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Top 10 Secrets Hotels Don’t Want You to Know

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Script written by Michael Wynands

These are the surprising secrets hotels don’t want you to know. From room prices being at their most expensive in the morning, to the fact that literally anything could have happened in your room, to the secret that booking through third-parties can hurt your wallet, these are the loopholes and shocking facts that hotels keep on the down low. WatchMojo counts down ten secrets hotels don’t want you to know.

Special thanks to our users roxy and Abellewis27 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Secrets+Hotels+Don%27t+Want+You+To+Know.

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Transcript
Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Secrets Hotels Don’t Want You to Know



If you’re paying top dollar for a place to sleep, you might as well get your money’s worth. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Secrets Hotels Don’t Want you to Know.

For this list, we’re looking at fun facts, money saving tips and dirty little secrets that hotels really would prefer to keep you in the dark about.

#10: There’s Plenty of Free Stuff to Be Had


And we’re not talking about miniature shampoo bottles. You see… you should never underestimate the power of hotel staff. From the concierge to the front desk and doorman, most of these employees have been given tools with which to show their appreciation for customers and to keep them happy. But... you’re unlikely to receive these little treats unless you engage with the employees when something goes wrong. Room upgrades, free movies, premium amenities, water bottles, valet parking - all of these things are within the realm of possibility. So be nice, treat the hotel staff right, be sure to tip… and you may just find yourself enjoying a particularly comfortable stay.

#9: Early Check-In May Come at a Cost

Late checkout almost always comes with an extra fee, but checking-in early is often as simple as asking politely when you arrive at the front desk. The thing is… it’s likely coming with an unspoken experiential cost. One of the biggest lies in the hotel industry is that all rooms within a given price point are the same. It’s simply not true. Some are inherently going to be better, like corner units, or worse, the rooms next to the ice machine or stairwell. When you check-in early, even a nice tip can only do so much… they’re going to give you whatever room they have available, from a significantly limited selection.

#8: Booking Through Third-Parties Hurts Your Wallet

In this modern age of Internet wonders, our eternal quest for the best deals has us constantly whipping out our smartphones to compare prices. With these major third-party hotel booking apps or websites, we’re often given the illusion of savings, but talk to someone at the hotel front desk… and you’ll often actually get yourself a better rate. Think about it… hotels pay commission to these sites, so naturally, this gives them a little wiggle room to match or beat the online price if you take the time to contact them directly and ask.

#7: Literally Anything Could’ve Happened in Your Room

The room that you’re calling home for a few nights, like any other space, comes with a history. But hotel rooms are essentially revolving doors, through which people from all walks of life have passed. Affairs, parties, drug binges, deaths, arrests or, you know, just a quiet night’s sleep - the average hotel room has likely already seen it all. Wherever you’re choosing to stay, from a budget motel to a luxury establishment, you’re stepping into a room with a storied past. Sure, you can ask the front desk, but this is a staff trained in the fine art of discretion - meaning that they’re not actually going to share any horror stories.

#6: Staff May Not Have Undergone a Background Check

When staying in a hotel, people tend to make themselves at home. But while getting comfortable should be part of the package, you may want to keep your most valuable possessions, like your passport, on your person rather than leaving it lying around. To be fair, the majority of hotel employees are likely honest, hardworking individuals who wouldn’t dream of swiping the property of visitors, but you never know. Though most hotels thoroughly vet new hires, background checks aren’t a given, meaning there’s always a risk that an employee has a history of theft. Either way, why take the risk? Don’t leave valuables lying around!

#5: Your Ice Bucket Is NOT to be Trusted

The ice bucket in your room should come with a fresh plastic lining. If it doesn’t… don’t use it until the staff delivers you one. Though your sanitation standards might be high, not everyone shares those values, and that ice bucket, as one of the few containers in the room, has likely seen a lot of action. And in a pinch, it’s probably served many purposes. Where do you think someone’s going to upchuck if the bathroom is already occupied? If someone gets into a fistfight, that bucket is the perfect place to ice a bloody and bruised hand. Then again… maybe you shouldn’t trust the ice either.

#4: Rooms Are Most Expensive in the Morning

We all know that hotel room prices fluctuate, but are you aware of just how quickly or often the cost of your stay can change? If you call up an establishment in the early evening, you will often be quoted a lower rate than had you called and booked that very same morning. Of course, there’s nothing particularly sinister there. The later it is in the day, the more motivated the hotels are to fill up their available units. But if you’re only arriving in the early evening anyways, save yourself a few bucks and just get a room when you get there. Be warned though, there’s always a risk that they’ll be full!

#3: You Should Check the Minibar Items Before Consuming

As a general rule… if you’re at all concerned about keeping costs down, the minibar is best avoided altogether. But… if you’re looking to have a lavish weekend where expense is not an issue, by all means go crazy! Just make sure you’re not paying for any tampered merchandise. People are always looking for ways to cheat the minibar, and unless the staff has done a diligent job checking it over, people could have already dipped into some items, or, for clear alcohols, even replaced it with water. Also… be sure to verify the best before date. There’s nothing worse than paying a small fortune for a snack that expired months ago!

#2: There’s a Way Around That Cancellation Policy

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as paying for something you never used, and hotels are notorious sticklers when it comes to last minute cancellations. Before you abandon hope and forfeit that deposit however, give this sneaky little workaround a try. Call and see if it’s possible to have that reservation shifted back a few days. Wanting to avoid losing your business, many hotels will allow it, penalty-free. Given that most hotels have a 24 or 48 hour cancellation window, you can then call back, later that day or the next, to cancel the reservation with enough advanced notice to get your deposit back. Some businesses have caught on, but not all of them.

#1: A Neat Room Isn’t Necessarily a Clean One

The average amount of time spent cleaning a hotel room isn’t nearly long enough to do the sort of thorough job you’d actually want before staying in a space previously inhabited by a total stranger. Anything that has been directly used against the body of a guest should be switched out, like glasses, towels and bed sheets. But really… you have no idea what the last tenant did. For all you know, they sat on the chairs or sofa butt-naked, or worse... Such surfaces might get a quick dusting, but that’s it. Worse yet, many places reportedly don’t switch the duvet or top blanket, which has massive potential for ick.
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