How Does a Hotel’s Lost and Found Work? [Tips for Getting Your Item]

If you do enough traveling, eventually you probably are going to leave something behind at a hotel.

But what exactly happens to your item whenever you leave it behind at a hotel and what are the odds of you getting it back?

In this article, we will take a deep dive into how lost and found processes work at hotels and give you some insight into the process along with tips to help you get your item back.

What happens when you leave an item in your hotel room?

The usual process for a hotel is for housekeeping to come in to clean the room after you check out, so housekeeping personnel are typically the first people who will discover your lost item.

Every hotel may have a slightly different process for what happens next but generally housekeeping (acting in good faith) will bag or collect the item and then eventually bring the item to the front desk, the housekeeping manager, or some other designated individual.

(Some properties may require housekeeping to notify security who will then retrieve the lost item.)

The item should then be logged in a book or software application and then perhaps tagged and placed in an office bin, safe, or storage closet.

The name or phone number of the guest and the room number along with the reservation dates may be included in the log and hopefully on the tag for easy recognition. Other details like where the object was found and who found it may also be included.

After logging the item, the hotel could choose to reach out to the guest but some hotels have a strict policy that does not allow them to do that.

The reason is that some people stay in hotels on a “confidential” basis.

They could be up to something shady (cheating on a spouse) or could be in need of secrecy for some type of safety reason which is why hotels don’t like to get involved with communicating with guests after they leave.

So for the most part the hotel will wait for you to call and inquire about the lost item.

At that point, they may ask you some questions to verify that you are the owner but if they have the details of your room and stay dates, it should be really easy to verify you are the owner.

Related: 19 Tips for Enjoying Your Hotel Stay & Avoiding Problems

Things you need to know about hotel lost and found

The initial waiting time

If you contact the hotel directly after checking out of your room, that might actually be too early for you to recover your item.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can’t quickly make it back to the hotel, I would recommend calling as soon as you realize you lost the item but your lost object may not be added to the lost and found until after the room is cleaned.

Until that happens, the only way you might be able to get your item is if an employee is willing to go to the room and search for it.

This is when customer service comes into play.

Some hotels may not be that helpful but you’d be surprised how some hotels go above and beyond to help you retrieve your lost item.

Speak to the right person

When you contact the hotel about a lost item you want to make sure that you are talking to the right person at the right time.

Some hotels may designate a single individual as the person who oversees lost and found. For example, this could be a housekeeping manager or even a member of security.

If you call and that individual is not available, the person over the phone may not be able to help you much. In those cases, you may need to call back a few hours later and try again.

Some hotels are not very organized

Some properties may not keep good records which means that they won’t have an accurate log of lost and found items.

So when you call in there could be no record of the lost item!

Even if the hotel has a record of your item, they will still have to locate it.

This could come down to an employee having to go search through a storage closet that could potentially contain hundreds of items.

Unless that employee is particularly motivated to search thoroughly for your item, they could end up giving up rather quickly with only a superficial search.

So if the hotel is not organized and employees are not sufficiently motivated to search, it could be difficult to get your item back even if the hotel is in possession of it.

Related: Is It Safe to Use a Hotel Safe?

Hotels that use apps

More and more hotels are now using software applications like ileftmystuff, Chargerback, or Quore to help manage their lost and found.

These make it easy for guests to submit a lost item and for the hotel to manage and track these down.

Some of them even allow the shipping process to be set up making it ultra convenient to get reunited with your lost item.

If a hotel has invested in lost and found software like this, chances are they will take your lost and found claim seriously.

Your item may be thrown away

Some hotels may send certain items directly to the trash or only hold onto them for very little time before they dispose of them.

These would be items that present health risks like pillows, blankets, and clothing. Hotels don’t want to risk bringing in bedbugs or potentially spreading viruses that could have been living in these.

Other times, if an article is particularly dirty or gross (certain adult toys) a hotel will not hesitate to throw it away. Drugs including weed presumably are thrown away and alcohol is poured out (or split among hotel staff).

It’s also possible that if you brought a pillow it could have been mistaken for one that the hotel owns and they could have put it in the laundry cycle.

The holding time

Just how long a hotel will store your item will depend on a lot of factors.

First, some hotels just have very short holding policies of only a couple of weeks to 30 days. They do this so that they don’t have to spend a lot of time keeping up with lost items from many months ago.

These properties won’t always tell you that they have short holding times.

The worst offenders may even act like they are searching for your item when they know they have already disposed of it!

The typical length of time that a hotel will hold onto your item is three to six months. Generally, the more valuable the item the longer the hotel will store it.

For example, something random like a pair of sunglasses may be held for three months while a phone may be held onto for six months. On occasion, a hotel might even hold onto something even longer especially if they think it is very valuable such as an engagement ring.

Hotels do love to keep around chargers though because they can loan these out to guests (who don’t always return them).

Sometimes there are state laws that require a hotel to hold onto items for a certain amount of time so you can always look into those if you think a hotel is not complying.

Related: What Can You Take From A Hotel Room?

Unclaimed items

If your item is never claimed then hotels have a couple of different ways they will handle it.

Sometimes they will give it to the person who discovered the object or to any employee interested in taking it home. But other times they could simply donate the item to a local charity or place it in some type of auction.

If the item contains confidential information such as a phone then they may have a policy for disposing that type of item to prevent any kind of liability with leaked data.

And for anything nobody wants, they will just throw it away….

Getting the hotel to ship you the lost item

If your home is far away from the hotel then your best bet will probably be to have the item shipped to you.

For the most part, expect to have to pay for the shipping of the item. You can do that by sending a prepaid label (sometimes via email) or by just allowing the hotel to charge the card that they had on file. Also, as mentioned some of those software applications allow you to pay for the shipping.

Every now and again, you may encounter a hotel that will ship the item to you for free, especially if the shipping cost is pretty low. Consider yourself #blessed if that happens.

What if your lost item is located in a room that is now occupied?

If your object is not found in the lost and found, there’s a chance that it could still be in the room that you stayed in even after new guests have moved in.

This actually happened to us one time when Brad could not find his passport.

