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Hotel Etiquette

Crystal Barrow

Growing up I had not been to many hotels. I can probably remember a handful of times that I have been to a hotel and it was at a fairly young age. I am sure that my parents told me how to behave but I may have lost it as time went on.  The first time I went to a hotel as an adult I was completely lost.  I didn't know the proper procedures and etiquette.  Thankfully I was there with my husband who works in the hotel industry.  My husband is a manager at a hotel and he has seen it all!  He has seen extremely kind and polite guests all the way to guests that were down right rude to the staff as well as other guests.  Going to a hotel is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience where you can create memories and hopefully relax a bit.  I have worked with my husband to determine what is the best etiquette when visiting a hotel.  

PRE ARRIVAL Etiquette 

Before you head over to your hotel make sure to do your research

  • Not every hotel is full service and may not have a bellhop, breakfast, or other amenities. You can call ahead and ask the hotel what they offer.  The website may not be accurate to all hotels due to different hotels being owned by a different franchise. 
  • Don't assume the hotel has free parking.  Make sure to call ahead of time to ask if the parking is free or if it will cost and how much.  Some hotels only have valet parking. These hotels tend to be very strict and do not want you to try and park your own car or try to pick it up. 
  • If you want to check in early make sure to call early on the day of check in to see if you will be able to check in early.  You may be able to call the day before but the hotel will have a more accurate count of their availability the day of.
  • If you do not have a reservation call early the day you want to get a reservation to see if they will possibly have availability.  You can call the night before as well.  You can as well check third party sites that show room availability.  Keep in mind, this is not the most accurate and it is always better to work directly with the hotel.  If there are changes that need to be made concerning your reservation you will need to make it through the third party. 

CHECK IN Etiquette

Depending on the time you come in there may be a line.  Be patient, the staff will get to you as soon as they can.  When it is your turn, a kind word never hurts.  It may be what helps the front desk agent get through the rest of their busy day. 

  • Keep in mind that 15 minute parking is 15 minute parking.  Please do not park overnight or for long periods of time in 15 minute parking.
  • If you are not familiar with the hotel policies ask the front desk agent upon check in - each property management is different so it may not have all the rules and policies on the corporate site.
  • If you have children and you know they will probably jump around, request a lower floor or bottom floor.
  • If you are a smoker ask if there are designated areas or if you could smoke on the balcony.
  • Don't assume every property allows pets, so call ahead of time to ensure your furry friend will be welcome.  Many hotels do allow pets but there is usually a fee. 

ROOM Etiquette 

While you are checking out your room and taking in all of the views and amenities make sure to keep in mind a few things.  

  • While you are around the property please be aware of yourself and your children clean up after yourselves.  
  • Be respectful of noise when you are in the room.  You are sharing a wall with other guests. 
  • Don't assume you will get housekeeping everyday - by request, there may be none, or you may have to stay a certain amount of time. Speak to the front desk instead of the  housekeepers.  They are not in control of the room cleaning schedule especially during the pandemic.  There are many changes that have been made concerning housekeeping.
  • If you have any questions, ask the front desk - dial 0.  Other employees may not have the answer.

CHECKOUT Etiquette 

It is time to leave.  You had a great time and enjoyed your stay but how do you prepare for your departure? 

  • Don't steal the robes, bedding, towels, or other items that can be reused in the room. 
  • It doesn't hurt to clean up a bit.  If you have towels all over the room you can consolidate them in the bathroom. If you have food everywhere, place it in the trash can.  If you have personal items, make sure to collect them all.
  • If you have towels or amenities in the room that you have not used, leave them there untouched. 
  • Be aware of the checkout time.  Some checkouts are at 11 a.m. rather than noon. 
  • If you want a late checkout, call the front desk - request the day before or as early as possible.  Even if you are a certain status don't assume you will have a late checkout. Most of the time your request will be honored. Make sure to be ready to leave when you said you will be out.
  • Refer to the post “How Much Should I Tip”  on how much you should tip. 
  • Let the hotel know that you have checked out. You can either call, go to the front or check out on the app.  

Remember to always be kind! It is proper etiquette to be kind and you will not bully your way to a great room and view. 

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