form of all those disposable plates and cups.
Bargain Hunters Get A Bargain Experience
You can usually find pretty good deals online for hotels if you do some hunting. However, be careful because making reservations through a site could mean a less-pleasant stay. Many hotels give the least-desirable rooms to guests who book through a third party because the hotel makes less money on those stays.
"Reservations made through internet discount sites are most likely to receive one of the poorer rooms. Those guests didn't really choose our property based on quality; they chose based on value." ---- Jacob Tomsky. A better option is to call the hotel and ask if they can match the rate you found online. They might just be willing to give you a discount.
The Drinking Glasses Only Look Spotless
The glasses in your hotel room usually look sparkling clean, but in all actuality, they are not that clean at all. The housekeepers often rinse the cups off and dry them with a hand towel.
Some have been known to use Pledge on the glasses to make them look sparkling clean. As a result, you may want to rethink using the glasses in the room for a drink of water.
The Restaurant Recommendations Aren't Exactly Unbiased
Many hotel guests take advantage of the hotel concierge for recommendations. However, they might not be the best option if you are looking for an unbiased suggestion for where to eat. Oftentimes, concierges get a kickback for every person they send to a certain restaurant.
They might be sending you somewhere that isn't really that great but gives them some money. However, a good concierge will still send you to a quality spot because they don't want complaints that you received bad advice.
You Might Be Able To Get The Fees Waived
One of the most annoying parts about staying at a hotel is all of the fees and add-on charges to your room cost. The "extras" that you get charged for often are silly things like the water bottles in the room or access to the hotel gym.
Most guests don't realize that you can sometimes get out of paying the fees with a little polite persuasion. If you don't use the amenities or if the services are out of order, the hotel might be willing to scratch the charges off your bill. The hotels won't always waive fees, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
All Rooms Aren't Created Equally
Most assume that every queen room is the same, but that is not true. Some rooms are actually better than others, and if you ask nicely, they might give you one.
"Here is one of the top lies that comes out of a front desk agent's mouth: 'All the rooms are basically the same, sir.' Bulls**t. There is always a corner room, a room with a bigger flat screen, a room that has a larger bathroom with two sinks." ------ Jacob Tomsky.
They Know What You're Watching On Pay-Per-View
Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi, so having pay-per-view is very rare now. However, if you still order movies straight from the TV, there is a very good chance that the hotel staff knows what you watched.
The pay-per-view TV systems are very detailed, and the staff can see what you watched and even how long you watched it. As a result, claiming you accidentally ordered a movie most likely won't work.
Your Secret Affair Isn't So Secret
Another thing people need to realize is that front desk staff aren't as clueless as you might think. When you and your 'wife' check-in, don't think that they don't realize that you aren't there with your wife.
"We know you're cheating on your wife. I mean, don't get me wrong, we don't care. But don't bother making up a backstory when you're paying cash 1-2 times a week in the town you live in." ------ Reddit user JJ23232.
The Bedding Might Be Dirty
Most hotel guests just assume that the bedding in their hotel room is clean, as it should be. However, oftentimes hotels don't wash all of the bedding between guest stays.
Usually, the sheets are washed regularly, but the bedspreads and blankets are cleaned much less often. Some housekeepers have confessed that the bedding only gets washed once a week and, in some cases, once a month.
Everything Else Is Also Pretty Filthy
The bedding is most likely not the only thing that isn't clean in your hotel room. Most parts of your room are full of bacteria. For instance, television remotes are one of the dirtiest items in the room.
In addition, other things full of germs are the light switches, lamps, door handles, headboards, and sinks. Also, make sure to use the plastic liner if you use the ice bucket as you never know what the bucket has been used for.
Even Touching The Minibar Could Cost You
You might want to stay away from the minibar because cracking open a tiny bottle of whiskey could cost you a pretty penny. However, what most guests don't know is that just picking up the package of Pringles could lead to a charge on your bill.
A lot of hotels add automated minibars that sense when something has been picked up. So, you could get charged even if you didn't eat anything. Make sure to review your bill because most hotels will reverse the charges if you didn't actually consume anything.
The Hotel Might Check Up On Your Before You Check-In
Guests don't realize that some hotels might be checking up on you before you even check it. Most high-end hotels want to make sure their guests have an amazing experience and will do some snooping to provide it.
Sometimes, it's a good thing, such as if you are staying at the hotel because it's your anniversary. The hotel might check out your social media and realize it's your anniversary. You could show up and find a bottle of champagne in your room.