It was underneath a room service binder in the hotel room and because housekeeping does not move those binders, they did not discover it underneath there when they cleaned our room.

After searching extensively, we had a strong suspicion that it was still in that room so we asked the hotel to check but the current occupants were not in their room to consent.

That would not have been a problem except we had an international flight to catch in the morning and this was already in the evening time. So we only had hours to spare.

It took some convincing but we were finally able to get someone from the hotel to enter the room and search for the passport. Within seconds they found it.

So if you believe that your lost item is in a hotel room occupied by someone else, you might be able to convince the hotel to give it a search but this may only happen in pretty dire circumstances (like the one we were in).

Final word

When you have a lost item at a hotel the process is not always so straightforward. You want to make sure that you are talking to the right person and that you don’t wait too long to contact the hotel. Finally, be prepared to pay for shipping to get your item back.

Can You Get Extra Blankets and Pillows at a Hotel? (Tips on Asking)

When staying at a hotel, comfort is a top priority.

Unfortunately, hotels don’t always offer the most comfortable blankets or pillows to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Sometimes you may find yourself needing to request an additional pillow or blanket and you might be wondering if the hotel will actually honor that request?

Below, we will take a look at how hotels handle these requests and how you might be able to increase the odds of getting a hotel to agree to provide you with more blankets and pillows.

Can you ask for extra blankets and pillows at a hotel?

Lots of nicer hotels will happily provide a guest with an extra blanket or pillow upon request.

However some properties, especially cheaper hotels or motels, may refuse your request on the basis of limited inventory or suspicion that you are bringing more people into the room than allowed.

Therefore, it helps if you have can you communicate some type of personal reason for needing the additional blanket or pillow to the staff when making a request.

Keeping below for some tips on how to get this done!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Your pillow and blanket options

If you need an extra pillow from a hotel, here are the options you may have.

The extra pillow and blanket in the closet

Lots of hotels provide an extra blanket and possibly a pillow that can be found in the closet. Often this is up on the shelf so you have to look up in the closet and you’ll probably find it.

Sometimes these blankets are not very comfortable and you always wonder how long it’s been since the last time they were washed.

So you may not always be comfortable utilizing these but the hotel may first refer you to the extra blanket and pillow in your closet if you call in and make a request.

Extra hotel blanket and pillow in closet
Extra blankets and pillows found in a hotel room closet.

Basic pillow and blanket selection

The hotel may simply give you the same type of blanket or pillow that came with your room.

Full selection of pillows

If you’re staying at a full service hotel they may not only offer you an extra pillow, but they may have a full selection of different pillow types!

You could choose between a soft or firm pillow, down pillow, memory foam, or even request a special body pillow. This may even be a complimentary service.

As you would expect, you will likely only have a “pillow menu” at nicer hotels and resorts.

Why a hotel may refuse your request

If you’re staying at a cheaper hotel or motel, that property may refuse your request for extra blankets and pillows. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

Limited inventory

First, it’s possible that because the property is so small that it has a limited inventory and they could be running low on blankets and pillows.

Perhaps they have not been running things smoothly or maybe they recently had guests steal some of the pillows or blankets so they are running extra low.

Either way, they would rather deny your request of an additional pillow than not have a pillow for a new guest.

Bad customer service

Sometimes hotels, especially limited service hotels, are just severely lacking in customer service.

It’s possible that the person working the front desk at night may not want to leave the desk since they are the only staff member on site.

So when you make your request, they may give you some type of excuse like the hotel is out of pillows or unable to accommodate your request solely because that worker does not want to leave their post.

They suspect you are up to something

Hotels always want to know exactly how many people are staying in each room.

For some hotels, it’s about generating extra revenue as they increase the price with more guests.

For other hotels, it’s more about abiding by the fire code so that other guests are not put at risk and the hotel is not in danger of getting in trouble for having too many guests in a room.

Either way, if you request additional blankets and pillows this is a sign that you could have brought additional guests into your room.

For example, let’s say that you booked a room with two queen beds for two people.

Those two queen beds should be able to accommodate four guests pretty easily in most cases. Now let’s say that you get on the phone and request an additional blanket and pillow.

At this point, it’s as if you have at least five guests in your room.

If the hotel already provided an extra blanket and pillow in the closet, then it’s like you are requesting bedding for six or more guests!

That could definitely raise a red flag for the hotel.

They may deny the request or they could possibly investigate the situation and ask you to pay more for the additional guests.

Related: Hotel Rollaway Bed Guide: (The Costs & Free Locations)

How to successfully get extra pillows and blankets

If you want to increase the odds of a hotel honoring your request for additional pillows or blankets there are certain ways you can go about asking for these.

Make a request ahead of time

If having an extra blanket or pillow is really important, you can contact the hotel ahead of time and make your request (phone or email).

If they have multiple options they may even be able to provide you with a selection to choose from.

Offer to pay extra

It’s possible that a hotel may want to charge you extra for an extra blanket or pillow. If you really need an extra blanket you can make it clear to the hotel that you are okay with paying for it if you have to.

Give a specific reason (possibly related to a medical need)

If you want an extra pillow, try to give the hotel a specific reason for your request that would make them look very bad in the event they chose to deny the request.

For example, a lot of times hotel pillows can be very thin or just not supportive for your neck. If you have an extra pillow, you can stuff it in the pillowcase of another pillow and create a much more supportive pillow.

If you have neck issues and require more support you could let the hotel know that and tell them that if you had an additional pillow it would help you properly support your neck.

Or maybe you need to place a pillow under your knees when you sleep as recommended by your doctor.

There are lots of medical related reasons why you could require an additional pillow — don’t be afraid to bring those up!

If you struggle with maintaining a warm body temperature then you could always request an additional blanket on the basis that you run very cold. This could especially be the case if the hotel does not have good temperature control in the room.

And even if the hotel room does have good temperature control, sometimes turning up the heat means getting dried out and that can be problematic for certain people who are sensitive to dry conditions.

Be aware of the “code word”

Apparently requesting an “extra pillow” with a concierge at a hotel is codeword for requesting a prostitute.

This sounds like an urban legend type of myth but there are online reports of people taking this seriously.

