More Things Your Hotel Desk Clerk Won’t Tell You

Hotel receptionists spill their best secrets, from how to get treated like a VIP to how often hotel linens are cleaned.

1. Most of us are happy to help.
If you ask us to, we’ll tell callers you’re not registered at the hotel, or tell you where to park so you can’t see your car from the interstate. But we’re also talking behind your back about what you might be hiding.

2. Always request clean linens when you check in.
We wash the sheets every day, but blankets often only get washed once a week. And the bedspreads? If there’s no visible stain, it’s maybe once a month.

3. In this economy, everything is negotiable.
If your hotel offers a hot breakfast buffet as well as a free continental breakfast, ask if you can get the hot breakfast with your room. Very rarely will we tell you no.

4. If you travel frequently, use the same hotel each time.
Get to know the staff. Regulars are recognized and treated as VIPs.  You could get free upgrades, discounts, and more.

5. Never use the long distance.
Unless you want to pay $10 for a 5-minute call, it’s best to specifically ask for it to be turned off. We’ve had situations in which housekeepers have made calls from a guest’s phone.

6. If you request a king bed, there’s no guarantee.
No matter how confident the reservations agent sounds, call the hotel directly and make the request again a few days before you travel. Then do it again on the day of. If we still don’t have one when you get there and you’re nice about it, we may comp your breakfast or upgrade you to a suite.

7. Don’t act like you own the place.
Our policy is to automatically upgrade people if we’ve got the space – but I’m not going to do it if you’re snarky.

8. It seems to have gone out of fashion to tip your housekeeper.
Most are paid minimum wage with the expectation of tips.  Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest