Separate yourself from the 300+ guest fray…

Do hotel suite upgrades really matter? Ok, sure they can, but in the end, they’re not nearly as impactful as receiving phenomenal service. It’s the finer touches and assistance which separates a great hotel from a good hotel, and without dropping suite money, just about anyone can receive some form of the good life. Here are a few common sense, but overlooked ways to get better treatment at hotels, wherever you are in the world…

a pool with chairs and tablesTip On Arrival

Yep, getting this one out of the way first. Tipping on arrival can go a long way. The smoother you are with your tipping, the better. A few bucks to the doorman, luggage porter, front desk and anyone else can start things off on a great foot. If you don’t like walking around with your hand out, you can always ask the front desk to discretely disperse an envelope with tip money on your behalf to staff, in equal measures. And as always – don’t ask for things with your tip, it’s a token of appreciation.

Remember Names

Ever been impressed by hotel staff referring to you by name? Do the same to them. Remembering people’s names and greeting them accordingly can go a very long way in separating yourself from the myriad of guests vying for attention with the DYKWIA attitude. Be polite, look people in the eyes, take your headphones off for a brief moment and be human. Greeting and thanking staff by name can be a game changer and at the end of the day, you just should be anyway. Who do you think they’ll be more inclined to help?

a building with a view of the cityBook Smart

While there’s plenty you can do from the time you arrive, there are steps you can take to improve your chances. Booking direct almost always helps with upgrade possibilities, as does booking through a preferred partner, with luxury benefits, upgrades and perks built in automatically. Book direct, or book with VIP programs such as Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Chase Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso and other channels which offer built in benefits.

Social Media Mentions

People go to great lengths to out “bad” service, but often completely turn off when it comes to rewarding great service. Many hotels incentivize or reward staff who make enough of an impact that they wind up in a tweet, TripAdvisor review or other mention. If someone makes your stay, or is on point with their job – be sure to reward them with a by name mention on a check out survey, social media or hotel review. Sure, you may have to wait until your return visit to feel the love, but it rarely goes unappreciated, and helps future guests.

Revisit Favorite Spots

Did you have a great drink at the hotel bar last night? Revisiting hotel breakfasts, restaurants or bars is almost sure to bring the attention of an alert staff. A polite guest who ordered a bunch of drinks or had a great time will almost alway have a fantastic experience upon return. Bartenders always have discretion, and if you’re making a positive, complimentary impact on their day or are interested in their craft, sometimes it goes both ways. “Ah, you were here last night, this one’s on me”.

a room with a large window and a view of a lake and mountainsEmail The GM

General managers ensure the constant quality, refinement and guest satisfaction of their hotel, and are (almost) always full of wonderful local knowledge and recommendations. If it’s your first time to a city, or are looking for special meal recommendations, do your best to Google a hotel’s general manager and get in touch. A great GM will usually reply directly or connect you with colleagues who can offer great restaurant recommendations, travel planning or respond to special requests for your stay. It puts you on the radar of hotel staff, which never hurts.

Come Back Again

For many of the best feelings to sink in, you’ll just need to come back. Hotels love repeat guests, and a staff which has been lauded for great service and received team recognition based on your comments is always going to be excited to see you again. If you love a hotel, go back and continue to be a positive and impactful guest. Many of the best service interactions don’t require hacks or money, just mutual respect and enthusiasm.

What’s been your best hotel experience?

Featured image courtesy of the Conrad Bali.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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