I’ve never personally encountered this “on-demand service” at a hotel stay but I guess if you were staying at a property known for that type of thing, you might want to think twice about how you word your pillow request.

Bring your own bedding

One of the best ways to make your hotel room more comfortable is to bring your own bedding.

There’s nothing like having your comfy blanket from home to help you feel relaxed in your hotel bed.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about the fact that your mattress probably has not been washed in a while.

I always make a point to bring my own blanket when traveling on road trips.

But when traveling via air, it’s harder to bring your pillows and blankets because of the limited amount of luggage space you have.

If being comfortable in your hotel is a high priority then it could be worth it for you to simply allocate one suitcase to holding your pillows and blankets.

It may seem a bit ridiculous and it could add to your baggage fees but ask yourself if $60 (in round trip baggage fees) is worth the additional comfort you will be able to have for several nights?

I think a lot of people would actually answer yes to this question.

If you don’t want to deal with the extra luggage or baggage fees, another option you could do is to purchase a blanket from a store like Walmart.

For $30 or under you can get a pretty comfortable blanket which could be half the cost you would pay in baggage fees.

At the end of the trip you could take the blanket with you if you have room, donate it, or even return it (although some people question the ethics of returning a used blanket).

Final word

Lots of hotels will provide you with an extra pillow or blanket in your hotel room closet so you may not have to make the request for additional bedding in the first place.

However, if you do have to make the request it’s possible that some limited service hotels will refuse to provide you with extra pillows or blankets based on a variety of reasons.

To increase the success of a hotel honoring your request, consider trying to make your request as personal as possible, and if you can, relate it to some kind of medical need.

Otherwise, just try to stay in nicer hotels and they should be more accommodating.

Can a Hotel Refuse to Serve a Guest? Under What Circumstances Would It Be Legal?

Have you ever wondered if a hotel could ever legally refuse service to a guest?

Perhaps you are curious about potential discrimination or just wondering what the law says about hotels denying service.

In this article, we will take a deep dive and look at whether or not a hotel can refuse service to a guest.

I’ll provide you with specific examples that show when it may be both inappropriate and appropriate so that you have a good understanding of what is allowed.

Can a hotel refuse a guest?

Hotels and other businesses that provide lodging can refuse guests but they must be careful that they are not discriminating based on a protected class. For that reason, a hotel would likely only deny service based on a valid reason recognized by the law, such as if a guest was engaged in criminal activity or refusing to pay.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Public accommodation laws

Hotels have to be very careful with declining service to guests because hotels are subject to public accommodation laws.

Public accommodation laws were designed to prevent discrimination in places of public accommodation, which include places like restaurants, stores, theaters, stadiums, etc. Hotels are also one of the most widely recognized forms of public accommodation.

In fact, Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 kicks off its list of public accommodations with “any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests.”

According to federal law, a hotel will not be able to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 adds public accommodation protection to those with disabilities as well.

But there are also state laws that apply to public accommodations. Often times, these state laws include more protected classes. For example, the state of California prevents discrimination on the basis of the following:

  • sex
  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • ancestry
  • national origin
  • disability
  • medical condition
  • genetic information
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • citizenship
  • primary language
  • immigration status

They also make it clear that there could be other protected classes so denying someone service based on a personal characteristic is always a bad idea for a hotel.

And finally, cities also often have ordinances that have protected classes.

All of these different laws protecting people from discrimination are why those signs that say “we reserve the right to refuse service to any customer” don’t actually mean a business could turn away anybody for any reason.

They still have to take the law into consideration.

When hotels can deny a guest service

In general, a hotel can legally deny a guest service so long as they are not basing the decision on a protected personal characteristic.

Remember, such a characteristic could be protected on the federal, state, or local level (or all three).

While there may be many protected classes, those laws still leave open a lot of possibilities for hotels to deny lodging to someone.

But it’s not a good idea for hotels to deny service to any customer unless they have a very specific reason for doing so.

That’s because they could open the door to getting sued for discriminating against a protected class or just develop a really bad reputation for arbitrarily denying service to guests.

While denying service to someone should always be a big decision, denying lodging to someone can be particularly disastrous. That’s because depending on what other lodging options are available, a hotel could be essentially leaving someone without shelter for the night.

So typically a hotel would want to have a very specific (and objectively reasonable) justification for turning away a guest. Often this will be because the hotel wants to protect the health or safety of their guests and staff or for other well-recognized reasons.

Some states actually provide specific scenarios for when a guest could be denied service at a hotel.

These provide clarity to hotel owners so that they know they can avoid a lawsuit or criminal charges if they deny accommodations based on one of the published reasons.

Taking a look at those can help us understand the different scenarios where someone might be denied service and I’ve broken down some of those below.

Refusal to pay

It’s no surprise that a hotel can turn you away for not paying.

How would this actually play out?

If you were paying cash for your stay then it would be a simple matter of you not being able to supply the necessary cash to secure or pay for your booking.

But in the much more likely event you are paying with a credit card, it would probably come down to your card not being able to cover the deposit.

If someone under 21 or 18 is trying to check in, the hotel will probably require a responsible parent or adult to provide payment along with signing a form to show responsibility for any liability.

Drunk or disorderly conduct

Another common reason why someone might be denied service is if they show up to the hotel clearly intoxicated and/or causing a nuisance.

A little bit buzzed is probably okay but visibly intoxicated is a different story.

Intoxicated people tend to be prone to things like damaging property, violence, and just making people uncomfortable so this is clearly a valid reason to prevent people from coming in.

Sometimes use of profanity or lewd conduct falls under this disorderly conduct category as well. Basically, if you’re disturbing the peace of other guests you could be denied service.

Using the room to commit a crime

If the hotel reasonably believes that someone is going to use one of their hotel rooms for an unlawful purpose, that can be sufficient justification for declining service.

For example, someone could be planning on using a hotel room to sell drugs or run an illegal prostitution ring.

Another common situation could be kids under the age of 21 trying to use a hotel room to party it up and drink alcohol, smoke weed, etc.

