The Most Surprising Things You Should Ask For When You Check Into Your Hotel

Think hotel websites share every detail with you? Think again. From free, unadvertised amenities (page 12) to what your resort fee actually covers (page 14), there are a handful of things hotels don’t share at the time of booking.

Ahead, we take a look at some of the most surprising things you should always ask about when checking into your hotel.

1. Toiletries

Essential travel toiletries

You can also ask for several other items. | PhillDanze/iStock/Getty Images

Hotels typically offer free shampoo, conditioner and soap in the rooms, but there are a variety of other toiletries you can ask for. Including, a sewing kit, toothbrush, feminine hygiene products, and more. While some of these products come with a small fee, others are free of charge. Be sure to ask what you owe ahead of time so there aren’t any surprises at check out.

Next: Most hotels don’t change out all of the bedding.

2. A clean comforter

Big white soft pillows on a white luxury cozy bed

Perfect for the germaphobe traveler. | Theerawan Bangpran/iStock/Getty Images

While hotels change the sheets for new guests, they don’t always wash the comforters and blankets. When checking in, be sure to ask for a clean comforter and blanket, so that you don’t have to sleep under the same bedding as the person before you.

Next: Want to access your favorite shows at no additional charge? Be sure to ask about this amenity.

3. A smart TV

hotel room

Make sure you ask at the front desk. | iStock/Getty Images

Did you know that a lot of hotels now offer smart TVs (or, internet-connected TVs)? It’s true. If you want to catch up on your favorite Netflix or Hulu shows while on vacation, make sure to ask if the hotel offers smart TVs in the rooms. That way, you can log into your accounts without having to pay for movie rentals or premium channels.

Next: Before you spend unnecessary money, ask about this.

4. Rentals

Couple riding bicycles in the city

A fun way to get around the city. | gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

We aren’t talking about movie rentals. We’re talking about items like bicycles, snorkeling masks, golf buggies, pool floats, and even guitar amps. Whatever it is you’re looking for, it doesn’t hurt to ask what types of rentals are offered at the hotel when checking in.

Next: Here’s how to find out if you’re staying next to a party room or not.

5. Find out who is staying next to you

Hotel party

You can preemptively move before being disturbed by the party next door. | Chris Clinton/iStock/Getty Images

One of the easiest ways to find out if the people staying next to you are quiet, is to ask if there is a family in the room next to yours. Before agreeing to a room number, find out more about who is staying next to you. That way, if you’re looking forward to some quiet time, you won’t be exposed to noisy party rooms.

Next: Before you hand the front desk your credit card, ask about this.

6. Credit card hold

Find out how much they’re going to put on your card. | Zurijeta/iStock/Getty Images

Most hotels put a hold on credit cards to cover any incidentals. So, when checking in it is a good idea to ask how much that hold is and when the funds will be released. The hold might have an effect on your available credit, so knowing in advance how much will be held can help you better budget your shopping and dining expenses.

Next: If you have allergies, you’ll want to make sure your hotel offers this.

7. Hypoallergenic sheets

housekeeping in hotel room

You can always double check ahead of time. | kadmy/iStock/Getty Images

For the most part, it’s become standard to offer hypoallergenic sheets to guests. That said, if you want this offering, you’ll have to request it at check in. Better yet, call ahead before booking your hotel room to find out whether or not this type of bedding is offered.

Next: How to get a bigger room without paying extra.

8. A corner room

Tourists arrive in their hotel room

You can get a bigger space for less cash. | Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images

Want more space without having to pay big bucks for it? Ask for a corner room! Most corner rooms are bigger than Not all hotels will offer them free of charge, but they’re definitely a better deal than a suite.

Next: This is the best way to secure a good spot at the pool.

9. Pool and fitness room hours

Waterpark of Atlantis the Palm hotel, Dubai,

Make sure you plan ahead. | slava296/iStock/Getty Images

If you plan on using the pool or fitness room, be sure to ask what time both areas open and close everyday. That way you can plan ahead (and be sure you secure a great lounge spot).

Next: Before searching Yelp, ask the front desk this.

10. Restaurant recommendations

A menu resting on a restaurant table, emphasis placed on the golden embroidery lettering against the black with the image's focus. Silverware, napkins and glasses sit in the background as blurry shapes at the menu's edge, all resting on a light brown table.

They know the best places in town to eat. | dmbaker/iStock/Getty Images

Looking for a great restaurant near your hotel? Don’t scour the internet, ask the front desk. Not only can they offer you insightful information on where to grab dinner, they can tell you about excellent local spots you wouldn’t typically think to go to.

Next: Need a ride? Ask about this offering.

11. Excursions

couple snorkeling in the tropical sea

You can even get a discount at times. | mihtiander/iStock/Getty Images

Looking for an excursion? Ask if your hotel has exclusive excursions for guests. In addition to exclusive excursions, some hotels offer discount packages and free shuttles to excursion areas.

Next: Most guests don’t know about this.

12. Free amenities and activities

Keep up with your fitness even on vacation. | Jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

Hotels offer a handful of free amenities and activities, including ones that aren’t heavily advertised like running clubs, movies by the pool, and other fun activities. When checking into your hotel, be sure to ask what types of free amenities and activities your hotel offers so that you don’t miss out.

Next: If you booked your hotel through a travel specialist, make sure to ask about this.

13. Exclusive amenities

Women undergo facial beauty treatments at the spa on Daydream Island in the Whitsundays archipelago off Queensland on July 12, 2010. Australians are escaping the unusually cold and wet winter in the south of the country to holiday on tropical islands off the eastern seaboard. AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD

You may get exclusive amenities. | Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

In addition to free amenities, many hotels also offer exclusive amenities that fit your reservation. The offerings can vary — and largely depend on where or who you booked your reservation through — but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Next: Find out what you’re paying for by asking about this.

14. Resort fee

Disney's Polynesian Resort

Find out what’s included. | Wikimedia Commons

Resort fees are inevitable, but what’s included might vary. Know what you’re paying for by asking the front desk what’s included in your fee.

Next: Planning to leave your hotel? You definitely want to find this out before planning your itinerary.

15. Traffic

traffic-jam on 4-lane highway at rush-hour

It’s important to know when you have to be somewhere on time. | XXLPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Another important thing to ask about? Traffic. If you’re unfamiliar with the area and plan to drive or take a taxi or ride share somewhere, finding out what traffic is like ahead of time can help you better plan your itinerary and ensure you won’t be late for a reservation or excursion.

Next: You don’t always have to pay for this popular upgrade.

16. A room with a view

hotel room luxury with sea view

You may be able to score a better view for no charge. | rjlerich/iStock/Getty Images

While this is a more common thing to ask, it’s still important. Most rooms with a view are an upgrade, but in some situations, you may be able to score a room with a view with no additional charge.

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