Staying in a hotel can be the ultimate 'switch off' experience for people looking to relax and let others take care of them for a while.
However, it can also be the stuff of nightmares.
Although you'd expect hotels to be on the ball and ready to pamper you at all times, this is not always the case.
To help travellers get the most out of every overnight stay, travel experts at eShores have talked to staff within the hospitality and tourism industry including waitresses, chefs, hotel receptionists and cleaners to uncover top insider tips to help you avoid a shocking and unpleasant stay.
She booked a hotel room and cleaned before she could use it.
Unnecessary or very necessary? 👀 pic.twitter.com/vgxFqacbj0
— Dami’ Adenuga (@DAMIADENUGA) September 30, 2023
Here are the 5 top tips every traveller should know:
1) Always check the kettle in your room to avoid nasty surprises
According to staff, who wish to remain anonymous, you should double-check everything you drink in a hotel room. Lairy room occupants have been known to add unmentionables into kettles, an item not checked daily by housekeeping. Never boil a hotel room kettle until you’ve checked inside – you may not get the relaxing cuppa you expected!
Mini bars aren’t safe, either. One hotel worker recalls a guest urinating into a bottle from the mini bar and replacing the cap, only to be discovered when the next guest arrived and tried to take a drink! So, when it comes to drinks, check first – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2) Don’t check in late – you could lose your room!
According to hotel receptionists, many budget hotels will purposely overbook rooms to maximise profits based on the assumption that some guests won’t show up. If they end up with too many people checking in, they’ll move you to another nearby hotel and cover taxi costs – but this is obviously a significant inconvenience for most people.
This system usually impacts the guests who are last to check-in. So, if you’re heading to an evening show or event and think you can just check in afterwards, you should reconsider.
Awake since 5 so I am trying the Travel Lodge breakfast while I catch up on some work. pic.twitter.com/Xpw6Oi89wZ
— Andrew Truby FCCT (@Andrew_Truby) March 12, 2020
3) Avoid the cooked breakfast if you’re a vegetarian
If you stay clear of meat products, consider giving the buffet breakfast a miss, especially at more budget hotels – cross-contamination can be rife during the breakfast rush. You may think you’re safe with options such as tomatoes and eggs, but behind the scenes tells a different story.
Staff working in the kitchen say they’ve seen veggie items such as tomatoes cooked on trays covered in bacon grease! The tongs at breakfast buffets can sometimes get mixed up too – perhaps best to stick with the continental!
4) Take anti-bac wipes for the bedside drawers
For most hotels, particularly budget options, housekeeping will do a quick turnover of the room between guests. This includes cleaning surfaces, hoovering and changing bedding, but they often must be in and out within fifteen minutes, meaning the inside of wardrobes or drawers aren’t cleaned every time.
Hotel cleaners have found intimate items are some of the most common things left behind in hotel rooms, usually in the bedside drawer, so giving them a quick wipe-down helps give you peace of mind.
5) Always flush the toilet when entering your room
If you’re heading to a hotel in a hotter climate, hotel staff have one key piece of advice – flush the toilet when you first get to your room after check-in, or when returning after a day out.
In hotter locations, the toilet bowl and under the seat make the perfect hiding spot for creepy crawlies, especially spiders. Unless you want to risk an unpleasant shock, don’t sit down without flushing first!