Your Bad Behavior Is Noted
Hotels keep track of your likes and dislikes, but they also take note of your bad behavior. So if you are rude to the front desk clerk or trash your room, it will be on your record.
"If you are a jerk, it will be added to comments on your reservation, and every time someone pulls you up, they will get a nice little warning about how you treated someone else. Anyone who has access to the rooms program can see your entire history with that resort or hotel." ------ Reddit user.
Hotels Are Raking It In
It is astonishing when hotels close up and claim they didn't make enough profit. The reason why is because the average cost to turn over a room is between thirty and forty dollars.
The turnover cost includes electricity, cleaning supplies, hourly wages for housekeepers, minibar attendants, front desk agents, and everything else. So, when you stay at a hotel and pay one hundred and twenty dollars, the hotel actually profits about eighty dollars.
Smart Complainers Win
Most complaints should be delivered to the front desk either in person or on the phone. However, most issues are not actually caused by the front desk. As a result, offer a solution if you have one, and ask, "Should I speak to a manager about this?" or "Should I speak to housekeeping about this?"
The front desk worker will be more likely to help you and solve the problem if you are nicer about it. If the worker doesn't help you, then report them.
Bellhops Hate Your Suitcase, But Not Because It's Heavy
Bellhops used to be a necessity to help carry hotel guests' luggage. However, ever since Bernard Sadow invented suitcases with wheels, there are fewer and fewer Bellhops.
When Bernard sold his prototype, he instigated a catastrophic change in the hospitality environment. Today, there are very few hotels that use the Bellhops because they just aren't needed anymore.
Front Desk Agents Can Also Be Agents Of Karma
Hotel guests should receive what is referred to as initial keys when they arrive. The keys are programmed to reset the door lock when they are first inserted and deactivate all previous keys. With a 'key bomb,' the agent cuts one single initial key and then starts over and cuts a second initial key.
Either key will work at first, but once you use one, the other one gets deactivated, as well as the first one. You might just think it's bad luck, but it was most likely something you did or said during check-in, which caused the agent to intentionally do this.
Housekeepers Sometimes Nap In Your Bed
Usually, the guest will leave the room and ask for room service while they are gone. Sometimes they take a long time to clean it, and one of the reasons is that sometimes they will take a nap in the bed.
Several previous housekeepers have admitted to taking naps at work while cleaning hotel rooms. Especially if they have extra time on their hands, they will often sit down or lay down and relax.
You Can Cancel Your Stay Without Paying A Fee
Most hotels have a cancelation fee if you don't cancel by a certain time. However, there is a trick to getting out of being charged that late fee. If you need to cancel your reservation after the cancelation deadline, just call the hotel and change your hotel stay dates.
By doing that, the hotel will then extend your cancelation period. You then call again and cancel the reservation. It's a little sneaky, but it keeps you from paying the fee.
Housekeepers' Revenge On Guests
Sometimes, housekeepers will seek revenge on guests that have been rude or disrespectful. Housekeepers are human and will occasionally act on their desire to get revenge.
An anonymous housekeeper stated that she and her co-workers would use a towel to dry the bathroom and hang it back up. They might not change sheets or clean something else, and you would never know.
Hotel Deaths Are Not Rare
It is not as rare as people think for someone to die in a hotel room. Sadly, murders, suicides, assaults, and natural deaths occur in both high-cost and low-cost hotels. The hotels, of course, try to keep it discreet and clean up the room the best they can.
People continue to book the room and have no idea that someone died in there. In other cases, the death is well-known, causing people to want to book that room, forcing the hotel to renumber rooms to discourage it.
The Bathroom Is Not Just For You
Another part of the hotel room that might be used by the housekeeper is the bathroom. While cleaning the rooms, they will often use the bathroom in the room instead of walking to the staff bathrooms.
This isn't as bad as sleeping in the bed, but hopefully, they clean up after themselves. Of course, it is something they aren't supposed to do, but when you have to go, you have to go.
Someone Might Have Eaten Your Room Service
Hotel guests don't realize that when they order room service, they might be feeding the staff. You might get your meal and wonder why you have such a small serving of french fries or fruit.
It could be that whoever brought the meal probably had a snack on the way to your room. Several hotel staff have admitted that staff will eat food while delivering it to a guest's room.
The Coffee Makers Are Disgusting
Most guests use the coffee makers in the room because it's much cheaper than going to a coffee shop. However, you might just want to rethink that choice and spend a few extra dollars on your coffee.
