Many of our readers must have had hundreds of hotel stays, others just a few. Although staying in a hotel is in principle a very simple and standardized process, there are many small things that can significantly improve your stay. We have collected tricks and tips for you that we hope will not only be of interest to hotel beginners but also to hotel professionals.
We Germans, in particular, always attach great importance to a quiet room. However, there are many factors to consider, as noise can come from the parking lot, the street, the lobby, the hallway or even the elevator. The quietest rooms tend to be on the upper floors, away from the elevator and with as little view from the street (especially on the main roads with a lot of traffic). Even in the US you should be as far away from the ice cream machine as possible, because it usually makes a devilish noise.
Fortunately, most hotels have no problem giving you a suitable room. Of course there are exceptions, for example if the sea view costs extra, or if there are bigger / better rooms on the higher floors – this is often the case with high class hotels. In normal hotels, the chance of getting a quiet room is high – if you ask for it. And if all else fails, get your ear plugs up.
Electricity without room card
To save electricity and do something good for the environment (and electricity bills), many hotels have a card slot next door. When you insert your room card, the lights come on and the plugs work. If you take them out again when you leave the room, not only will it be turned off, but so will the electricity – sometimes even the air conditioning. However, this is often annoying, for example if you really had something plugged into an outlet to charge it.
What many people do not know: It almost always does not matter what kind of card is in the card slot. So you can go for a walk with your hotel room card and insert an ADAC card, a cinema loyalty card, a card from a previous hotel stay, etc. in the slot and your room will still have electricity. If you do not have a card with you that you can easily leave in the room, then the alternative is to ask the reception for an extra room card.
Forgot your charger?
If you forgot your cell phone charger or just the right socket adapter in place, there’s usually a USB port that almost no one thinks about: the USB port on your TV. While charging your phone is slow and usually requires the TV to be turned on, it is not a bad option as a stop, especially during the day when a TV off will not bother anyone.
If you just forgot the socket adapter, there is usually an international plug for the razor in the bathroom, which you can use without the adapter.
One last tip for the plug: If you have enough space in your luggage, take a multiple plug with you. Then it does not matter to you if the hotel has only one socket, you only have one adapter or the socket is in an unfavorable position, while you want to charge 3 devices near the bed e.g. With a multiple outlet, you have control over the number (and location) of outlets in the room.
The right side of the bed
Many hotels have very wide beds or double beds. When faced with choosing a side, most people choose the side that is closest to the bathroom or near the phone. That’s why you have to take the other side. This is less used and therefore even less consumed. Therefore, sleeping on your side should also be more restful.
Hotel rooms with panoramic windows are fantastic – during the day and in the evening. However, if you do not want to wake up from the sunrise early in the morning in summer, you need to make sure the curtains are closed so that they are dark. Most of the time, though, there are two curtains you need to draw on the right and left. The two sides then meet in the middle, but a small gap often remains open.
With a clothespin you can grab both sides together and close this place. If you did not get a clothesline pin (who has one?), You can use the pins that are often found on clothes hangers in hotel rooms.
If all this is too complex for you, you should use a sleep mask.
Iron in the shower
No, please do not stand in the shower with an ironing board and ironing board. You do not even need an ironing board or an iron for this trick. All you have to do is hang your crumbled clothes in the bathroom and then take a hot shower. Next, the steam ensures that the wrinkles on your clothes soften on their own.
Changing the table
If you still want a trick WITH an ironing board, then we have one for you – but it’s not about ironing: If your room does not have a desk (or you need another), you can use the ironing board as a desk .
The ironing board is not only a good substitute for a table, but can also be used as a luggage rack, dining table, etc. Or just like an ironing board – that’s also possible.
Room service change
Eating out is a fun part of the holiday, a highlight of the evening. But there are also evenings when you rush out so much that you really do not want to leave the hotel. But what if the hotel does not offer good food or the choice is very limited? It pays to use apps like Uber Eats or Lieferando, which offer food in your hotel, sometimes even directly in your room. Of course you can also google restaurants that also offer deliveries.
Dirty remote control
According to the University of Houston, the most polluted object in a hotel room is the remote control. While I doubt anything serious would happen to you, if you want to take this realization seriously, a good solution is to wrap the remote control with a shower cap. Therefore, the buttons are still visible, but you avoid direct contact with germs that have accumulated over weeks and months.
Netflix and co. stream
Let’s stick to TV. Anyone who likes to use Netflix, Disney + or any other home broadcasting platform and does not want to do without this content in the hotel can connect their laptop to the TV. All you need is an HDMI cable. Although there are few hotels where the HDMI port of the TV is blocked, in most cases it works perfectly.
Those who are more technically advanced can also try configuring a Chromecast or Apple TV. This is certainly much more comfortable, but also much harder to set up, as it does not work very well with a hotel WLAN. It may be worth the effort for longer stays, but not for one night.
Breakfast for early departure
Depending on the hotel, breakfast is usually served from 6-7 am. But often you have to be at the airport around 4 or 5 in the morning to catch an early flight. It’s worth asking at the reception if they offer a breakfast to go. Occasionally you get a paper bag with some small things, for example a sandwich, a croissant and / or a yoghurt. You often take a drink (eg juice or coffee) with you along the way.
In most hotels you have to leave your room by noon at the latest, but many hotels offer one. Check out late in. All you have to do is ask, preferably on the last evening of your stay or before your last breakfast. You can often stay 1-2 hours longer in the room at no extra charge (if you are lucky, maybe even longer).
But if your flight or train departs late in the evening, you do not have to carry your luggage around town all afternoon. Upon departure, you can leave your luggage at the reception of most hotels and pick it up later when you arrive at the airport / train station. This is (usually) always free.
You can also do this if you arrive long before the registration time. You may not get to your room yet, but at least you can get rid of your luggage.
prevented? Postponement instead of cancellation
If you need to cancel a stay at a short notice, but your booked fee can not be canceled (more) free of charge, it is worth asking the hotel if you can extend your stay. Preferably for a small extra. Many hotels are much more comfortable because they do not lose money.
If deferral is not an option, you can also request a coupon. It costs nothing to ask.
These tips were about improving your attitude. But we did not consider one aspect: the price. However, this is also important for a pleasant stay, because in most cases the hotel’s personal expectations and patience in case of problems are very much based on the price paid.
We have already recorded a podcast in 2019 on how to book the best and cheapest hotels. The written version can be found here:
As you can see, every part of the hotel stay can be optimized – from check-in, to room stay, to check-out. Of course, you do not have to follow every trick on this list and charge your phone to the TV while taking a shower to iron your clothes. But I’m sure many people think of an earlier attitude when reading the list, where one of these tips would have helped a lot.
There is definitely more to improving your hotel stay than just these tips. What else would you suggest? Please leave a comment!
Cover photo: Ditmar Lange