These Secret Hacks of Hotel Workers Will Change Your Next Vacation

Whether they work at the reception or concierge desk of a hotel, or if you’re working in the back of the house as part of the cleaning and maintenance crew, you’ll never believe the funny things hotel workers do to get through their crazy shifts!

As luxurious as things look on the outside, working in the hotel business can be incredibly stressful and full of all sorts of issues to deal with daily. But there are a few things tips and tricks to help the hotel workers through the day—and knowing them will make your next hotel stay much more enjoyable.

From sneaking off with extra rolls of toilet paper and bedsheets, to taking naps in vacant rooms, have you ever caught anyone pulling these stunts behind the desk?

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Snoozing in Vacant Rooms

Whether it’s room service to bring you up a delicious midnight snack, or if it’s calling to wake you up for your 4 A.M. flight the next morning, one of the best things about staying at a hotel is the incredible 24-hour service that they provide. Right?

While it might be a luxury for you as a guest, it can’t be too glorious for the workers staying up all night. Working the night-shift can be just as exhausting as it is boring, and unless the reception desk is expecting a late-night check-in, then it’s safe to say they might’ve snuck into a vacant room to sleep for a while.

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Running to Vacant Room Restrooms

Depending on the hotel, if you’re working the reception desk alone, it can be tricky when you need to take a break or run to the restroom.

And since sometimes there isn’t a staff restroom to run to in your time of need, and the main floor restroom might be occupied, then the only option left is to run to a vacant room to use the bathroom.

As long as they make sure to let the cleaning crew know about it, it’s a pretty creative and efficient way to handle the situation. Right?

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Turndown Service Hours

Just because the hotel you’re staying at might have room service until midnight, or even throughout the night, doesn’t mean that it includes turndown and cleaning service during the same hours.

Many cleaning services are similar to the 9-to-5 schedule, start around eight in the morning, and end in the later afternoon, around five.

So if you want the cleaning crew to do a quick clean in your room and make your bed, think about it as the last call at the bar, and make sure to take the “Do Not Disturb” sign off at least an hour before the final hour.

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Let the Staff Know if You Took Down the “Do Not Disturb” Sign

Speaking of turndown service and the cleaning crew

The cleaning staff had a set amount of time per room to clean, so the messier you leave your room when you check out, the more time it will take for them to clean. And while you might not think to care about that, it does affect guests in-house, because it might not give them time to come back around for people who took down their “Do Not Disturb” after the cleaning staff came around to your floor.

So it’s best to stop by the front desk and throw a little reminder that your room is ready to be cleaned now so that the crew doesn’t miss it for the day.

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Taking Home Left Over Luxury Hotel Items

If you think you’re the only one who was smart enough to sneak some extra shampoo bottles and rolls of toilet paper in your luggage, think again. The staff has access to rooms after check-out, which means that they have the opportunity to sneak some extra high-end luxury supplies home, too!

We can’t say that it’s technically allowed, but we can say that anything that a guest didn’t use and left in their room could be considered a “gift” or “tip.” Finders keepers, right?

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Work Hard, Play Hard

Like other jobs, seniority can be a factor in who gets assigned to clean which hotel industry rooms.

That’s right! Rumor has it that some maids will fight over who gets to clean the oversized fancy suites. Why? Well, even though the rooms might be more significant and take more time, effort, and energy to clean, this is a work hard, play hard type of ordeal.

People who rent out the more oversized suites are more likely to leave behind a bigger tip for the cleaning crew. Cha-ching!

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Getting Treated like VIPs for Free

When it comes to the front desk helping you book your room reservations, or the concierge staff helps you plan a fun activity for your stay, many of them get an additional commission percentage for selling more oversized packages or referring you to a specific company.

But what’s even more fun than getting bonus bucks for selling a bigger room or day-tour package is that some workers get to experience concierge activities for fun. That’s right; whether it’s getting to eat at luxurious restaurants like a VIP free of charge, or going on one of those fun city Segway tours for free, concierge venues will happily spoil their hotel workers to get them to recommend and refer their company to guests.

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Some Hotels Want You to Take Stuff Home

We all know it’s fun to take things from the hotel room like those adorable and luxurious body lotion and body shower gel bottles. And even though some hotels will charge your place for “stealing” pillows, towels, or other items like that once you check-out, it’s been rumored that they do want you to take some products home!

Why? Because it’s pretty much like advertising for them since the name and logos are all over the products.

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Getting Back at Rude Guests

It might be hard for some people to hear, but if you treat someone working in customer service poorly, then they’ll probably find a way to get back at you.

If you’re rude or incredibly annoying while you’re making your reservations, the staff haד a section where they can write special comments to each other about the guest and reservation.

