12 Things to Ask for When You Check Into Your Hotel Room

Front Desk at the Hotel Christiania Teater Front Desk at the Hotel Christiania Teater/Oyster

If the question of asking for an upgrade is the only thing running through your head at check-in time then you’re losing out. Hotels have plenty of extra amenities that might make your stay more comfortable, but the average visitor often doesn’t ask about them. Even if you've already booked and paid for your stay, there are still perks and privileges left to uncover upon arrival. To make the most of your hotel experience (and get the most bang-for-your-buck), here are a dozen things you should ask for when you check in that you didn't think about before.

1. Ask for Late Hotel Check Out

If you’re stuck with a late return flight and could do with some extra time in your room, then asking for a late check out right when you first check in is one of the most important things to do upon arrival. Ask politely, talk up your loyalty to the hotel, and don’t be shy to tip the concierge for the favor. And if you need to know more, here’s a more in depth guide to getting a free late check-out.

2. Ask for a Hotel Room With a View

Beach at the Carlisle Bay Antigua
View from the Carlisle Suite at Antigua’s Carlisle Bay

While a crummy view from your hotel window due to unforeseen building works isn’t necessarily the hotel’s fault, it’s in their best interests to keep guests happy. If the view from your window is important — let’s face it, sometimes it’s the reason you booked — then make sure to confirm you’re getting the room with a view that you requested. And even if you didn’t plan ahead, it’s worth asking for a room with a view upon check in; you just might snag an upgrade for free!

3. Ask About a List of Hidden Hotel Fees

Hidden fees, city taxes, and extra VAT can all add up to an annoying surprise when you come to pay your bill. Make sure you know what to expect in terms of added extras and whether the likes of Wi-Fi, parking, newspapers, breakfast, and in-room entertainment are free. Here are seven more shocking hidden hotel fees to watch out for.

4. Ask About Hotel Rentals

While you may have heard about the electric guitar and amp rentals offered by Hard Rock Hotels, many properties aren’t so big on advertising their available loaners. From bicycles to golf buggies to trusty umbrellas, hotel rentals are worth finding out about up front.

5. Ask About Extra Hotel Amenities

Not all hotels have their own spas, pools, saunas, and steam rooms but many that don’t often compensate by partnering up with nearby establishments or sister properties to offer guests free use of the amenities at a nearby location. As well as spas and saunas, hotels offer practical extras like airport shuttle runs and private cars to make your stay as smooth as possible, so just ask.

6. Ask for Unbiased Hotel Recommendations

Whether budget, mid-range, or luxury properties, hotels often have both official and unofficial affiliate establishments that they work with locally. As a result, some hotels will send you to the nearest, overpriced tourist trap via their websites — so remember to also ask the concierge/doorman/waiter for an unbiased recommendation, too.

7. About About Complimentary Hotel Toiletries

Toiletries in hotels are like bread in restaurants; they should always be free and you should always be given more when you ask. If you’ve forgotten your toiletry bag and have a bad case of airplane breath, ask reception — and more often than not the hotel will be able to provide you with a complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste to go with the plentiful toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and a sewing kit) every guest deserves.

8. Ask About Netflix in Your Hotel Room

Select Marriott hotels, like the San Francisco Marriot Marquis, allow guests access to their internet-connected TVs so you can sign into your Netflix account and stream whatever you want. The partnership between the streaming company and hotel group is one of the first of its kind, so remember to ask for Netflix next time you’re staying in a Marriott.

9. Ask About a Hotel Upgrade

You want an upgrade — who doesn’t — but you don’t want to pay for it, which leaves you and the hotel in a stalemate. The best trick for a free upgrade is to discreetly ask if there is a corner room available at the same pricing level, which should afford you more space and a better stay.

10. Ask About Anti-Allergy Bedding

The Executive Suite at the Conrad Dubai
The Executive Suite at the Conrad Dubai

Your average hotel can’t offer you the likes of Conrad Hotel Miami’s “pillow menu,” but most — if not all — should be able to swap animal down duvets and pillows for synthetic alternatives that tend to be easier on allergies.

11. Ask for Extra Clean Linens

Generally, hotels clean bed linens everyday but chances are the comforters and blankets on your bed might have had more than a few days of other peoples’ use. Make sure to request a full set of clean linens — from bed sheets to blankets — upon check in. If you ask, they practically have to do it; no hotel wants a review that a guest was denied a clean spot to rest his head.

12. Ask for a Quiet Hotel Room

No hotel wants you to leave having had a bad experience, so most are likely willing to listen to genuine concerns on the behalf of their guests. And at a hotel, what’s of more concern than getting a good night’s sleep? Always ask to be put in a room away from the elevator and large groups that might make noise, and definitely not in a room with a connecting door.

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