The University of Valencia actually tested several coffee machines in hotel rooms and found that most were full of bacteria because they were rarely cleaned. So, chances are when you go to make coffee; it's in a coffee maker that hasn't been cleaned in a while, if at all.
Bedbugs Are More Common Than You Think
We have already established that hotels are full of germs, which also means they are not protected from insect infestations. Surveys have found that the number of bed bug infestations is increasing in the US and is much higher than it was fifteen years ago.
Hotels are actually among the top three places to find bed bugs, which then you end up bringing home with you. Make sure to always check the corners of the mattress in your room.
Toiletries Are For You To Take
The toiletries in the hotel bathroom are meant for you to take. The hotels want you to steal them, however, they do not want you to take towels, the hair dryer, or kettles.
The little jars of soap and shampoo are to make your stay more memorable and make you feel like you are getting the best price. Before you decide to try and take anything else, be careful because many hotels put electronic tags on some items to catch guests trying to steal.
Hotel Alcohol Is Not What You Think It Is
Alcoholic drinks at hotels are typically overpriced and what guests don't realize is that it's not the same quality as you would get at a restaurant. They will sometimes give you the cheaper alcohol but still charge you for the more expensive alcohol.
Another thing to know is when there are unlimited drinks; they are almost always diluted. Some have also admitted to watering down the alcohol.
If You Leave Something Behind, You Won't Get A Phone Call
Always make sure to double and triple-check your room before checking out to make sure you have all of your things. If you leave something behind in your room, chances are they won't call you to let you know.
It's not usually because they have ill intentions, but because they never know when you can pick them up. If you happen to leave a charger behind, they will often keep them and lend them to other guests and staff.
Hotel Safes Are Not Infallible
Most hotel rooms have a safe somewhere in the room, where you can store your essentials and valuables. However, they are not as secure as you might think they are.
You are not the only person who has access to the safe because the team can log in and open it without your combination code. It's safer to lock your belongings up in a suitcase, closet, or under your bed.
There Is A Lot Of Politics Behind The Scenes
There is a lot of politics behind the scenes at hotels. As guests, we never really know what is going on behind closed doors. Sometimes there are discussions going on between different departments that end up affecting your stay.
For instance, while you are waiting for your room to be ready, it isn't taking a while because it's not clean yet. Often, it's because there are issues between the cleaning department and the front desk, and they are refusing to release a room.
Sometimes Hotels Get Crazy With Guest Eating Restrictions
If you have strict dietary restrictions, you might want to bring your own food or go to a restaurant. Some staff at hotels have a lazy attitude when it comes to fulfilling people's requests.
An example is that some foods are labeled as vegetarian but are not actually vegetarian. Those foods were likely prepared with chicken or veal broth, and the same utensils in the kitchen are used for everything. It's probably best not to chance it.
"Do Not Disturb" Signs Are Ignored
Most hotel guests use the "Do Not Disturb" signs at one point or the other. However, be aware that most hotel housekeepers ignore the doorknob sign because they don't want to have to come back later.
In some instances, guests will leave the sign on the door and then check out, which takes valuable time away from the housekeepers. So, they never really know if the sign should still be hanging there.
If You Need Something, Order Before 5:30 P.M.
Most housekeepers leave the hotel by or before 5:30 pm every day. As a result, if you have any requests, make sure to ask before that time of the day. You will get what you are asking for much quicker than if you ask later in the evening when there is less staff working.
In addition, the sooner you ask, the better condition the items will be in. Waiting until later might also mean you have to go to the front desk to get an item.
Maids May Lose Their VIP Rooms For Violating The Rules
Not every housekeeper is allowed to clean the VIP rooms in the hotel. If you are on the list to clean the rooms but break the rules for any reason, you will be taken off the list.
You will no longer be able to work in the VIP rooms, and you might be paid less and be given the less desirable rooms to clean. Also, VIPs tend to leave bigger tips in their room.
Bathtubs Are Never Scrubbed
One thing you might want to reconsider when staying in a hotel room is to take a bath. Housekeepers don't have enough time to actually make sure everything is as clean as it should be.
That means that certain things don't get cleaned often, and one of those things is bathtubs. At most, they might just run the water to wash any hair or whatever out of there. A good way to check is to smell the bathtub and see if it smells like bleach or cleaner.
Housekeepers Can Touch Your Stuff
If you have wondered, housekeepers often look through people's belongings in the rooms they are cleaning. They get bored with the constant cleaning and think it's fun to see what is in the room.
