How to Be the Hotel’s Favorite Guest

Staying at a resort or hotel calls for a specialized set of etiquette
BY Bill Lindsey TIMESeptember 9, 2022 PRINT

It’s easy to be distracted when checking into and staying at a resort or hotel, but it’s important to be polite to the other guests—and especially to the staff who are there to fulfill your every need. Be the guest they are happy to have return often.

Check In on Time

Arriving on time is simply good manners, as is advising if you’ll be arriving late. Conversely, arriving well before check-in time and demanding a room isn’t acceptable. The staff may not have your room ready yet, so ask at the front desk for the bellhop to hold your bags for a later check-in. Also, let the front desk know as soon as possible if you realize that you won’t be checking in at all.

Smiles Are Free, so Give Them Generously

The entire reason the employees are there is to make your stay pleasant. Smile and nod to connect with them on a very basic human level; it’s simply good manners to do so. And it just may pay off if you need any special assistance; a desk clerk is much more likely to upgrade the pleasant guest instead of the one who’s demanding special treatment while loudly proclaiming their frequent-traveler status.

Be Considerate

Don’t let the kids run around unsupervised, and rein in the adults, too; boisterous behavior at the bar, in the restaurant, or in the lobby isn’t acceptable. Minimize the noise level emanating from your room; loud music or conversations can disturb other guests. If you need special accommodations, from extra pillows or towels, to a ground-floor room or one as far from the elevator or trash chute as possible, ask well in advance while making reservations.

Keep It Clean

Don’t make a mess in the room during your stay. You don’t need to make the bed every morning, but toss the pillows and covers back on the bed before you leave for the day. Don’t leave wet towels or food out, either. If you use room service, set the tray in the hall after you finish the meal. This also applies to the common areas; don’t leave trash or empty drink and food containers in the lobby or lounges.

A Meaningful Thank-You

It isn’t considered customary to provide a gratuity to the front desk clerk, but if they provide outstanding assistance in locating a great restaurant, give suggestions for off-the-tour-guide-map attractions, help you to resolve a problem with your luggage, or give you an upgraded room, a discrete tip is appropriate.

Definitely tip the pool attendants, room service staff, restaurant wait staff, bellhops, and the concierge. It’s also considered proper to tip the maid cleaning your room a few dollars every day.

Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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