My husband and I used to work in hotels and hotel/casinos. To give you an idea, we worked in hotels in Northern California and Northern Nevada. We have worked in hotels with over 500 rooms as well as hotel/casinos with over 3500 rooms. My husband’s experience includes working in Housekeeping, Security, Front Office, Management, Valet and Bell Services. Pretty much all over the hotel! I have worked in the Front Office answering phones as well as in the Sales and Catering Office.
1. Be Nice
Being nice can go a long way! Remember, the nicer you are, the more likely we are to remember you and tell all of our co-workers. Trust me, word spreads fast in our industry!
To give you some perspective, I specifically remember one of our frequent guests who called early one morning. I was working as a hotel operator just going about my morning. The guest was calling because he just returned home from a recent stay and he left his tie in the hotel room and wanted to know if Housekeeping had found it. Unfortunately, he was calling before the Housekeeping Office even opened so his calls kept going to voicemail. Finally, he stopped me before I could transfer him to housekeeping and told me his story. Since he was so incredibly nice to me (as opposed to getting an attitude, which he could have easily done), I took the time to take down his contact information. I told him that I would contact the Housekeeping Office when they opened and follow up! He also asked me to call him back with any information.
For the guest to take the time to be so nice to me, I went out of my way to help him. He made my day too! By the way, Housekeeping did find his tie. The guest returned to our hotel for another business trip and he was reunited with his tie.
2. Double check your room before checking out
For your sake and saving the time trying to find a lost item, take the extra 5 minutes to double check every part of your room and bathroom for your things. Even when my husband and I stay at a hotel, we each do a few sweeps of the room and bathroom. We both check! We check every drawer and closet, even if we didn’t use it. It is better to be safe than sorry!
3. Most hotels carry basic toiletries
Did you forget to pack your toothbrush, razor, sewing kit or any other toiletries? Call the hotel operator and ask! And yes, the hotels I worked at had little sewing kits! Need an extra pillow or blanket, you can call the hotel operator for that too. The hotel operators are usually the first point of contact in big hotels.
Here’s a tip: If you are staying at a hotel with over 500 rooms, talk to the hotel operator, there is no need to ask for the front desk. Think about it, talk to the person who answers the phone and make your request. Front desk agents are usually busy trying to check guests in or out of the hotel. Save yourself the hassle of trying to wait for someone at the front desk to answer your call when the hotel operator can help you!
Even if you do reach the front desk, the front desk agent will then call the hotel operator to dispatch your request. Part of the hotel operator’s job is to inform housekeeping of such calls from guests. The hotel operator is the main hub of the hotel property. If the hotel you are staying at is one of those smaller hotels (usually 2 floors), you would talk to the front desk.
4. Book directly with the hotel
My husband used to work at the front desk as a Manager. That is where guests check in and out. He said that when guests book directly with the hotel, they have leverage to offer guests a lower rate (when/if you ask for a lower rate) or fix any billing issues you may have. In other words, when you book through one of those discount travel sites, they are unable to lower your room rate/fix any issues because you booked through a third party vendor.
Here’s something to think about, someone walks in and asks for a room (we call them “walk-ins”), their rate may be lower than what you paid through the discount travel sites.
The best way to book a hotel room is through their 800 reservations number or via their website. When calling, ask for the “Best Available Rate” or BAR. Don’t forget to ask the person about any discounts, especially if you are a AAA member.
I can say that if you are calling the 800 reservations number for a hotel/casino in Northern NV (and most likely Las Vegas, NV), you are talking to someone who is in-house and works at the hotel itself. If you have questions, feel free to ask them!
5. Special Requests
The bigger hotels do take special requests, such as flowers, candy, balloons something special set up in the room. People tend to do this for special occasions. I believe there is a fee for these special requests.
6. Befriend the Bell and Valet Staff
Most of the big hotels (500+ rooms) have Bell Services and Valet Parking. Trust me when I say this…be patient and courteous with them! Let’s say you need directions or the best place to eat dinner. You can ask them. However, the hotel you are staying at may have a concierge desk. If that’s the case, you can ask either the concierge or Bell and Valet. Either way, they are the best people to ask! If you are staying a smaller hotel, of course you can ask the front desk staff!
7. Bell Closet
You can store your luggage in the bell closet. Let’s say you have to check out of your room early for a meeting but you don’t have anywhere to store your luggage (no rental car), you can have the staff lock your luggage away in the bell closet.
My mom and I have done this. We arrived hours before check in and we had our luggage with us in the lobby. We stored our luggage in the bell closet so we could go explore the area.
8. DND or NRG
You can request a DND (do not disturb) or NRG (non-registered guest).
I cannot speak for all hotels, but the ones I worked at had this available.
Do Not Disturb refers to the phone in your hotel room. When you request a DND on your phone, that means no one can reach you via your hotel room phone.
Non-registered Guest means you are registered in our hotel computer system, but publicly you are not. Meaning if someone calls asking for you (to be transferred to your room), you are not a guest at our hotel.
A great example of both DND and NRG being used:
When I worked at a hotel/casino, we had a high roller request both DND and NRG on both of his rooms. Yes, he booked two different hotel rooms on different floors. The rumor around the front office was that one room was for him and his wife and the second room were for him and his mistress. I’ll let that sink in for a second…
He wanted his rooms set that way so that if his wife were to call for their room or even request for something, we (the hotel staff) wouldn’t accidentally give her information about the other room. Also, what if one of their friends called for them and we accidentally transferred that call to the other room?
9. Stock Up on Snacks and Beverages
This is a great tip for those who travel with kids or even if you know you like to snack! We stock up on snacks and beverages because we travel by car with our son. We need snacks available for all of us!
The mini bar is overpriced! I highly recommend stocking up on snacks and beverages to keep in your room. These days, many hotel rooms have a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Definitely call and ask about the room amenities so you can plan accordingly.
Some of the bigger hotels have sundries shop too.
10. Gifts are appreciated
Don’t get me wrong with this. I am not trying to suggest that gifts should be given out. However, if you feel like giving back, we welcome a gift we can all enjoy. I don’t mean being the creepy and stalker type. I mean a nice gift to say thank you!
We’ve had frequent guests bring us fruits and vegetables from their garden.
I also remember a special time a guest gifted us with cashmere scarves! They were beautifully wrapped in a gift box! I know I was so thankful and appreciative! It was unexpected!
P.S. We are also human, we like food or treats or sweets too!
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