So if you’re incredibly rude on the phone, then maybe the person at check-in will end up placing you in a room with a low view and near the elevator. Yikes!

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The Cleaning Crew Sometimes Gets Paid Per Room

Remember how we mentioned that the cleaning crew only has a certain amount of time they can spend per room? Part of the reason is that they have a quota for how many places they need to clean per day since many hotels pay their staff per room.

So, the more rooms they clean, the more money they can make. And they can clean more rooms faster if guests try to keep things tidy throughout their stay. How interesting!

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The Staff Probably Stalked You on Social Media

Think about it. With access to the internet and social media, Googling someone and Facebook stalking is easier than ever, right?

And considering that hotel workers have your full name in their database, there’s no doubt that the people at the front desk have fun looking up their guests on the Internet. Especially when things are super slow during the night shift, it’s a fun game doing a little bit of research and digging information about that cute guest staying in room 601.

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Are the Bathtubs Clean?

Now that we know that the cleaning crew is sometimes pressed for time, what does that mean about bathtubs’ cleanliness? While some people get a bit suspicious about whether or not it’s worth it to soak in their luxury hotel tub during their get-away, the best thing to do is to take a quick whiff of the bathtub itself. Does it smell like a cleaning product or like musky water?

Either way, you could always give it a DIY cleaning by running the water with shampoo in it.

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They Never Touch The Remote Control

We’re sure that with the new rules and regulations about cleaning since the pandemic outbreak, the way hotels have been cleaning up their rooms has improved dramatically.

But do you know what the dirtiest item in hotel rooms usually is? It’s not the bathtub, the bed, or the glasses in your room. Give up? It’s a TV remote control. Yikes! Who would’ve thought?

It looks like it might be smart to either wrap the remote with a shower cap before using it or just wiping it down with a sanitary wipe.

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Lending Out Lost Cables and Chargers

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always smart to have your phone charged. However, it’s also so easy to misplace your charger while you’re traveling. So much so, that apparently, it’s an item that’s frequently lost or left behind by guests in rooms.

But have no fear! The hotel workers usually have chargers, cables, and even outlet converters behind the desk that they’ve collected over time from guests, so feel free to ask them, and we’re sure they’ll be happy to provide you with one.

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A Hack for Getting Out of the Cancellation Fee

The thing about life is that it doesn’t always follow your plans. No matter how much time you spend on planning something, you can quickly get sick, get pulled into work, or have to deal with an unfortunate family emergency. And while many hotels will let you cancel or change your reservations up to 24 or 48 hours in advance, this trick might be just what the doctor ordered.

Depending on the cancellation policy, instead of trying to cancel your booking, ask to change it to a later date. They’ll most likely be a lot more flexible with that, and then you can call back again later to cancel the booking. How clever!

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Black Lists at Hotels Exist

Whether a hotel worker, customer support, or waiter, if you’ve ever worked in customer service, then you know that the most challenging part of the job is trying to keep someone calm when they’re unsatisfied.

With that said, though, there’s a limit to how much the staff can and should handle. Whether it’s because you haven’t paid, destroyed and damaged property in your room, or just are being extremely rude and unreasonable, hotels can put you on a blacklist so that you won’t be allowed in the hotel ever again. And sometimes they even reach out to other hotels to warn them, too. Yikes!

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Haggle During Booking, Not Check-Out

As miserable as it might be to deal with an unhappy customer—especially when your manager isn’t around to help tame the fires—just like with any other service venue, sometimes complaining can help you get a discount on your stay at a hotel.

But why put a downer and add extra hassle and stress on your stay? Instead of putting an innocent worker through the wringer to save yourself some extra bucks, doing a price-match check during your booking is so much more efficient! There’s no doubt that the reservation staff is more likely to help you lower the price during your booking than when you’re checking out.

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Good Relations with the Police

We’ve talked about how you can get blacklisted at a hotel, but hotels have other resources to ensure that the hotel, their staff, and their guests are in a safe status at all times.

Whether it’s a quaint 15 room boutique hotel or a 500 room five-star hotel, security is crucial. And even if they have their safety at the hotel, you better believe that the establishment is also in the right relationship with the local police stations in the area.

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Respecting the Boundaries of Celebrities

While some celebrities love documenting their every move on social media and will proudly share with their fans where they’re vacationing, not everyone is like that.

For this reason, many hotels have a particular high-profile celebrity policy. They do their best to respect their celebrity guests’ boundaries, especially between other hotel guests—and offer them a drama-free, discreet, and quiet stay.

How cool is that for the workers, though? Talk about some exciting skills to add to your resume!

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Always Ask for Their Name First

Let’s be honest. Who enjoys wearing a name-tag for all the world to witness and see? Even though some hotels must have their staff wear name-tags, it doesn’t mean that the team enjoys it when you address them by their first name—that is, without asking it first.

