- 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.
- Hotels can pay a commission of up to 30 percent to online booking sites. So offer me 20 percent less than the online price, and we both come out ahead.
- Independently owned hotels are far more likely to give you a discount. Some chains balk at dropping the rate.
- 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.
- 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 or a handicapped one.
- Some concierges get kickbacks for sending you to pricey tourist traps. If you want an unbiased recommendation, ask me.
- 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 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.
- 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. All for about $10 an hour.
- 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.
- 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.
- No, we don’t have an hourly rate. You don’t want to be at a hotel like that anyway.
- 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.
- 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.
Hotel bookings have largely become ubiquitous in the 21st century working professional’s lifestyle. Whether for business or leisure, chances are you’ll find yourself in that situation where you need to book a temporary crib more often than not. Competitive as it is, the hospitality industry has left some loopholes for the smart traveler to reap rich dividends.
So, how to make your hotel stay extraordinary? Well, it always starts from the booking – that moment of choice when you’re surfing websites and apps to find a suitable place to call home for a while. Let’s take you through the 5 tips to having a great hotel stay.
Using Credit Cards
Okay, so this is a common refrain nowadays: “I’m not getting a credit card.” We understand. Those shiny plastic things are just way too much temptation. Who cares about no added charges or cashback deals? It’s just another potent tool of capitalism!
Well, by all means, stick with your debit card or the good ole’ cash. But hear me out: when it comes to hotel stays, restaurant offers and airline tickets – credit cards are worth their weight (and then some) in gold. From free night stays to cash-back bonuses, there’s a lot your credit card can do for you, especially if you’ve got the right one. Take some time out to discuss your credit card options with your bank, and get an optimal mix of maximum benefits and minimum buyer’s remorse.
Checked Itinerary? Now Double Check!
This is one major – and totally avoidable – booking mistake made by people, especially when it comes to international travel. So, your flight leaves on the 14th, huh? A lot of times, carelessness or hurry (or both) makes you book a hotel stay for that one day when you’ll be parked in a flight seat (presumably next to a bawling toddler, although my prayers are with you there). The excess – and usually non-refundable – cost of that one extra night charge is totally avoidable.
Also bear in mind the time difference if you’re travelling international. 12:30 PM your time may be 2:30 AM in your destination – which could mean a world of difference. Keep the calculations in mind, and make a calm decision.
Keep it Flexible
A lot of hotels and travel booking sites are very rewarding to customers who keep their arrival and departure dates flexible. Granted, this is not likely to happen on a business trip, but if you’re traveling for leisure – try to keep your dates flexible. Sometimes, the room that’s costing Rs. 3200 on a Sunday could drop to Rs. 2800 the next day. Add it up and do the math – voila, you just saved a heavy load of cash.
Less is More
Now, we all love to stay at the Radissons, Hiltons, Maurya Sheratons and Taj Vivantas of the world. But a lot of intrepid travelers have noticed that some of the lesser-known hotels are happy to offer more or less the same quality of services at lower rates. For instance, a two- or three-star hotel would not charge you for use of shampoo, local calls or breakfast – whereas a five-star would rob you for the same. Basically, abandon the starry-eyed nostalgia and settle for a more inconspicuous name if you want to have a comfortable stay experience with the same facilities – without burning holes in your pocket.
There’s something to be said about the phrase “Change won’t come by itself. You must bring change.” Most hotel customers don’t realize how much value they offer to a hotel, especially if it’s during a lean season. When you’re booking a hotel, inquire about possible upgrades, free benefits, access to hotel/resort facilities at discounted prices etc. More often than not, hotels are happy to entertain your request, if asked nicely. Try to get through a conversation with the concierge without losing your head, and you may find your standard room upgraded to a deluxe suite.
Hotel bookings are like oysters: you need to be prepared to swim just a bit longer, and a bit smarter than the others to grab your pearl. Try some of these hacks the next time you face the prospect of a hotel booking and watch as your hotel experience gets upgraded to awesome.
Stay fit, let the heart race and set those endorphin’s into frenzy. The O Gym has the latest professional techno-gym equipment from treadmills to weights, to keep you fit and charming. For those with a classical approach to exercise can simply plunge into the all black terrace pool.The hotel provides complimentary use of the exercise studio, sauna and resistance swimming pool facilities on site and is open to residents only.