Denying service on the basis of a hunch that someone will do something illegal can obviously be a risky endeavor because you could run the risk of being accused of discrimination of some sort if you get it wrong.

Hotel believes the guest is bringing in something that creates danger

If a hotel reasonably believes that a guest is bringing something into the room that creates a danger to other guests or the public, that could be a reason to decline service.

A classic example of this would be bringing a firearm into a hotel where they are not permitted. A more extreme example mentioned in some statutes would be someone bringing in some type of explosive or biological hazard.

Going above capacity

Hotels place restrictions on the number of people allowed in each room because they have to abide by the fire code.

Basically, fire codes limit the amount of people in each room so that in the event of an emergency, people can easily make it to the exits and the stairs.

If someone is actively bringing in more guests into the room than what they are allowed to bring, they could be creating a real safety hazard for other guests in the hotel. For that reason, a hotel could refuse to provide them service.

Refusal to abide by policies

If a guest refuses to abide by reasonable policies that are conspicuously posted or published that could be a reason to turn them away.

These policies need to be related to the operation in management of the hotel. So a hotel would not have success by saying that someone could not enter if they are wearing a Selena Gomez shirt, for example.

These type of policies became controversial during the coronavirus pandemic when hotels had policies requiring masks to be worn.

Kicked out guests

If the guest was already kicked out and now is attempting to book a new room at the hotel, the hotel likely has full authority to deny them lodging.

Sources: ID, NH, OK, PA

Final word

A hotel can deny service to customers but they have to be very careful they are not discriminating on the basis of a protected class. For that reason, states often publish laws that specify certain instances where a hotel can deny lodging without having to worry about breaking the law. Typically, these would be situations where people are being disorderly, engaged in criminal acts, or failing to pay.

Pet Friendly Hotels vs “Accepts Pets” – What Are the Differences?

If you’re thinking about traveling to a hotel with your pet then chances are you have already started looking for hotels where pets are allowed. Something you may not realize is that there are different levels to these type of properties.

Some of these hotels could be classified as truly pet friendly (or pet positive) while others merely accept or tolerate pets.

It may not seem like a significant difference but whenever you dive into the differences between these type of properties, you realize that your experience with your pet could be dramatically different based on the type of hotel you choose.

Below, I will highlight the differences between a pet friendly hotel and a hotel that only tolerates pets. You’ll see what you might be missing out on and hopefully will have a better idea of what to look for when shopping around for your next hotel stay with your pet.

What’s the difference between a pet friendly hotel and a hotel that just accepts pets?

The major difference between a hotel that is pet friendly and a hotel that just accepts pets is the approach they take to catering to pets such as dogs.

A pet friendly hotel will be more welcoming and provide more amenities for your pet while an “accepts pets” property may take a more minimal approach to catering to your furry friend.

I’ll provide examples that I’ve encountered below as we have traveled with our pup to dozens of hotels over the past few years.

Pet friendly Hotels

A pet friendly hotel chooses to go out of their way to make you and your pet more welcomed and comfortable. They do this in several ways.

For one, the staff may be trained to be more welcoming to you and your pet whenever you arrive, to the point of even welcoming your pet by name.

You won’t feel like you are “bothering” people when you walk in the lobby with your dog.

Instead, you may be greeted with a smile and showered with compliments on how adorable your dog is.

And it may not just be the front desk who shows interest in your animal — you’ll also find other personnel like the valet or housekeeping who also appreciate your doggo.

Pet friendly hotels are known to offer special amenities. For example, they may have a special dog bowl, dog bed, toys, and bandanna that they provide you with. Doggy treats usually abound.

Related: Bringing a Dog to a Hotel: Essential Tips for a Good Stay

To make things clear for housekeeping they may give you a hanging door handle placard to place on your door so that housekeeping knows there is a pet hanging out inside. Dog friendly hotels may take it a step further and put your dog’s name on the placard, just to add a little special touch.

Sometimes they have a special designated (well-kept) area for your pet to relieve themselves. And nearby you can also find dispensers with poop bags to clean up after your dog’s bathroom sessions.

Another way that dog friendly hotels stand out is that they may not limit you to the most basic rooms or stick you to a room separated from the main hotel.

For example, you might still be able to get a good upgrade or get put in a high level room even with your pet. Pet friendly hotels also may keep up with the pet rooms better so that they don’t become run down and have strong odors.

If you are really lucky a pet friendly hotel might even have a service where they will help take care of your dog.

That could be keeping an eye on them while you are away or even getting professionals to help take your dog for a walk. This is not common but it is offered by some hotels.

These type of properties may even have a “dog concierge” that will help you find pet friendly restaurants, groomers, local vets, etc.

Hotels like the Fairmont even have something called Canine Ambassadors. These are dogs that greet guests and other pets when they arrive at the hotel. Sometimes guests can even hang out with the dogs on trails and around the hotel!

All of these amenities make your stay a little bit easier and don’t make you feel like you are a nuisance or intruding when you bring your animal around.

Pet friendly hotels will usually charge a pet fee which is also used to cover some of the amenities they offer. But it is possible to find a pet friendly hotel that does not charge a fee! That is the ultimate type of pet friendly hotel!

There are some brands that are known for being more pet friendly overall and these include brands like:

While some Westin properties may not accept pets, we’ve had good experiences bringing our pup with us on a handful of different Westin stays. I’d consider them to be a pretty pet friendly brand.

Related: Rental Car Company Pet Policies: How to Avoid Getting Charged Hundreds of Dollars!

Hotels that just accept pets

Hotels that merely accept pets sometimes don’t offer you any type of amenity or special welcome bag. The only pet related exchange you have is whenever you check in and fill out your form for your pet and pay the pet fee.

At these properties, you also might get put into select rooms that don’t have great views, don’t smell the greatest, etc. And if you were hoping for an upgrade, you can forget about it.

I’ve stayed at some hotels that do offer doggy treats or some type of simple doggy bag with a treat or two inside so they at least provide you with something. But outside of that they really don’t do anything to cater to your pet and so they still don’t feel very pet friendly.

Sometimes at these properties you get the feeling that the staff doesn’t really care to have pets around. You get minimal interactions and acknowledgment and you don’t generally feel like your pet is as welcomed as you would like.