That’s right, even though it sounds a little backward, sources say that staff workers hate it when you address them by their name tag!

Plus, you never know if Steve or Mandy accidentally forgot their name-tag at home and ended up wearing someone else’s instead, so it’s always good to double-check first.

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Getting Upgraded to a High Floor

Just like any other service industry job, the hotel staff’s primary goal is to make sure that you’re feeling happy and welcome, no matter how they’re feeling. So keep in mind that they might spew out a couple of lines here and there to make you feel better and excited about your stay.

For example, if you put in a request for a high floor before arrival, once you’ve arrived for check-in, they might tell you that they’ll give you an “upgrade” to a higher floor, even though they had planned it all along.

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The Secret to Those Plush and Perky Pillows

Want to know the secret to how the handy hotel housekeepers fluff up and keep your pillows perky every day?

  • Karate chops the pillow down the center, along the longer side. Place the pillowcase on the pillow, and let the pad unfold on its own.
  • Press out and flatten the pillow by placing your hands in the center, slowly, yet aggressively pushing each hand away from each other towards the end of the pad.
  • Grab the top corners of your precious and perky pillow, place it in front of the bed frame without leaning it against it. It should happily stand up tall and proud all on its own!
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Hotel Hack for a Streak-Free and Shiny Mirror

Another cool housekeeping trick is about getting that streak-free and shiny, beautiful mirror.

Rumor has it that instead of using the wondrous glass-cleaner Windex, they use a different cleaning product type. Supposedly the cleaning crew’s secret trick is to use furniture polish! Who would’ve thought?

There are all sorts of secret hacks when it comes to cleaning more cost-effectively and efficiently, but it seems like this method is one of the best when it comes to cleaning your mirror.

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Getting Upgraded to a Different Hotel

Remember how earlier we mentioned that many hotels have a Black List that they share with their competitors?

Well, some hotels are a lot closer than you would think! That’s right, even though they compete with one another, hotels, especially ones that aren’t big chains, actually will help each other out in times of need.

Many hotels tend to overbook since they’re banking on a couple of cancellations. But sometimes things don’t go according to plan, which is when they might send you off to a different hotel of equal or better value, free of charge

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The Breakfast Buffet Served Straight to You Room

How fun is it to have the option to include breakfast with your stay? But the problem with having breakfast at the hotel is that sometimes the schedule for it doesn’t work with your schedule, especially if you want to sleep. But did you know that some hotels will bring the food up to your room?

No, we’re not talking about ordering from the room service menu at an additional cost; we’re talking about bringing the buffet food included with your stay up to your room. Just make sure to give them enough of a heads-up so that they can prep you a plate. How fun!

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Your Silly Wishes are Their Commands

We know that when you’re in the mindset of your well-deserved get-away vacation, then you’re so bubbly and pumped about every little thing. And while it might seem like living this day-in and day-out sounds like high heaven, it’s just another day in the office for the hotel staff.

But that doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy fulfilling those silly and unique requests!

Just like this guest that requested to have a framed picture of Nicholas Cage, specifically from Con Air, on their bed by six o’clock.

It looks like your wish is their command at this hotel. We love it!

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No Need to Be Too Polite with the Bell Staff

Even if we’re used to the idea of having bell staff and customer service staff help out with things, sometimes, it can be tricky to be anything but polite. For example, when you’ve finally reached the hotel to check-in and the bellboy asks if they can take your bag up to your room and you quickly shell out a “No thanks, I got it.”

But there’s no need to feel bad about letting them help you out, it’s their job, and they’re more than okay with it. But of course, it’s always a good idea to say thank you and to treat them with respect.

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Tipping the Hotel Staff

Whether it’s a cute little boutique hotel or a big famous chain hotel, the hotel staff are service industry workers at the end of the day. So just like your lovely wait staff at the restaurants, reception desk, concierge crew, and the housekeeping team, many hotel workers receive minimum wage payment and rely heavily on tips—especially with the risk of being on a commission-based salary.

So don’t be afraid to spoil your hotel staff, even with a box of lovely chocolates at the end of your stay!

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Being a Respectful Regular Can Pay Off

Just like being a regular at your local coffee shop or neighborhood bar, it pays off to be a regular at a hotel.

If you’re a frequent traveler, then booking the same hotel (or the same chain) and getting to know the staff could pay off, and you can score all sorts of fun stuff.

From free room upgrades to a discounted and fixed price, to cute, little welcome back treats and surprises in your room, hotel staff is known to go the extra mile and spoil guests that they like.

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Saving Their Guests Money, Saves the Hotel Money

Earlier, we talked about how talking to the hotel’s reservation team directly about price-matching is one of the best ways to get a discount. But do you know why that is?

