General Manager Kevin Krueger has some helpful tips on how to make your next hotel stay a more enjoyable experience. He grew up in the hospitality industry and then as a natural progression decided to pursue roles in hotel guest relations and then made his way to GM of PlumpJack’s two Carmel properties, The Hideaway and The Getaway. He knows a few things about what makes the perfect hotel stay so we tapped him to come up with a list that would add value to any traveler seeking to make the most out of their hotel experience.
1. Always book direct! Hotels will match and usually give an additional 10% off your stay when you book directly with them, plus added perks and you'll get a room that best suits your needs. It’s also much easier to cancel or change your reservation when you book-direct with a hotel. The best guestrooms and opportunities for upgrades are usually offered to guests who book-direct with the hotel. BOOK OUR HOTELS DIRECT
2. The hotel team is a wealth of knowledge about the town or city you’re staying in. Ask anyone from the front desk host, to the maintenance crew, to the hotel manager about the best local spots, chances are you will have a completely different experience when you take them up on their tips. Locals are often very proud of their town/city and love to share their advice so you can have a great visit.
3. Oftentimes if you forget your toothpaste, toothbrush or other toiletries, the front desk has a stash to give to guests instead of having to search out the nearest convenience store before you retire for the evening. If the hotel doesn’t carry what you’re looking for, they will know the most convenient location to buy your items.
4. If you’re traveling with a pet, it’s important that you not leave the pet unattended in your guestroom, or if you must, make sure housekeeping is aware not to clean or enter your room. For one, it’s a safety issue for the staff and two, it’s a safety issue for your pet who may get scared and try to escape. Also, chat with the front desk and get some recommendations on great dog friendly restaurants and activities in the area. Helpful tip: All PlumpJack hotels are pet friendly.
5. If you are wanting to dine at a restaurant that says their reservations are full for the evening, check with the hotel team to see if they are able to make the reservation on your behalf. Oftentimes, restaurants allow for some walk-in spots for same-day reservations and will make available for their hotel friends.
6. Only about one-third of guests leave tips for the hotel cleaning staff, but it’s important to understand the intense work that goes into cleaning a hotel guestroom. Changing the linens and making beds is A LOT of work on top of scrubbing down a bathroom and cleaning up after guests. If you’re curious about how much to tip, here is a handy tipping guide from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. As for leaving the tip in an envelope (which is what they suggest), we find that many guests leave their tip on the pillow, which works just as well.
7. Most hotels, by law, need to have things in place to accommodate persons with disabilities like ADA showers or roll-in seats to make the shower ADA, along with other features like accessibility equipment for the deaf. To make sure you are fully accommodated when you arrive, it’s helpful if arrangements are made in advance and that a guestroom is available that can accommodate you. It’s also helpful to let the hotel staff know of your needs before your arrival so they can be ready to support you and make sure you are guaranteed a wonderful and comfortable stay.
8. If you’re planning to check-in to your hotel after 9 or 10pm, make sure and alert the hotel team, as some smaller hotels close down their front desk for the evening and if they know you are arriving late, they can make arrangements for your check-in after hours.
9. Take advantage of your hotel’s complimentary breakfast, wine tasting and/or evening reception so you can interact with other guests and share knowledge about things to do and places to visit. Sometimes you may find you can make a new friend(s).
10. While it might seem impossible, find some time to disconnect. Put your phone/computer away and live in the moment during your trip.
11. Flying in? Call ahead to your hotel to find the best airport to travel to. In some cases there are smaller, lesser-known airports that are more convenient and closer to your destination. Also, ask about the best means of transportation to your hotel and for exploring the area. Depending on your ideal vacation plans and your destination, a rental car might not be necessary.
12. Lastly, if you’ve had a great experience during your stay, the best way to express your gratitude, in addition to telling the hotel staff, is posting a review on a review site, like TripAdvisor, Google or on a third-party booking site. Positive reviews help smaller hotels with smaller budgets get better exposure.