It’s also possible that if your dog acts up a little bit, the hotel may have less tolerance towards your pet and be quicker to apply some type of nuisance fee.

These hotels also may apply pet fees that make it extra hard on pet owners.

For example, their rates may be double or triple what you would normally expect to pay or they charge you a per night fee that adds up very quickly. With the pricing, you get the feeling that it’s more of a deterrent to keep pets away than to help accommodate them.

These type of hotels may also have low weight limits which can make it hard for you to bring your dog along if you have a medium or large sized dog. For example, they may limit dogs to under 25 pounds. Another limitation could be on the number of pets you have which usually is one or two.

Compare that to the most pet friendly hotels who may have no limits on the number of pets and also no weight limits.

How to know if your hotel is pet friendly or not

It’s easy to filter for a hotel that allows pets such as dogs when utilizing a search feature.

But unless you book a brand such as Kimpton that is well-known for catering to pets, you may not always know if your hotel is going to be pet friendly.

That’s because some brands don’t have universal (corporate) policies on pets.

One of the best ways to find out is to simply search through reviews of that hotel for the words “pet” and “pet friendly” or “dog” and “dog friendly” and you can see what other people are saying about the treatment of their pets.

If you’re not able to find anything useful in the reviews then you can call up the property and ask them what type of amenities they offer for pets.

If they don’t have anything then chances are they are not a pet friendly hotel.

But if they offer things like beds, treats, toys, and especially if they have designated pet areas or extra services, there is a high chance that that property is pet friendly and your pet will be welcomed with open arms.

The other thing you can look at is the restrictions. If you’re facing a lot of weight and size restrictions along with higher pet fees that hotel may not be very pet friendly.

Final word

It’s nice bringing your pet to a pet friendly hotel because you don’t feel like your pet is a nuisance and it feels good to have the staff welcome your pet along with yourself.

It’s also great to have extra treats and dog bowls or poop bags for your dog just in case you don’t have them or find yourself in a bind.

So anytime you plan on bringing your dog to a hotel it’s worth spending a little bit of extra time to verify if the hotel is pet friendly.

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park Review: Historic, Unique & Wonderful

When I review hotels, even hotels I really love, it’s extremely rare that I have an experience where I can’t find at least a couple of things that could be improved or that fell just a little short.

But that’s what recently blew me away when I stayed at The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park in El Paso, Texas. It was only a one night stay but everything about the hotel was on point and I left this property really wanting to spend more time there.

In this review article, I will walk you through this memorable stay and give you some insight into this historic gem of a hotel. As with the vast majority of hotel stays we review here, this was not a sponsored stay.

Hotel overview

The history of The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park dates back to 1899 when the Sheldon Hotel was opened here.

It served as an unofficial headquarters during the Mexican Revolution and it’s where President William Howard Taft stayed during his historic meeting with Mexico’s President Porfirio Díaz.

Unfortunately, the hotel burned down in 1929 but entrepreneur Conrad Hilton had plans to build an even bigger hotel.

Things got off to a rocky start as the stock market crashed just days after construction but Conrad pushed on and opened the new high-rise hotel in 1930 with its famous art deco design.

It was actually the first high-rise Hilton hotel and you can still find signs of that like the original Hilton logos found on the elevator doors.

High profile guests were drawn to this El Paso beacon over the decades including Elizabeth Taylor, who lived in the hotel during the filming of the 1956 blockbuster, Giant. 

After some ownership changes, El Paso businessman Paul Foster purchased the property in 2008 as part of a greater effort to revitalize Downtown El Paso.

A lot of work was done to restore the hotel to its original art deco glory and it was re-opened in 2020 after major renovations.

The independent hotel now houses 130 rooms and suites and you’ll find traces of its past along with inspiring local artwork as you explore its wonderfully restored corridors.


The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park is located right in the heart of Downtown El Paso. It’s just across the street from another historic hotel, Hotel Paso Del Norte (full review).

You’ll find San Jacinto Plaza adjacent to the hotel which during the holidays is beautifully lit and a good spot for grabbing some hot cocoa.

Other nearby sites include: the El Paso Museum of Art, the Plaza Theatre, the Judson F. Williams Convention Center, the Abraham Chavez Theatre and Southwest University Park.

And Mexico? It’s only eight blocks away.

Parking and Check-in

The hotel offers valet parking for a modest $25 + tax and comes with unlimited in and out access. If you want to use self parking, that’s available at 100 East San Antonio Avenue for $20 + tax with unlimited in and out access.

Our check-in experience was top notch.

We arrived around 2:30 PM and were greeted by the friendly valet staff and then taken care of by the front desk. Without any hiccups, we were given a room key and then on our way to the 16th floor!

I was first struck by the beautiful historic elevators and hanging art installation meant to mimic the night stars.

You’ll notice there’s an old post office mailbox between the elevators. During renovations, they opened the chute and found old letters from the 1930s. You can find those letters on display in the lobby and see what some travelers were writing about almost 100 years ago!

The hotel uses a modern touchscreen app to operate the elevators which is an interesting juxtaposition to such historic elevator doors. But this trend of seamlessly merging the historic with the modern is something that they do very well at this hotel.

The Landmark Suite

This stay capped off a long road trip from Arizona to Southeast Texas and back so we were really looking forward to being able to enjoy one night at a nice luxury property.

So we decided to book The Landmark Suite.

The hotel has six of these and they are very well done and spacious with 755 square ft.

Your first enter the entryway where you will find an impressive half bath with plenty of space and even a nice view.

Just by the decor, lighting, and countertops of the half bath, I really could tell the room was going to live up to expectations.

Next, in the entryway you’ll have your selection of snacks and alcohol from the minibar if that is your thing. From Grey Goose to Don Julio, you have a pretty good selection of liquor and tequila.

They also offer a Nespresso machine when many hotels simply go for a basic coffee maker.

Below that, you can find juices and soda in a mini fridge along with wine and champagne.

You’ll then enter the corner-room living area of the suite which offers a luxurious feel with burgundy and champagne and cream furnishings. A large 55 inch TV hangs on the wall surrounded by comfortable seating for a handful of guests.