Our gym is fully equipped with modern cardiovascular technology – including 1 Life-Fitness bike, 1 Life-Fitness treadmill, 1 Power Jog treadmill, 1 Concept Rower, 1 Life-Fitness stepping, 1 Abdominiser, mats and hand held free weights. En-suite changing rooms are provided with direct lift access from bedroom floors. The gym is located in a tranquil setting with fresh fruit, mineral water and magazines available. Pilates sessions can also be arrange in the Gym or in the privacy of some of our larger suites.
For solitary meditation and relaxation we can arrange an in-room yoga instructor or provide you with a yoga mat and exercise video for your convenience. Jogging maps are available from Concierge around Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park directly opposite the hotel.
When you splurge on a luxury hotel, you expect a lot of things—lobster on the room service menu, Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed—but a fully equipped gym isn’t one of them. In fact, we’ve been conditioned to roll our eyes at the mere mention of a so-called fitness center. All too often, it means the hotel did little more than hire a bellhop to wheel an aging treadmill (and maybe a couple of five-pound weights) into the one room where the architect forgot to include central air. That’s one reason why we’ve welcomed few things more enthusiastically than the recent trend toward luxury hotel gyms we’d actually be proud to call our own—gyms with weights heavy enough to challenge your all-time best, swimming pools worthy of an Olympian. Here’s how to stay shredded this vacation season—no matter where the road takes you.
Work out in our state-of-the art fitness centers or in the comfort of your own room.
- Complimentary Fitness Center features the latest cardio and weight training equipment
- Indoor or outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool (at most locations)
- Stay Fit Kit® for in-room workouts include a Pilates band; yoga mat, strap and blocks; 8 lb abs ball; 3 lb hand weights; resistance rope; and instruction cards. Ask for it at the front desk.
- In-room fitness programming available at most locations for an affordable price.
The 325-square-metre (3,500-square-foot) fitness area offers a leading-edge gym fully outfitted with free weights and strength-training and cardio equipment by Matrix and a yoga studio. Located on the eighth floor, the Fitness Centre is accessible 24 hours a day, with a room or residence key, for registered Hotel guests and residents only. Minimum age for use is 12 years.
- Flavoured water
- Use of shorts, T-shirts, socks and running shoes during spa hours
Experience an exclusive private yoga or pilates class taught by the experts from 889yoga. Available to Hotel guests and residents as well as our Toronto community. Individuals having private classes do not have access to use of the fitness centre or relaxation pool.
One hazy night in Cleveland, Ohio a company called Limo Dynasty set up their headquarters and parked all of their fine merchandise. They were about to become the most successful Limousine corporation in all of the Northeastern part of the United States. They would chauffeur the most elite individuals and travel to the most exquisite weddings, debutant balls, and parties. The corporate manager, Mr. Tribulloni, locked his gates up late Sunday night, and prepared to drive his company and it’s limousines up the corporate ladder not only throughout the next week but for years and years to come. The next early Monday morning, Mr. Tribulloni and his team opened back up and noticed something peculiar in the lot. Many of the limousines had been moved around and arranged in a different order than how they were left the night before. It also looked like their offices had been damaged and ran into. However, the Limos remained perfectly undamaged and still in mint condition. Later on in the afternoon, one of the Limo drivers made his way out to take care of a group. This group was from one of the most well known businesses in Ohio called Ventures Retail. They would be attending a party along with all their coworkers at the Venue 222, or at least they were supposed to. At this event they would be presenting upcoming financial and market decisions regarding the company, and further enjoying the company of each other through the finest courses and wine. It was going to be one of those nights the world offers only once in a great while that reminds us of why we work so hard to achieve the things we want most. This was until the Ventures Retail group never showed up to their event. It was as if they stood up the whole elaborate night, but that wouldn’t make sense… They set up the whole evening themselves and used their own money and precious time. So where did they go?! This question was not answered until three days after the disappearance had occurred. The limo driver that evening was found ran over on the side of a road only about ten miles away from the venue. So the mystery was solved. One of the employees must have hijacked the limo, ran over the driver, and taken the group some place they would never be found. This made sense to many of the investigators. However, the very same limo that had been used for transportation that night was then found in the Limo Dynasty lot hours after the body was discovered. After the night of the missing Ventures Retail group, Limo Dynasty experienced twenty more disappearances before their company, with once great potential, was shut down. The only thing left from the mysterious limo company was a report made by a nearby neighbor of the lot. He reported that he had seen the limos being driven around frequently in the middle of the night and even breaking through the gates. Mr. Tribulloni’s response to the neighbor consisted of him hysterically confessing that he did not have staff on the company’s property anytime after 11 p.m. or before 5 a.m. And his response was a fact.