The Secret to Getting the Royal Treatment at Hotels

We can’t wait to sail again. 2020 seems like the year of the road trip. Foreign travel might involve the words: Canada and Mexico. Hotels worldwide are suffering the loss of their business travelers. There should be great bargains. Assuming you are comfortable with their safety protocols, you might be staying in some grand hotels this year.

Eleven Tips for Being Treated With Great Respect

Have you seen any of the Real Housewives series? Don’t behave like them on vacation.

  1. Pick the grandest hotels! If pricing is attractive, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime! Don’t stay in the mid price range of your favorite hotel chain. Pick the flagship property they own in that city. Marriott has its Autograph Collection, one of a kind hotels. Maybe you go for the hotel chain’s ultra-luxury brands. If the “best hotel in town” is independent, you step away from your loyalty program just this once. Prices may never be better.
  2. Book for a long weekend. You can’t fully experience a great hotel during a one night stay. You need at least two or three nights. The staff will get to know you too.
  3. Dress well. Hotel staff wear uniforms. The grandest hotels see the grandest people. Dress well. I always travel in a suit and tie. The hotel staff makes lots of quick decisions about you as you walk from the revolving door to the reception desk.
  4. Love is kind. Old Money doesn’t need to attract attention. New Money often has an “I only deserve the best” attitude. As you approach the reception desk, be patient. Wait your turn. Smile. Treat the person on the other side of the counter as an equal. We bring them chocolate truffles to share among the front desk staff.
  5. Give them a reason to upgrade you. You are smiling. You have been patient. You are well dressed. All this is working in your favor. Perhaps you are celebrating an anniversary or significant birthday.  If you are staying at a hotel where you are an affinity program member, let them know how many years you have been staying. Mention “They’ve always taken good care of us.”  They might say: “I have a room available right now, if you like.”  The unspoken words are “I can get you something better if you are willing to wait.”  I usually say: “We are glad to wait.”  If you are staying away from your regular hotel chain, you might say: “We’ve always wanted to stay at this hotel! I’ve heard the views are fantastic!”  Be appreciative.
  6. Carry your own luggage. This might become standard procedure, post pandemic. Who knows? Carrying your own communicates “I don’t think that I’m better than you. We are equals.”
  7. Tip. Tip again. Let’s assume they have whisked your luggage up to your room, which is hopefully now a suite. Tip the hotel porter by the piece. This might mean you tip the person who got it out of the car and the person who delivers it to your room. Just be sure you arrive with plenty of singles.
  8. Buy flowers for your room. I go outside, buy a wonderful bunch, deliver them to the Concierge desk and ask for them to be put into a vase and sent to the room. It will surprise your partner. The hotel staff too. Tip at the Concierge desk and when the flowers are delivered.
  9. Enjoy the restaurants and bars. The famous hotel likely has a famous bar and a famous restaurant on the premises. Hopefully it’s a rooftop bar. Enjoy the view. Enjoy a romantic dinner. You are learning what made the hotel famous.
  10. Trip Advisor. Review your stay. If they deserve a glowing review, give them one.
  11. Write a letter. When we have exceptional service at a hotel, we write to the chairman of the company. Who writes letters anymore? We do. They stand out. You are saying positive things. That should go over well. Name names if possible. Water flows downhill. This will likely make its way into someone’s personnel file. That’s a good thing. The hotel management will be complemented internally by their bosses. The hotel will likely remember you when you return.

What does all this cost you? Your room rate, tips, a few cocktails and dinner. It’s an experience you will likely remember forever.

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