Do This One Quick and Easy Task Before Your Next Hotel Visit
September 2nd, 2018
At some point or another you’ll have likely spent time in a hotel – whether it be for a vacation or a business trip or a pit stop on your way to (or home from) your final destination.
One simple task that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing for many years now and don’t even think twice about is emailing the hotel I’ll be visiting weeks before I arrive.
Why You Should Email the Hotel
As I mentioned above, hotels are more than just a place to sleep. They may be an award-winning resort/property with full-service amenities, or a hotel with only paid breakfast options, or perhaps it has an executive lounge where you can feast and drink (responsibly of course) to your heart’s content. Many of these offerings are indeed not always included with the room rate or part of your elite status privileges.
Long story short, I’m a firm believer that a hotel will go above and beyond their brand standards to make a guest’s experience an exceptional one – not because they have to (due to a guests’ elite status, etc) but because they want to. Why on earth would a hotel want to do that if they don’t have to? Especially when it costs the hotel money to do so. They want your return business and positive reviews of course. Hotels rely heavily on positive reviews over the many platforms across the web (think TripAdvisor) and if they can generate a positive review from a guest, there is a high potential for that review to turn into future business.
I went off on a little tangent there but basically taking 5 minutes out of your time and emailing the hotel ahead of your arrival will help to ensure your stay is a positive one right off the bat and let’s be honest, it’s a kind gesture in the eyes of the hotel and makes a great first impression.
What to Include in Your Email
Your email doesn’t have to be a novel – just keep it sincere and succinct.
Usually when I email the hotel, I will talk about the following points:
- A little introduction of who I am and where I’m traveling from
- If this is my first time at the property or a reoccurring guest
- The reasons for my travels to the city as well as any special occasions I may be celebrating, etc.
- I’ll also research the hotel ahead of time to see what kind of amenities they have and ask questions if I have any.
- Last but not least, I will politely ask about the possibility of an upgrade to a particular room type.
- I’ll also include my reservation number, and sometimes my hotel status, in the email as well.
For our recent trip to New York, I emailed the hotels a month or so ahead of time to tell the hotel about an anniversary/birthday getaway and we were fortunate enough to receive pretty substantial room upgrades.
Some other items you could include in your email are the following:
- Requesting an early, or notifying them of a late, check-in.
- Inquiring about hotel services (Spa, Breakfast/Dining options, Executive Lounge Access)
- Letting them know of any special considerations they may need to be aware of including allergies to feather or certain bath products.
- Requesting certain pre-arrival items such as extra towels, a crib or playpen, a microwave or refrigerator, etc
- Specific room types or locations (high floor, away from ice machines/elevators, adjoining rooms for parties traveling together, etc)
Basically you can draft your email as you see fit and the way I see it, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing it. Even if you have nothing in particular you want to say, just reach out anyway and tell them a little bit about yourself and the reason for your travels and that you’re looking forward to your stay.
You’d be surprised how a little effort on your part could turn into a complimentary upgrade, a welcome amenity in your room or even free breakfast vouchers for your entire stay. Like I mentioned, hotels are in the business of making their guests’ stays a memorable one and will often go to great lengths to ensure your stay is just that.
If you’ve ever done this before, shoot me a comment below and tell me how it went!