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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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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