Although it was just Brad and I and Elroy (our corgi) on this stay, I really got the sense that the suites would be great for larger groups congregating for things like weddings and other special events. It’s just a really nice place to hang out.

Speaking of our pup, the hotel went out of their way to provide accommodations for him including a dog bed and food and water bowl. We got the sense that the hotel was truly “pet friendly” and not just an “accepts pets” hotel.

You’ll then make your way into the work area, which sort of forms a junior suite with the bedroom.

There’s a workstation with a comfortable chair and a couple of nice touches.

Connect your phone to the Bluetooth speaker (easy to do) and you’ll be surprised how loud and quality this sound will be from this small Tivoli speaker box.

I liked the custom stationary found on the workstation as you rarely see both pens and pencils furnished and I’m always a fan of a well-branded property.

Across from the desk is another couch with some interesting wall decor placed above it.

You’ll find that the suite combines a West Texas feel with historic 1930s patterns and local artwork in a very complementary way. You’ll also have no shortage of outlets wherever you go.

Then there is the king bedroom.

Once again, well done with an elegant color scheme of champagne, cream, and burgundy accents.

It’s home to an ultra comfy mattress with high quality sheets and bedding.

I usually struggle to get good sleep on a one night stay because it takes me a couple of nights to get acclimated to a new bed and surroundings. But this was one of those rare occasions where I got some great rest.

One side of the bed has the Arne Jacobsen-designed alarm clock and on the other side you’ll find the phone along with two interesting water bottles.

If you’re looking for the outlets, they are inside of the end tables. Just pull out the top drawer and you’ll see them.

It was nice having the 55 inch TV with Chromecast.

The bedroom also has a spacious powder room with good lighting, mirrors, and plenty of counter space.

This is also where you will find the slippers and Matouk robes for those headed to pamper town.

One thing I haven’t even mentioned yet are the smart features in the room.

Motion sensors will turn on the lights as you make your way through the room, which made us feel right at home since that is how we have set up our living space.

Powered blinds and shades, operated from controls on the wall, easily reveal sweeping views from your room or quickly shut off the light if you need to.

Then there is the bathroom. Like everything in the suite, it’s spacious.

You’ll find a double sink counter with beautiful mirrors, light fixtures, and marble-clad counters.

I loved the Brizo fixtures found in the bathroom and the H20Kinetic massage and handheld shower heads. And of course, quality (and plush) Matouk towels could be found along with Le Labo bath products.

Dining at Ámbar Restaurante

In order to make the most of our one night stay, we opted to have dinner at Ámbar Restaurante and I’m very glad that we did for a couple of reasons.

First, if you are into the history of the hotel it’s a great place to check out because you’ll once again get a great sense of that history as you get seated at a table located on the original flooring of the property.

Second, the service and dining were top-notch at this unique wood-fired Mexican restaurant.

We kicked off the dining experience with a virgin Mojito and Brad went with the Divorcee, the signature cocktail with cilantro.

And then we were faced with a major culinary decision. Our server insisted that we should try out the bone marrow the hotel is known for.

I’d seen the bone marrow pop-up before in my research on the property but I didn’t necessarily think I’d be trying it when we stayed because it just seemed a little bit “primitive” for my liking.

But we are always trying to not back down from new experiences so it didn’t take much for us to agree to give it a shot.

Scooping out goopy marrow from the core of a large bone may make you feel like a caveman and have you second guessing your life choices.

But when you pair it with the grilled bolillo and spice it up with some salsa macha, it’s not hard to down the marrow at all — you might be surprised about the flavor it packs. (Bone marrow is also a super food in case you were wondering.)

As for the main dishes, I went with what was essentially a beef fajita dish and Brad went with a tenderloin steak. We left extremely satisfied with our meals and just enjoyed the overall dining experience. In fact, we returned for breakfast the next morning and had another satisfying meal.

If you are a drinker then you will obviously want to check out the beautiful bar area.

It’s home to one of the largest tequila selections on the continent where bartenders have to harness in to retrieve some of the bottles. Housed in a large historic atrium, you almost feel like you’re visiting some sort of agave cathedral and perhaps you are.

The hotel also puts on special tequila tastings where you can learn how to sip tequila and pair it with food items.

The rooftop terrace

While the hotel does not have a pool, they have a beautiful rooftop terrace area where you can grab drinks and select food items. It’s located on the 17th floor and it is where you will find the bar, La Perla.

Beautiful archways showcase the hotel’s renown Pueblo Revival Art Deco architectural style and it’s a great vantage point being the highest outdoor viewpoint in El Paso.

One of the cool facts about the rooftop terrace is that it is the former area that made up the hotel’s old penthouse. It’s where Elizabeth Taylor stayed during the filming of one of her movies that took place in Marfa, Texas.

We ventured up there around sunset and enjoyed a beautiful desert sunset with memorable views of the Franklin Mountains, surrounding El Paso area, and even out to Mexico. The plaza lit up beautifully below us.

The fitness center

The hotel has a state of the art fitness center. (You may need to ask around to find the stairs down to it because it was a little bit difficult for us to find but you’ll be pointed in the right direction.)

Inside you’ll find free weights, treadmills, machines, elliptical, and some floor space to get things done.

One thing that stood out is they had one of those mirror work out apps that I don’t think I have seen in many hotels yet.

Final word

I may be a little bit biased because of how much I enjoy staying in historic properties but this hotel is truly a gem.

It’s hard not to compare it to the Paso Del Norte because they are so close to each other and are both iconic historic hotels that were recently renovated.

I don’t know if I can choose between the two because I loved both but I do think that the Plaza Hotel stood out to me in that I could really feel the history when staying here. I think this is a tremendous venue for groups who want a place to congregate and of course tequila fans could not do any better.

I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel.

Why Hotels Don’t Have A 13th Floor [2023]

You may have been on a hotel elevator before and noticed that there was no button for the 13th floor.

Or, maybe you are like a lot of hotel guests and you’ve never paid attention to the numbers on the elevator panel.

