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Saturday, November 29, 2014

9 Secrets Hotels Don't Want You to Know

1.  Don't Call The 800 Number - You get the best rate by calling the hotel's local number. Instead of the reservation desk, ask to speak to the manager on duty  or the director of sales. They have the authority to give you the best rate.

2. Rooms Cost More In The A.M - The best time of day to make a reservation is after 6PM. That's when hotels clear their no show reservations unsecured by credit cards. Then these rooms are offered at bargain rates. In NY and San Francisco, call after 4PM.

3. Negotiate Everything - If the parking is over priced and the lot is half full, offer 50% of the daily rate.

4. No Vacancy Sign=Rooms Available - In any large hotel, a few rooms are listed as out of order. The problem may be simple like a stain on the carpet or a chair has been sent out for repairs. If you're desperate for a last-minute room, tell the manager you are willing to take an  out of order room with a minor problem.

5. Thieves Take Only One Credit Card -   Hotel thieves usually take out one credit card so you won't notice. So check your wallet carefully if you leave it unattended.

6. Hotel Rooms Are A Germ Circus - TV remotes, telephones and clock radios never get cleaned. So carry a pack of antibacterial  wipes and clean items when you arrive. Bedspreads are only cleaned every few months. So ask for clean blankets as soon as you arrive.

7. Tip The Housekeeper $2-$3 A Day - Housekeepers are the most overworked, underpaid, under appreciated people in a hotel. If you tip them you'll get better service and it reduces the chance that you room will be burglarized. Dishonest housekeepers are less likely to target guests they have met.

8. Your Bags Aren't Safe - Even in high end hotels, bags can be stolen right off the bellhop carts in the lobby. Plus the hotel assumes no responsibility. If your bag is going to sit for more than a few minutes, ask that they be placed ina secure room. Designer luggage may impress fellow travelers, but it also impresses a thief. So always travel with cheap, ugly luggage so thieves  target someone else.   

9. Tap The Lost & Found - If you forget to bring your cell phone or laptop charger, odds are the hotel will lend you a charger from their lost and found. Recharging cords are the number 1 items left behind at hotels.

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