When going on a vacation, travelers plan on having the best time of their lives. And while everyone has the right to feel like a king or a queen even for a weekend, that does not mean common respect and courtesy go out the window.
Hotel staff are trained to make guests feel comfortable and valued. They greet everyone warmly, assist during check-in, make up the rooms, take out the trash, give you fresh linens and towels, and smile at you in the hallway. But what about the guests? Just like anything, if you want to make it work, it takes two to tango. As much as there’s hotel etiquette for staff, who are expected to be all helpful and friendly, there’s also an unwritten hotel guest etiquette for customers. You know, it has to be a two-way thing if it were to work, right?
So here’s a traveler’s guide for all adventure-seeking souls out there.
Honesty and courtesy start upon checking in. Inform the registration desk or receptionist on the actual number of guests staying in your room. It is impolite to reserve or pay for a room for two when there’s actually six of you. At least pay for an extra mattress.
While you’re at it, it would also save the hotel potential hassle if you voluntarily give them your contact number should they need to inquire something with you.
Everything you see in the room are not personal belongings. You are just using them for a fee over the certain period, so observe proper hotel guest manners and handle them with care. If something seems broken, tell the hotel management about it, but don’t go banging on the TV or the remote for the air-conditioning. Don’t stain or spill on the couch and don’t leave food crumbs on the bed. Remember that you are a co-caretaker of the place and you’re also responsible for it.
Whatever it is, just keep it down. That is the proper hotel etiquette for noise. Whether it is the TV, music, some house party or just friends laughing till their intestines explode, try to manage the noise and keep it down. This isn’t your house, and just like you, other hotel guests are paying too. They are trying to have the best time of their life as well, and it is just rude to ruin that.
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So what exactly can you take home and what are off-limits? One of the hotel etiquette tips to remember is you can take the consumables, but not reusables. Consumables include shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc. Reusables, on the other hand, are towels, bathrobes, mugs, coffee pots, etc. that you are allowed to use during the duration of your stay. If you are crazy about the soft hotel towels, ask the hotel if they have something like that for sale. If you just decide to take it home with you, expect to be billed, and don’t even deny it or pull a fast one.
One of the things that travelers look forward to when on a vacation or staying at a hotel is that they won’t have to make their own beds and clean the room. Sure, you are not expected to do that but as a respectful and sensitive guest, you should know that your room is not the only room that housekeeping needs to clean that day. Make their jobs easier by not leaving trash everywhere or putting all dirty towels in one place. They would love you for it.
A hotel has a lot of common areas that you share with everyone else. In the hallway, try to keep your voice down. If you have kids, make sure they won’t be running or shouting when walking past other rooms. At an early age, teach them how to behave in hotels.
In the elevator, place your bags nearest to the wall and away from people. Don’t allow your kids to press and play with the buttons on the elevator, and don’t ride the elevator all dripping and soaking wet.
When using shared amenities such as pools, jacuzzi or the gym, follow the rules and be considerate of other guests.
Some guests purposely leave the lights and air-conditioning on even if they are out on a tour the whole day. Their reason: they paid for it. That may be true, but that is not the right thing to do. Be a responsible traveler and turn off appliances that are not in use. If your sheets and towels are smelling clean and fresh, skip on the dry cleaning and save water.
This could be a tricky one. There are cultures that find this rude, but most encourage it. A savvy traveler would always leave a tip for housekeeping. Tipping the porter or bell boy for carrying your luggage and the valet service for looking after your vehicle is also a good gesture. In the restaurant, you can leave a tip to the servers at the table.
No one expects you to clean the room before you leave, but leaving it in an utter state of chaos is also not what a civilized guest does. Proper hotel etiquette for guests dictate that you should at least not leave trash hanging around, leave marks on the floor, leave re-arranged furniture, etc. Try to tidy up if you can.
Working in the hospitality industry is not easy. Hotel staff had to deal with really difficult guests while making everyone feel comfortable and at home. In a cutthroat industry, a little smile goes a long way. It wouldn’t hurt to greet and smile when you bump into them in the hall or in the lobby.
You will only get the service you deserve, so be a good guest. Hotel staff are not your personal maids or butlers, they are there to make your stay memorable and worth the while. Want the best service? Book your stay at Alta Vista de Boracay now, in time for the island’s re-opening on October 26.