21 secrets hotels won’t tell you

Don’t try to bargain with the reservations number we give you

The 1-800 reservations number will probably send you to a central office with set rates. If you call the hotel directly instead, you can negotiate.

We don’t get everything from online booking sites

Hotels can pay a commission of up to 30 percent to online hotel booking sites. So offer me 20 percent less than the online price, and we both come out ahead.

Don’t expect a discount if we are not independently owned

Independently owned hotels are far more likely to give you a discount. Some chains baulk at dropping the rate.

Give the housekeepers time

If you show up at 11 a.m. and check-in time is 2 p.m., please don’t be upset if your room isn’t ready. I can’t make the housekeepers go any faster. And you don’t want them to rush.

Ask in private for a room upgrade

Don’t ask me for an upgrade when other guests are within earshot. Want a more spacious room without paying more? Request a corner room.

Ask the front desk about excursions

Some concierges get kickbacks for sending you to pricey tourist traps. If you want an unbiased recommendation, ask me.

We all lie

Sometimes my boss makes me lie, like when the elevator’s not working and I tell you someone is coming to fix it soon. I know it won’t be fixed until Monday, because the manager doesn’t want to pay the repairman’s weekend rate.

Don’t call during check-in time

Don’t call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a special request. Chances are I’ll have a long line of guests waiting to check out or in and will just want to get you off the phone. 

Being a maid means a lot of different things at a hotel

My official job description: errand runner, toilet plunger, bow-tie tier, towel deliverer and chef (that free continental breakfast doesn’t appear from above). I’ve also sprinkled rooms with rose petals and dealt with dead bodies. 

Please take the shower soaps

We love it when you steal the soap, shampoo and lotion. That’s why we put our logo on them. But pillows, bedspreads, and irons? We’re billing your credit card.


Keep it down

Even the best hotels aren’t totally soundproof, and I’m the one who has to send the security guard up to knock on your door when someone complains.

Save the Wi-Fi bill for checkout

It’s a lot easier for me to remove Wi-Fi charges from your bill at checkout than to agree to waive them in advance.

Hourly rates aren’t a good sign

No, we don’t have an hourly rate. You don’t want to be at a hotel like that anyway.