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Tag: hotel best practices

Tips for your extended hotel stays

by coach on Feb.16, 2011, under Business Travel, Hotels

Furthering my previous post regarding hotel best practices when you’re staying at a hotel for an extended period of time, here are a few more tips:

Bell Hop1.  Feel free to leave a bag at the bell desk or concierge. If you don’t want to carry your toiletry going through TSA, just bring an extra duffle bag and leave the bag with the front desk or bell hop when you check out. Not only should you leave your toiletry, you should look to leave your workout gear, or any outfit for the climate. This works well if you are traveling to a different climate, you should always leave a jacket, sweater, fleece, etc. that you may not need at home.  You’ll be lighten your load on your weekly commute and the people behind you at the security checkpoints will thank you for it!

2.  Always tip the bell hop or concierge if you’re asking them for a favor like holding your bag over the weekend. A good suggestion is $2-5 per bag (adjusting to locale and inflation), depending on your relationship. This goes along way with the staff - these guys are the heart and soul of the hotel. I typically tip on drop off and pick up.

Sometimes a souvenir from your home has more mileage. For example, bring the hotel staff “I Love NY” t-shirts if you’re from NYC or some Ghirardelli chocolate if you’re from San Francisco.

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Five “must have” hotel benefits with your extended stay

by coach on Aug.12, 2010, under Business Travel, Hotels

Furthering Captain G’s previous post on hotel reservation best practices, we would like to add five things you should do when you’re staying at a hotel for an extended period. If you’re planning to stay at a hotel property for an extended period of time, say for the next two to three months, let the hotel know that you’re going to make the hotel your home away from home. Establishing a relationship with the hotel check in staff and manager can earn you perks. We have received complementary breakfast coupons, happy hour drink coupons and free parking in the past.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the services that you’d normally have to earn or pay for at the hotel. Below are the things that you should ask for and would most likely get:

1.  Ask for an upgraded room or simply a better room (like closer to the elevator or away from the ice machine, etc.). There’s no reason why your request wouldn’t be met.

2.  Ask for a discounted or client rate by letting the staff know that you’ll be there for an extended period of time for a client. This works especially well if you are in a group (i.e., traveling with team members)!

3.  Ask the hotel staff to book your future reservations so you don’t have to call or reserve online every week (don’t worry, you have up to the previous day of arrival or 6pm on the date of arrival to cancel for each reservation).

4.  If the hotel charges for Internet, ask for the service to be complementary or get the hotel manager to get your hotel status to a level where it is free (see previous post). You may not get platinum status day one but it will help in the long run.

5. If you do not have hotel status, ask the manager to make it happen. We have gotten entry level silver and gold status at Hilton and SPG (Four Points, Sheraton, etc.) when we were rookies. Hotels still honor loyalty unlike airlines.

The Coach ft. Captain G

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Why are hotel points are more valuable than airline miles

by Captain G on Mar.09, 2009, under Airlines, Hotels, Travel Partners

Following up to my previous post regarding depreciation of airline mile, I am sure you have seen tons of posts about which is the best credit card to earn airline miles or hotel points or getting cash back. Since 2006, airlines have adjusted blackout dates, limited the number of seats available for redemption and increased the number of miles required for a free ticket. Furthermore, most airlines are charging customers for ticket redemption. For example, I had to pay $150 plus 60,000 miles to redeem a ticket on Delta with less than a week advance booking. If you use the old method of one penny (USD 0.01 per mile), my ticket cost me $750 ($150 + $600). In addition, I had to pay for taxes and fuel surcharge. Despite the fact that my ticket was a last minute purchase and would have been around the same price, I don’t think airline miles are as valuable compared to hotel point.

Hotels unlike airlines have relaxed their redemption policies. Many hotels have adjusted their redemption requirements for 2009. Starwood never had blackout dates which makes them one of the best hotel programs. Marriott recently jumped on the same bandwagon by eliminating blackout dates. Since January 2009, hotels have been on a promotion spree and issuing bonus points to loyal customers. Starwood and Hyatt properties have multiple generous bonus offers that goes on to mid-April. Hotels also have generous cancellation policies. Here are the promotions:  Hyatt and Starwood. Most hotels allow you to book a room and cancel on the same day before 6PM without any penalties. Airlines however charges you a fee to redeposit miles.

If you are a frequent travel to international destinations like myself, hotel points will come in very handy. Most American hotels in international destinations are clean compared to local hotel chains – i.e., Thistle in the UK can be great if it’s new or a hole in the wall if it’s in an old building. American hotels are also consistent with service and generally cost more. Redeeming hotel points at international destinations gives you the best bang for the buck. You can always find a cheap fare to London (i.e., American and United has $200 round trip fares almost every week) but you will rarely find a hotel deal at a Marriott or Hyatt in central London.

In summary, we recommend banking hotel points which is going up in value vs. banking airline miles that is facing inflation pressure. The more airline miles you have with an airline, the more money you will end up spending on them.

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