Found a great online deal? Don’t book it yet! Call the hotel’s local number and ask
to speak to the manager on duty or director of sales and see if they can better the rate or throw in an extra, such as free parking or free breakfast – they have the authority to do it.
Get more space
Corner rooms in hotels are often more spacious. When checking in, be polite and ask if there is any chance of an upgrade and, if not, ask for that corner room.
Consider a club lounge
If the hotel you’re staying at has a club lounge (it’s like an airport lounge – think comfy couches, magazines and nibblies and drinks with a view), consider booking into a room that gets you access to this. Here you can enjoy free breakfast as well as canapes and drinks at dusk. It might end up being cheaper as a package than paying for drinks and dining separately.
Don’t use the phone
While some hotels boast free local calls, be sure to research the costs for calls to mobile phones and long distance. These calls can be heavily inflated if using your hotel room phone.
Ban the mini bar
Sure, it’s tempting, but it never pays to use the mini bar as the prices are exorbitant. If you know you’re going to get hungry or thirsty during your stay, plan ahead and stop by the nearest supermarket before checking in.
The added extras
Don’t feel bad about taking the unused bathroom toiletries home – they are factored in to the price of the room. If you don’t need them you can donate to those in need via websites such aspinchapoo.org.au. Likewise, the hotel slippers are yours, as is any stationery, including pens. Forget the rest though – helping yourself will only incur a credit card charge.
Ask for recommendations but be alert
Concierges offer a wealth of local knowledge and can be very helpful – just don’t take all their advice as gospel. If they are recommending a restaurant and they say: ‘Tell them I sent you,’ it’s likely they are getting kickbacks for the recommendation and it’s an overpriced tourist trap!
Check for ‘resort’ fees
This sneaky expense is becoming more common, especially in US hotels where they slap you with a daily rate on top of the room rate for use of the pool and gym, even if you didn’t use them. Always check what is included in your room rate before you book.