While Staying at the Hotel
Do not leave your key lying around in public areas like the pool or exercise room. Some hotels still put room numbers on the keys and you do not want anybody unknown to you to know what room you are staying in. If you should happen to lose your key or lock it in your room, the hotel will need photo ID of the registered guest to receive another copy of the key. Most hotels have a strict policy regarding the issuing copies of room keys and will only provide them for the guest registered to the room. This is a safety issue, not a service issue and most hotels treat this safety issue very seriously for your personal protection.
If There is a Problem
While the hotel staff is trying their best to provide the best customer service they can, to hundreds of people each day, the unforeseen may pop up and you might experience a problem during your stay. In this situation you should speak with the front desk to explain the problem and ask for it to be resolved. The front desk is the communication center of the hotel and they will be able to contact the right person to address the problem. If you can think of a solution that you feel is fair to both you and the hotel, suggest your solution as a possible way to fix the problem. Most hotel staff members are trained to take care of situations to the guest’s satisfaction and if they know up front what you consider a satisfactory solution they may be able to provide that solution much more quickly.
Remember to remain calm and to act in a professional manner. If the staff member feels that you are making a personal attack against them, when they are trying to help you, your problem may not be resolved completely to your satisfaction or in a timely manner. Threatening to never use their hotel again may cause the staff member to decide that, in your case, nothing can be done because they already lost your business. Acting like the “Big Shot” may cause a hotel employee to think you are trying to get an extra service for nothing and could possibly doubt the validity of your story. You are a guest of the hotel, a customer, and that should be enough to have your problem fixed. Should you feel that you are not getting the help you desire, ask to speak with a supervisor, the hotel manager or the property’s general manager.
Some unhappy guests feel they get better results by calling the hotel chain’s customer service department at the national level. In practically every case they will ask if you said anything to the hotel staff while still at the hotel, where they could have the opportunity to resolve the problem before you left. Usually they will refer the complaint back to the hotel anyway and just act as intermediary until the case can be closed. Should you feel it necessary to call the national customer service department, have as much information available as possible. Give specific information to describe the problem, include the date, time and location of the event, they will need your name and confirmation number, and the name and title of any staff members you dealt with and a description of any actions taken by those individuals. It is always best to deal with the hotel staff and managers directly, that is what they are there for, to make your stay a happy one, as best they can.
When Ready to Leave
Search your room completely. Open every closet door and every drawer, even if you never used them, look on the back of the bathroom door for the robe or swim suit you hung there. Check under the edges of the beds to find that shoe and unroll the bedspread to find the map or the car keys. Check any shelves or tables in the room as well as the vanity in the bathroom. If the hotel has a refrigerator, be sure to look in there for that bottle of water or piece of fruit you put in the night before.
At Check Out
Watch your luggage from the room to your car. If you used the hotel’s safety deposit boxes, make sure you gather everything from the box. Turn in all the room keys the hotel issued to you. Look over your hotel bill thoroughly to make sure the charges are correct before signing. Verify that the correct credit card is applied to the charges and, if you are a club member, that your premium membership number is noted. Take your receipt, especially if you paid in cash.
What to Tip
In the service industry it is customary to Tip those who provided you good service. The appropriate amount to tip for those who handle your luggage range from $1.00 to $2.00 per bag, if they are taken to your room. It is nice to leave a tip and a small thank you note for housekeeping. From my years as a hotel manager I know first hand that housekeeping is the hardest working department and they get the least amount of recognition. Typically $1.00 to $2.00 per day is appreciated for their service. In restaurants or for room service the typical amount is from 15% to 20%, if you ordered room service many times the hotel will add the gratuity automatically.
I hope these insider tips will help you to have a smooth and safe trip.