Many have admitted that they like to find out what kind of person the guest is. Again, it's another thing that they shouldn't be doing, but as a precaution, if there is anything you don't want them to touch or even take, bring it with you.
Hotel Staff Can Get Lazy And Lie To You
There are times when the hotel staff are just being lazy and will lie to guests. When you call a hotel to make a reservation, and they say they are fully booked, it could just be they are too lazy to check if there are any rooms available.
They don't feel like looking, so they just say no, we are completely full. I would bet that if you went to that same hotel in person, they would find you a room.
Online Reviews Really Do Matter
Most people just ignore online review requests from hotels or anything, really. What most people don't realize is that online reviews do actually matter. Hotel managers and owners really take it to heart, so if you say something negative, it could mean someone getting fired.
Make sure you really think about giving someone or someplace a negative review. Obviously, if it's deserved, then that's one thing, but if it's just you having a temper tantrum, be careful.
Hotel Stars Do Not Always Matter
Many people who are searching for a hotel to stay at look for four or five-star hotels and won't stay at anything less than that. However, most of those ratings are usually from publications that may be biased, not from individuals.
You can find two or three-star hotels that are just as nice and comfortable as the higher-rated ones. Make sure you read the reviews of former guests instead.
Sometimes, Kids Get Free Perks
Most people think it's better not to list their children as guests because they could be charged more. However, it could be very beneficial to list your children because they can help you.
In addition, some hotels may also give your children free perks such as free coloring books or treats. Some upscale hotels will even give children teddy bears or cooking classes. Your children might also be able to eat free at the hotel restaurant.
There Is A Half-Day Option
Something most people don't realize is that the majority of hotels offer half-day options. There are instances where people just need a room for part of the day to shower and sleep.
They offer twelve-hour options and usually charge half of the price of the full day. While you are there for twelve hours, you will still have access to the pool, gym, and Wi-Fi. It's a great option for someone traveling, especially for business.
Sometimes, Pets Are Allowed
Another option that has changed just over the last several years is that pets are now allowed in most hotels. There are more hotels that allow pets now than there are that don't.
They usually have a small fee per night for the pet, and some require a deposit that you get back as long as the room is in good shape. It is a great option for people as they don't have to board their animals or ask someone to watch them.
Wifi: High Fees, Low Speeds
Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi because the majority of people won't stay at a hotel without it. Some hotels charge extra for Wi-Fi and some of the hotels that offer it for free only give you slow speeds.
So, sometimes it's better to have to pay because you will probably get much better speeds, but you can't count on it. Our world is addicted to our electronics, so it's important for hotels to have good Wi-Fi.
Unreasonable Parking Fees
Hotels in larger cities charge for parking, mainly because there is such limited parking in big cities. If you are in a smaller city, most hotels have their own parking lot, and it's free.
It is more of a pet peeve than a serious problem, but it can be frustrating if you weren't expecting it. A good rule of thumb is to verify the parking situation at the hotel before you book it.
Location And View Exaggeration
Something that can be extremely frustrating is when a hotel advertises an amazing view of the ocean or is just steps from the beach. However, it ends up that yes, you have a view of the ocean, but it's just a sliver.
A wide-angle lens can make anything look closer or larger, so what you see in the pictures is not necessarily what you will see when you arrive. There are even some hotels that cross the line and outright lie. The best advice is to do some research and read reviews from previous guests.
Unresponsive Climate Control
One of the most unpleasant things is sleeping in a hotel room that is either too warm or too cold. The hotel's climate control system sometimes can't be changed by guests, and windows aren't always able to be opened.
There are even some hotels that charge for air conditioning. It could mean a very long, rough night and very little sleep. It could even mean switching hotels because it's so miserable.
Book 30 Days In Advance
Many hotels give the best rates if you book thirty days in advance, but if you can't book that far in advance, there is another option. You can also get good rates if you book last minute. Most hotels want a full house, so when it's last minute, they are willing to give a lower rate in order to fill the rooms.
However, they are more likely to offer the discounted rates through third-party travel websites. It is risky waiting until the last minute as they could actually be full.
The Maid's Equipment Is Not So Hygienic
It's not easy to thoroughly clean a hotel room if the maid's equipment isn't clean, to begin with. Housekeepers often use the same cloth they used to clean the bathrooms and floors to clean the surfaces, most of the time.
It is very unsanitary, but it happens all of the time. They also don't usually thoroughly clean the dishes, bedside tables, lamps, and many other things.