Either way, believe it or not a lot of hotels try to avoid having a (named) 13th floor and sometimes even avoid having rooms with the number 13.

In this article, I’ll break down why some hotels have a missing 13th floor and what some properties are doing as an alternative.

Why do hotels not have a 13th floor?

Many hotels do not have a 13th floor because a sizable segment of the US population does not want to stay in a room on the 13th floor due to phobias or superstitious beliefs.

By not having a named 13th floor, hotels can avoid issues with these guests and attract more potential customers.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How many hotels don’t have a 13th floor?

There may not be exact data on how many hotels don’t have a 13th floor but the Otis Elevators company estimates that “85% of the buildings with their elevators do not have a named 13th floor.

That’s a very significant number and so I would expect that many, if not most hotels in the US, may not have a named 13th floor.

In fact, this number is backed up by the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, which states that over 80% of high-rise buildings in the US do not have a 13th floor.

When it comes to missing 13th floors it’s not just hotels either.

You can commonly find missing 13th floors in hospitals and missing gate 13s in airports.

How bothered are hotel guests by the 13th floor?

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, 13% of Americans reported that they would be bothered if given a hotel room on the 13th floor.

Also, close to 10% indicated that they would be so bothered that they would actually request a room on a different floor.

(Women were more than twice as likely as men to say they would be bothered.)

It almost seems too coincidental that 13% happened to be the number of Americans that would be bothered but there could be a pretty legitimate and somewhat serious reason for why so many people would be troubled.

It’s called triskaidekaphobia: which is essentially a phobia of the number 13.

Triskaidekaphobia is a legit phobia and can cause symptoms like persistent feelings of fear or anxiety.

It seems to affect about 10% of the population. That number appears to be in line with the 2007 Gallup poll which would explain why about a 10th of the population would request to be moved to a room not on the 13th floor.

Having about 10% of your guests affected by something probably does not seem like a large enough segment to cause such a “drastic” action as removing a floor.

But from the eyes of a hotel owner, you could see it as optimizing sales for ~10% of potential customers with the simple and cheap solution of replacing a hotel button.

So from that perspective it makes a lot of sense that you would not see a named 13th floor in a lot of hotels or residential buildings.

Related: Why Hotel Rooms Have Bibles & Why That’s Changing

Why the number 13 is closely linked to superstition

So why exactly would the number 13 be so problematic for so many people?

The answer is probably that there are just a lot of “unfortunate” historical or mythological events involving the number 13.

These have been passed down for centuries with each iteration only strengthening the connection between 13 and negative outcomes.

Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known events linked to the number 13 being unlucky or a sign of bad things to come.

Ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi

The Ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi (which is the best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East and dates back to 1700 BC) may have played a big role in shaping how we view the number 13.

The code left out the number 13 from its laws, which may have caused people to worry about why that was the case.

It was later reported that this was due to a clerical error but the foundation for being suspicious about all things 13-related may have already been created.


Norse mythology may also be one of the earliest sources to trace back a fear of the number 13 and it all starts with Loki.

According to Nowegian American:

Apparently twelve deities sat down for a meal at a gods’ feast only to have Loki, the god of mischief and disorder, come along and crash the party. He rose the number to thirteen, causing one of the gods to die during the meal.”

Judas Iscariot

At the Last Supper Judas Iscariot came along as the 13th guest and ended up betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, ultimately leading to Jesus’ crucifixion.

The story mirrors the Loki story and likely drilled home the superstition between the connection of imminent death and having 13 guests for a meal.

12 is a perfect number

Some societies have thought as 12 as a type of “perfect” number.

There are 12 months in the year, 12 days of Christmas, 12 zodiac signs, 12 tribes of Israel, etc.

So naturally (to many people), when 13 rolls around it offsets the perfect established balance of 12 and is therefore problematic.

Friday the 13th

There’s some speculation on how exactly Friday the 13th came about.

Some link it to roots in Christianity with Friday being the day Jesus was crucified or even the day Adam gave Eve the forbidden fruit.

But it seems that the unlucky association between Friday and the 13th became more of an issue in the early 1900s in connection to Wall Street and the stock market.

The superstition likely steadily grew over time through the decades and then really took off with the movie Friday the 13th in 1980.

The emergence of superstition around Friday the 13th probably only bolstered the superstitious beliefs related to all things 13, including the bad luck involved in staying on the 13th floor.

Modern tragedies

People looking to modern tragedies can point to a number of coincidences involving the number of 13.

For example, princess Diana died at the 13th pillar of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

The space shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on the 113th flight of the shuttle (which seems like an awful lot of flights).

More than likely, it’s just a fact that tragedies always have happened and will continue to happen and some of them will occur in such away that somehow relates to the number 13.

Nevertheless, for some people these coincidences will only strengthen the superstition that 13 should be avoided and add more fuel to the fire for hotel owners to avoid having a 13th floor.

Related: Hidden Cameras In Hotel Rooms!? Tools To Find Them & Where To Look

Beginnings of skyscrapers

It’s clear that there are a lot of different ways superstition is tethered to the number 13.

But when was the connection made to high-rises and then to hotels?

It doesn’t seem like history offers us a clear answer but we do have an idea of how it came about.

The world’s first skyscraper (the Home Insurance Building in Chicago) did not come on the scene until 1885.

This building was 138 feet tall and had a total of 10 stories which was crazy tall at the time (it was later raised to 12 stories in 1891).

The idea of building taller buildings, and buildings that would reach to the 13th story and beyond made some people weary (but for practical reasons).

They thought that the tall buildings would cast huge shadows across the city that would be unsightly and deprive city dwellers of much-needed sunshine.

The high-rises could also contribute to more congestion and cause property values to plummet.

Then there was probably the issue of fires.

The great Chicago fire in 1871 was probably still on the minds of many people with respect to city building.

Those reasons may have slowed down the pursuit of a 13th+ floor but it was clear that at the time (the late 1800s) there was already considerable superstition swirling around the number 13.

For example, this was same time that the Thirteen Club came into existence (1881) in an effort to get rid of the superstition around the number 13.

You could imagine people thinking: If a fire were to randomly break out in a high-rise building, what floor would be the most likely candidate?

