So what are our favourite hotel secrets?
Well, there’s a bunch of them, but in short, we have 15 of these babies, all designed to make your life
easier epically awesome. All you have to remember is to always be polite to your hotel staff, as they are the gatekeepers of almost all these hotel hacks.
1. Ask about transfers
Flying in? Call ahead and ask your hotel if they offer a free pick-up service or run transfers at a lower rate from the airport. For island getaways in particular, this is a major hotel hack, as you can avoid expensive taxi rides just for the asking.
2. Check what’s included in the room rate
Skyscanner Australia will list if your hotel offers free WiFi, if you can use the pool, whether you get breakfast, half or full board. But if you’ve booked and you’re not sure what’s included, make sure you call up your hotel and ask.
3. Not all rooms are made equal, especially corner rooms
No matter how many times you’re told that all the rooms are the same, they’re not. It’s worth asking for an upgrade (politely), or if you can’t get that, angle for a corner room. These are almost always bigger, and often have multiple aspect windows.
4. The higher the better
Okay, so we all like expansive views, but did you know getting a room on a higher floor can also be way quieter? Upper levels offer respite from street level noises, and usually large party groups are put on the lower floors (we’re looking at you Vegas!). If you’re after some serious relaxation, request to be on a higher floor.
5. You can borrow (A LOT) of stuff
Forgot your hairdryer? Need an iron? These are standard items that a hotel provides, but did you know that often they have items like umbrellas, hair straighteners, yoga mats, adapters and phone chargers? Don’t let that one forgotten item ruin your holiday, call the front desk and see if they have what you need.
6. Plus, there’s free stuff!
Everyone likes freebies, but you’d be surprised just how much stuff you can get for free at hotels. Toiletries are always on offer (tiny shampoo bottles 4eva!!!!), but you can get other things like stamps, fruit baskets, complimentary restaurant vouchers, and even the odd bottle of bubbly.
7. Speaking of bubbly…
If it’s an occasion, like a birthday or an anniversary, you should call up the front desk before you arrive. Often the hotel staff will make a fuss over you – we’re talking free booze, chocolates and possibly even flowers. Just maybe don’t mention that the anniversary in question is when you discovered how much you loved watching Home Alone, alone.
8. Check-in Chicken
Check-ins and check-outs may seem super strict, but they’re not. If you know you’re going to arrive early just call ahead. Usually hotel staff can schedule your room to be cleaned early, or will try to release another room for you.
If you need a few more hours to recover from a night out, and are hoping for a late check-out, just ask. A stellar hotel secret to know: usually hotels allow a late check-out free of charge. Plus, some larger chains like Novotel or Westin hotels have late-checkouts as standard on certain days, usually on Sundays, which is great for those weekend breaks.
9. Breakfast Cowboy
Too sleepy to stick to the hotel breakfast window? Did you know you can actually request a takeaway breakfast? It may not be as lavish as a personal omelette station, but you can often get a nice packed breakfast of juice, yoghurt, and fruit.
10. Early check-out? Hang out by the pool
Sooo many hotels have spas and pools, but one of the biggest hotel secrets is that you can use these facilities even after check-out. This is a great way to wile away the day if you have a late flight and an early check-out. Let the hotel staff know, pop your bag behind the counter, and head for your nearest sunbed.
11. Check out the discounts
One of our favourite hotel hacks is that guests can usually use their hotel’s fancy facilities for a big discount. If your hotel has a spa, see what deals they’re running, you may get a great treatment like a massage or a facial with a big ol’ discount attached.
12. Call on the Concierge
The concierge service is one of the best things about staying in a hotel. Forget hotel hacks, this is like a hack to your holiday life. Ask for recommendations, secure tour bookings through them, get fancy theatre tickets, or arrange reservations at restaurants. Make. Use. Of. The. Concierge. We implore you!
13. See if your hotel will price match
See a difference in price when searching hotels? Call up the hotel you’ve got your eye on, and say that you want to reserve with them, but tell them that [insert competitor hotel] offers a more affordable rate, can they price match? If you ask politely, you’d be surprised how many times this works.
14. Don’t get ‘walked’
What does getting ‘walked’ mean? It’s a term used to describe when a hotel gives your room away because they’ve overbooked. You’re more likely to get walked if it’s a) a hugely busy season and b) you’ve only booked one night. To avoid this and key into a very important hotel hack, make sure you arrive early to your check-in, and if you can, join the hotel’s loyalty program.
15. Don’t cancel, reschedule
If you have a non-refundable hotel booking or have missed the cancellation deadline, don’t just swallow the fee and move on. Hotels are almost always happy to accommodate you if you just want to shift your booking, and this can save you a lot of money and hassle.
Plus, if you want to be extra cheeky (our fave hotel secret), reschedule to a date that falls within the cancellation window, so you can cancel AND avoid a fee.
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