When you’re booking through a third party, like Expedia or Booking.com, the hotel needs to pay them a commission fee. However, if you reserve directly through the hotel, the establishment gets 100% of the profit.

So, it’s always good to contact the hotel directly before booking anything since they’re more than happy to help you save some bucks since it’s probably more worth it for them to lower the price down and match-up with a third party.

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Being Extra Nice to the Bell Staff Can Be Beneficial

Remember how earlier we mentioned how you don’t need to be too polite to the bellmen? That doesn’t mean being extra nice to them doesn’t matter.

That’s right, word on the hotel strip is that if you’re extra nice to the bell boy, then they can help hook you up with all sorts of stuff. Whether it’s free water bottles, an upgrade to your room, a late check-in, extra chocolate mints on your pillow, you name it! They’re a part of the customer service staff, so an in with them could be an in with the other teams.

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The Mystery of the Mini-Bar

With the development of technology nowadays, it’s hard to keep up with the minibar’s loopholes! Back in the day, you used to be able to grab whatever over-priced snack or beverage you wanted from the minibar during your stay and then sneakily replace it with the same products for far cheaper at the store.

However, some hotels have minibars that register if you’ve taken something or not just by the weight of it. Some charge you only for opening it! So make sure to talk to the reception desk in advance about this sneaky tricky before getting overcharged for an accident.

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Watching Movies for “Free”

Speaking of technology and loopholes, there’s a little loophole in getting the hotel to erase the movie’s charge!

After you’ve enjoyed watching your pick of the night, apparently you can call the front desk and claim to have had technical issues with the movie—saying it froze, wouldn’t load, or it was just an accident. If you let the staff know immediately, they’re probably more likely to believe you and let the charge go than when you’re at check-out.

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Most Hotels Have Everything You Need for Your Stay

Unless you’re a frequent traveler, you probably don’t know about all of the free things you can get from the hotel! And trust us, it’s much more than lotion and shampoo bottles.

Depending on the hotel, of course, there are all sorts of fun items that you can ask the reception desk to use or keep for free if it’s not already found in your room. From fuzzy slippers to shaving kits, to toothbrushes, to outlet converters, hotels have almost anything that you’ll need during your stay.

Not just that, but sometimes they’ll even let you buy some of their luxurious items, like those fancy and fuzzy bathrobes!

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Hotels Secretly Like Giving Late Check-Out Times (If Possible)

For those of you who love utilizing your vacation to sleep in, nothing like waking up without the stress or worry of deciding where to eat, how to get there, and making sure you make it back in time for check-out. Right?

However, check-out time ends at 11:00 A.M. for the majority of hotels around the world. So, what’s the solution to this problem?

If you ask for a late check-out in advance, the staff will likely grant it to you if they have vacant rooms. Sometimes, it’s preferred to give guests an extra hour to check-out so that the reception desk won’t be bombarded with multiple check-outs at the same time.

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How to Protect Your Payment Information

There’s a trend where people will call hotel rooms and pretend to be the front desk, asking for credit card information from their guests.

And unfortunately, the hotel can’t protect the guests from everything. But hotel workers have shared an important tip and trick that will prevent you from accidentally providing your credit card information to the wrong person.

To avoid this or to check and see that you aren’t being conned, hang up, call back the front desk, and confirm with them the situation.

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The Three “Strikes” Rule

When it comes to the housekeeping team coming to clean your room, they go with the three-strikes rule throughout many hotels. If you don’t have your “Do Not Disturb Sign” posted on your door, the cleaning crew will knock on your door three times, with a few second intervals in between, and say “housekeeping” before coming in.

If you don’t respond after the third time, they slightly crack the door open to ensure nobody is in the room before fully entering.

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Are the Safes That Safe?

It’s great to know that you have a mini-safe in your room, but what about if you have an issue with it?

Have no fear! Just like the lockers that you had in high school, the mini safes in your rooms come with a master lock that the hotel managers store in a safe place.

With that said, though, please keep in mind that hotel safes aren’t a 100% guarantee to be secure—especially if others have access to it. The safes must be bolted into the wall so nobody can walk away with them.

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Complimentary Luggage Storage

Receiving an early check-in is a luxury that hotels can offer if they have a vacant room for you upon arrival. However, even if your room isn’t ready, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start the check-in process. While most hotels worldwide have check-in time at 3:00 P.M., they offer complimentary luggage storage for their guests who arrive early.

This amenity allows you a chance to hop in the pool during lunch and will enable you to explore the city for a bit before settling into your room. Many times, they’ll even take your luggage right up to your room once it’s ready, so all you need to do is grab the key on your way up.

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