Looking forward to staying in a hotel? I always do. Whether I am staying up there on vacation or on official reason, I look forward to staying in a hotel, because I simply like it. It’s a different atmosphere from home and for me, who doesn’t travel 20 days a month, it’s a much-needed change. I travel mostly in India. And a lot of times when I chit-chat with the hotel staff in India, who by now have become my good friends, I feel a lot of tourists or hotel customers lose basic etiquette & mannerism and can be seen asking obnoxious questions. And my first-hand exposure to these incidents gave me an idea to write this very post on “What I Never Say To The Hotel Staff In India?”
Frankly speaking, I really believe that when you ask or say some of these things to hotel staff, you are actually degrading your own value or social standing. Some other things mentioned here are things which probably don’t really hamper your reputation but can definitely be avoided & it wouldn’t have made any big difference to your life. So, which are these 8 things?
1. Getting Over-friendly or Un-Interested from the Word Go
Hotel Staff of any reasonable hotel today will want to make you feel welcome. As a customer, a smile, a hello is fine from your end too. But that doesn’t mean you get out of your senses and immediately jump at the opportunity by offering the beautiful front office lady a coffee. It happens only in movies, mainly because the person asking for a coffee is Tom Cruise or Shah Rukh Khan. Most of the men I saw, including myself, are nowhere close to their personality or charm. Equally, some of them are uninterested to the core. They don’t even look at the Front Office while check-in. While they really might be busy or may be seeing an important SMS on their phone, but you need to see in the eye of the person you are talking to. That’s a basic courtesy. Avoid extreme behaviour.
2. Why Is The Breakfast Only Till 10’O Clock?
Most of the hotels today have complimentary breakfast, with their fixed time slot mentioned on their website, travel companies’ portals as well as at the reception. Even if it is not mentioned anywhere, it always helps when we ourselves inquire about it before-hand. If you don’t wake up early, it’s not the hotel’s fault. Besides, breakfasts can’t continue for full day. If you want to have it, make sure you wake up in time.
3. Why Can’t I Check In Early OR Check Out Late?
Sure you must have paid attention on the check in and check out time as mentioned in the hotel guidelines. The schedule is made by the hotel staff very carefully. There is always a logic for doing that. It is not their fault for your early arrival. Truly speaking, you might have chosen an early morning flight since it was the cheapest one, you tried saving money and you assumed that the hotel will grant you an early check in free of cost. No… The hotel staff can’t ask the existing customers to get out before their scheduled time. Besides, they have to clean the room as well. Similarly while check out, I never delay. My room could have been already allotted to somebody weeks back, there is no point creating a scene. In case you need to stay back and if the rooms are available, the hotel staff will definitely help you. You are giving them revenue & who doesn’t want to increase their revenue ? If they are refusing, there has to be some reason.
4. Can I Get An Upgrade (But I am Not Willing To Pay)?
I have seen people, some of them shamelessly, asking for an upgrade. What’s more… they aren’t even willing to pay for it! 🙁 When you chose the hotel & the room on a travel portal, pricing was probably the most important factor you looked at. Now you book a smaller room and expect the hotel to offer you a larger room is just not done. Only if you are a frequent visitor to that hotel, they may still consider. But just because you are newly married & have a wife to impress or you are wearing those expensive sunglasses & watch or take out that swanky credit card, you don’t stand a chance, especially if you have booked the cheapest category of rooms in the first place.
5. I am a Regular Here!
It has become a habit for a lot of us Indians to use names, give references of some or the other prominent persons (or who we think is prominent / in position of power), OR to showcase ourselves as somebody we are not, to get our work done. While psychologically it goes down to our innate need to be recognized as somebody, the hotel staff won’t have so much time at their disposal to think that much. Just as Airlines have their list of Frequent Flyers, hotel staff have their own list. In fact, they may really know 90% of their regular customers by name and you don’t figure in it. Sorry, this strategy may not work. On the contrary, if they ask you how many times you have stayed here in the last 2 years OR tell us about the last 5 times you stayed here… you will only embarrass yourself. Don’t try this!
6. Are There Any Special Facilities For My Kids?
On a vacation ??? True that some people may inquire casually about what can kids do just for entertainment or fun. And nothing wrong about it. There may be a swimming pool or a gymnasium having a stretching ball they can play with. But to ask the hotel staff for special facilities for kids or asking them to arrange something for kids is a strict NO-NO. I also do not disturb the hotel staff with all my questions on how I can be a great father to my kids by making them happy most of the time. It is not the job of the hotel staff to look after your kids. Your kids are your responsibility. Their safety too!
7. Do You Know How Many Followers I Have?
Just because you didn’t get the facilities you wanted, doesn’t mean you threaten them of writing a really bad review on social media. Today Bloggers and Travelers are actually offered free room nights for a positive review. They are looked at by hotels to improve their overall standing on social media. But bad reviews from common people (including VP Level in office) with a few hundred followers on Facebook or Instagram won’t make any difference to them. Although every customer is important to them, the frequent customers a little more, but threats won’t take you anywhere. And the hotel staff knows it.
8. Where Can I Get Weed / “Companion”?
This is by far the most extreme thing, although it is fairly common today for the youth, to ask to the hotel staff. This is actually told to me by one of my friends from the Hotel Management Industry and so can’t be completely put aside. But hotel staff is not working for this reason. This is what I call “Shauk” (an eager desire / fondness / leisurely activity not really important for living) and you need to take care of it. And even if you don’t really care about what the hotel staff thinks about you, do see around before asking that question… There may be an embarrassment in the air, when you do ask that question in the hotel lobby 🙂