You’ve arrived at the hotel, perhaps after a long journey. It’s time to enjoy all the comforts and little luxuries that are the perks of staying at a hotel. While the temptation is strong to bounce on the bed, fluff the pillows, and surf the TV’s channels straight away, spending a few extra minutes taking care of the details can mean the difference between a trip tinged with unexpected drama, and a one that is memorable for all the right reasons.
1. Ask for an upgrade
As the old truism goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. When you’re checking in, it doesn’t hurt to ask for an upgrade. The trick is to be nice about it. Never make demands, simply broach the subject nicely and nonchalantly to inquire whether there’s any chance of an upgrade. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s worth a shot.
2. Take note of emergency exits
On the way to your room, take note of the nearest emergency exit. Count the number of doorways between your room and the stairwell and tuck this information away in the back of your mind. It’s highly improbable that you’ll need it, but it could save your life if there’s an emergency and the hallway is filled with smoke.
3. Inspect the room
Before you get settled in, inspect the room and do a thorough check that everything is in order. If something is wrong, the easiest solution for everyone concerned is usually to move you to a different room, so it avoids a lot of hassle if you discover and address any problems while all your belongings are still together and easy to move.
4. Turn-off/reset alarm clock
The hotel alarm clock is often forgotten, but long remembered as the ruination of what would otherwise have been a blissful night’s sleep. To prevent it blaring at you at some random hour, make it part of your routine to check that the alarm is turned off as soon as you arrive. It’s also a good time to sort out how the contraption works instead of trying to make sense of it when you’re bleary-eyed.
5. Sort out how to use the Internet
Since you’re already in the right frame of mind, now’s a good time to get the Internet connection sorted. Find out whether it’s a free amenity or one that costs extra. Most hotels have Wi-Fi nowadays, but some still have wired connections, so check if you need an ethernet cable to connect. If you don’t have one you can usually borrow one from the front desk. Obtain the Wi-Fi password and login instructions so that you’re good to go when you need it.
6. Check out the amenities
How often do you select a property based on the awesome amenities depicted on the hotel’s website, but never get around to using them during your stay? To increase the odds that you will actually make use of the amenities you’re paying for, find out all the details as soon as you arrive. Where is that glorious-looking pool, inviting jacuzzi, or, sleek fitness centre that drew you in? What are the hours? If you have the time, stop in and take a look. Once you’ve actually been there it’s less of a big deal to pop by later on and use them.
7. Get the 411
Nearly every hotel in existence has a display in the lobby with information about local businesses and attractions. These are worth browsing, even if you already have your itinerary planned out, since they often include coupons and special offers that you can take advantage of. If your hotel has a concierge, this is a great time to get acquainted and glean some helpful tips from him or her.
8. Figure out how the safe works
An in-room safe is a useful amenity that you can make use of to store your valuables. The best time to figure out how to use it is when you have lots of time and can concentrate on the task at hand. It’s much easier than fumbling with it under the pressure of an imminent tour bus pick-up, or when you’ve enjoyed a few drinks. Safecracking may look easy in the movies, but it’s not.
It’s worth unpacking if you’re staying in the same hotel for a more than a night or two. It’ll feel more like home than living out of a suitcase and it will be easier to stay organized. Your clothes won’t be as wrinkled and it’s easier to keep the clean ones straight from the dirty laundry.
10. Explore the neighbourhood
Now that you’re all settled in, go out and explore the neighbourhood. Find out where things are, such as the nearest pharmacy, convenience store, transit stop, and coffee shop. Survey the local restaurants to see what strikes your fancy and take note of which ones are open for breakfast. You’ll have much more patience for making these discoveries now than later if you’re struck with a migraine and desperate for pain relievers, or in dire need of your caffeine fix that only a highly-trained barista can satisfy.
Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll hit the ground running. This small investment of time and energy at the outset will put your mind at ease and can mean the difference between a disastrous or mediocre stay and an outstanding one.
Filed Under: Hotels
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