Planning a vacation is synonymous to deciding which hotel to stay in.
We imagine hotels to be luxurious islands where we are treated like kings and queens. Sleeping on the most comfortable beds, getting breakfast in bed, service at our call 24×7, and a chauffeur to drive you around.
The truth is hotel rooms are not as glitzy and clean as they seem, even if they seem so. While most hotels are perfectly lovely, there’s only so much that can be done in rooms where literally hundreds of people sleep, shower, and do… who knows what else.
Hotels sometimes have a powerful influence. Crazy things can happen in and around hotels, some of which you probably never even considered.
1. Room service does not change the bed sheets every day – they just fluff them so that you think that they changed it. If it has a visible stain, it’s washed. If it looks relatively clean, they just let it be. Also, the flat sheet – the sheet of cloth that covers the blanket is almost never washed!
2. The coverlet – the sheet that covers the bed sheet – NEVER TOUCH THAT! That has probably never been washed. But in their defense, coverlets are not meant to be used as a blanket or as a cover.
3. The towels are also not washed every day. They are just ironed and then sprayed with room freshener to make them look and smell nice. So, when you get a “clean and dry” towel, it might not have been washed, even after being used once. Remember, laundry is expensive, and it seems like this tactic is just cost-cutting to make more money.
4. Hotel glasses are often not cleaned properly. The fresh smell you get is of the room freshener. It’s most likely, if they are washed, they are washed in the room’s sink itself.
Use disposable glasses. Ask for them at the help desk.
5. The remote control may look fairly benign, but it’s another thing that rarely gets disinfected. Same goes for the deadbolt lock, the phone, and the light switches.
6. Carpets are way dirtier than they appear. You might think, as far as floors go, that freshly-vacuumed carpets are kind of OK. But ever notice how the flooring in hotels is always dark and patterned? That’s an intentional design scheme meant to hide years (and years) of built up grime.
7. The Air Is Less Than Quality. Ever feel kinda stuffy when staying overnight in a hotel? It may have something to do with the air quality — and especially that dirty A/C unit.
8. The Water Can Be A Bit Untrustworthy. As with any sink, the taps in hotels are connected to municipal water, which can contain impurities such as lead, e.coli, and chlorine.
9. The snacks you order during the early morning are probably stale. Same goes for the “special menu”. When you order food early in the morning, it is better to order breakfast and not day snacks.
10. If you don’t check out by noon, you can never leave: Make sure you’re out before the clock strikes 12, or you’ll be trapped in the hotel for all eternity. That could completely ruin your vacation!
11. The best rooms are given to people who book through travel agents – because the managers get a cut. The worst rooms are given to people who book online. Also, websites almost always overbook the rooms and even confirm all their bookings. It is because of this many of the people do not get the rooms of their choice in the hotel.
12. Hotel brands are of no consequence. Hotels are owned by management companies and personal owners. They may or may not follow the brand’s high standards. If you are a traveler, you will know that this is true, as you might find some of the hotels of a brand satisfactory and some not up to the mark.
13. You’re allowed to slip a few bellhops in your luggage to take home: Most hotels don’t like to advertise this, but nobody is going to say anything if you grab a bellhop or two on your way out.
14. It’s actually cheaper if you call the hotel directly instead of booking through travel portals. Despite the heavily advertised discounts, travel websites make money through the bookings online. You have a very good chance of getting a better discount if you directly call the hotel.
15. The best way to get a comprehensive idea of where you will be spending the night is to read customer reviews as they generally are the most accurate. This means that a 5-star hotel can have 1-star service. Remember that more stars don’t necessarily equate to better service. The stars only indicate a difference in amenities such as room size or the number of outlets.