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How to Book a Hotel Room (Like a Boss): Part 1

May 7, 2014 at 12:07 PM | by | ()

Booking a hotel room isn't exactly rocket science. Find the hotel you like, click on the room or rate you like and boom, you're booked. But when there are so many ways to book a room--through the hotel, through an independent booking site, on your phone, etc.--things can get a little crazy. And if you're comparison shopping, then you can really get sucked into the dizzying booking vortex as you hunt down the best price.

Luckily, we've got a former front desk manager on hand who will tell you how to book a hotel room like a boss. (The bad ass person kind, not the actual boss of a company kind.)

Here are his Do's and Don'ts of Booking a Hotel Room. Today, we're accentuating the positive and telling you the Do's. Tomorrow, we'll bring you the Don'ts. Got a question about booking a hotel room? Let us know!

THE DO’S OF BOOKING A HOTEL ROOM (as told by a former front desk manager)

1. DO remember that booking through a third party website does not guarantee a room type. So when you need a room with two double beds for a family of four, it is best to book through the hotel website to ensure that the hotel themselves give you the guarantee. (At the very least call the hotel to double check that they have got your request.)

2. DO reach out to a contact at the hotel for a booking reservation if you have one. This serves two purposes, 1) Hotel folk loved to be recognized as "your trusted contact" (even though you are using them) and 2) When you are a loyal guest making direct contact, hotel staff are more likely to take care of things in your favor.

3. DO pay attention to loyalty program offers provided by the hotels themselves. Hotel companies have started to step up their promotions and offerings. Starwood is one such brand that has really led the industry with their "Bring on the nights" and "Take two" promotions. These really add great value (and you can really rack up the points!)

4. DO provide your loyalty or rewards program information when you are making the reservation. The sooner the hotel has your information, the sooner they can make sure you receive the recognition. Rooms controllers (the staff who actually block hotel rooms) pay close attention to frequent reward guests and if the hotel is going to be sold out, these rewards guests (even if they are in the basic category) are often given priority room blocks and even upgrades. (This point cannot be stressed enough!)

5. DO crosscheck information on websites with at least one other website or with guest reviews. Sometimes amenities such as "free wifi" are only free in the lobby. (Or are only for one device.--Ed.)

6. DO make a note of names and positions of staff members when calling the hotel to make a reservation request or booking a special amenity. Hotels almost always have guests saying "…but I spoke to someone at the desk…." Well, Mr. Someone is not here right now....

7. DO take hotels seriously when they throw down a "best rate" guarantee. Many of the big hotel brands have made great strides to ensure that their website does offer the best deal. On top of that, booking through a verified hotel website makes it a more hassle-free experience. (See point #1 above.)

8. DO provide as much information regarding your name and home address when making a reservation. Also, review your reservation confirmation when it is emailed to you. Yes, that sounds silly, but mistakes are always made with spellings and addresses and hotels often have multiple guests with the same name. This can make a big difference with one guest being a platinum member versus one who is not! (See point #5 above.)

9. DO pay attention to all the booking perks available to you as a hotel loyalty programmember. Oftentimes even a "basic" loyalty member is entitled to a personalized reservation line that can really make one feel special and even speed up the booking process.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we run down the DON'TS of booking a hotel room!

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