So testing the building limits while sprinkling in a little bit of 13th floor voodoo that could scare off customers was probably not high on the priority list for high-rise developers.

When developers finally decided to exceed 13 floors it was probably the deep rooted fear of the number 13 — that had been passed down for centuries — that laid the groundwork for avoiding the 13th floor in the future altogether.

Alternatives to the 13th floor

So if a hotel does not want to have a 13th floor, what exactly do they do?

They have a few different options and I’ll describe each one below.

Skipping the 13th floor

The most common method for dealing with the number 13 problem is to simply skip it on the elevator panel.

This means that if you looked at an elevator you would simply see:

11, 12, 14, 15…

If you were to get off on the 14th floor, that would actually be the 13th story of the building, so there is still a 13th floor but it is just not “named.” For many people that is good enough.

However, altering labels for floor levels could make things difficult for first responders which is one reason why some areas have banned the practice.

Renumbered 13th floor

Some properties will simply re-number or rename the 13th floor.

At these properties, you might see something like:

11, 12, 12A, 14, 15…

Or you could see:

11, 12, 14A, 14, 15.

They could also use the letter “M” which happens to be the 13th letter of the Latin alphabet and also could stand for something like “mechanical floor” or “maintenance floor.”

Empty 13th floor

A hotel that is very serious about the 13th floor superstition might leave the entire floor empty.

Or more likely, it could be used for things like storage or mechanical use and perhaps accessed from a special maintenance elevator or staircase.

Unlucky numbers in other cultures

If you visit other destinations around the world, they don’t treat 13 the same way.

In fact, 13 could actually be a lucky number in some cultures, such as with the ancient Egyptians or perhaps even in Italy.

Other numbers could be problematic, though.

For example, in Asia, certain countries like China treat the number four similar to how the West treats 13.

The number four sounds very similar to death and hotels will actually try to avoid the number for as much as possible in certain locations (a tough gig for Four Seasons hotels).

Final word

For centuries, there has been superstition around the number 13.

There are multiple reasons why that might be the case but at the end of the day it seems like there is just something about that number that rubs people the wrong way.

When it comes to hotels, many properties want to accommodate as many guests as they can and because a sizable percentage of the population has an issue with staying in a room on the 13th floor, many hotels have taken measures to avoid having a named 13th floor.

Sharing Hotel Rooms: Do’s and Don’ts for Business & Couples [2022]

Some businesses require or ask employees to share hotel rooms when on business travel. As a frequent traveler and business owner who values high-performing employees, I am here to tell you why this is a bad idea.

First, we’re going to talk about sharing rooms solely for business travel. I’ll break down some of the concerns that a lot of people may not think about or even want to talk about. By the end of it, hopefully, you’ll see the light and realize that shared hotel rooms is not the way to go in most cases.

Then I will talk about a different predicament that occurs when sharing hotel rooms which is sharing rooms as unmarried spouses or same-sex spouses in destinations that are not so welcoming to “non-traditional” couples.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Sharing hotel rooms for business travel

As an experienced traveler and business owner, I feel pretty strongly that asking employees to share hotel rooms is a very bad decision.

There are two exceptions to my position, though.

If your company culture is designed in such a way that sharing rooms is not a big deal then obviously it won’t be a problem. This might be the case in a small start up full of close-knit relationships or certain industries where there is less privacy involved on a regular basis.

Also, on something like an informal company retreat, things might be a little bit different since the focus of the trip is on relaxation and perhaps relationship building.

But when the primary purpose of the travel is to conduct business, I don’t think sharing rooms is a wise choice.

Let’s go through the top reasons why it is such a horrible idea.

You want well-rested employees

The biggest reason why you don’t want your employees sharing a hotel room this because you want them to be performing at an optimal level when out on business travel.

Consider that reducing sleep by only 1.5 hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent.

Whether it is participating in discussions in a meeting, presenting in court, speaking at a major convention, touring a facility, you don’t want your employees to be more hampered than they already will be just from traveling.

Here are some reasons why your employees may not get good rest when sharing a room.

By forcing workers to share a hotel room with another employee, you are essentially forcing your employee to remain “on” at all times.

This is even more so the case if you are pairing an executive or manager with a subordinate.

Unless the employee sharing the room already has a very intimate relationship with the other person, that employee is most likely going to feel pressure to keep their “work face” on for 24 hours.

That can be extremely taxing for some people and could definitely impact their sleep and thus work performance in a major way.

This is especially true if you are dealing with an introverted employee.

The worst case would probably be pairing an extrovert with an introvert. This is because the extrovert would happily discuss work or just life happenings throughout the evening while the introvert is desperately attempting to recharge for the next day.

Another problem is that employees could have vastly different and incompatible sleeping preferences.

Let’s say that one employee has to sleep with the TV on or with a white noise machine but the other one demands complete silence. That’s going to be a major problem.

Temperature is another major consideration. If two people have vastly different preferences for nighttime temperatures that could cause one of them to miss out on a good night of sleep.

And what about if one employee normally sleeps in the nude (like 17% of the population)?

They may struggle to get comfortable all night by not removing their clothes and if they do strip down, you might be introducing grounds for some sort of sexual harassment/legal liability or personell rift within your company.

Then there is the possibility that one employee does not keep up with their hygiene.

Are you really going to force another employee to bunk with them and then endure odors and a space cluttered with dirty clothes and room service remnants?

Bear in mind, so far we are only talking about two people sharing a room. These issues get multiplied as you start to approach the limit of guests for a hotel room.

Overall, taking away these type of comforts from your employees might seem very small but they all add up and can make your employees uncomfortable, unmotivated, and unhappy.

Employees may not always voice their concerns about these but you can virtually count on them quietly contemplating them as they take toll after toll on their productivity and morale.

Bottom line: If you want your team to perform at an optimal level, prioritize good sleep for them on business travel.


Irrespective of introvert or extrovert status, a lot of people just want privacy.

Consider that seven percent of the population (21 million Americans) suffer from paruresis, which is also known as “shy bladder syndrome.” The idea of going to the bathroom in quiet, close-quarters while a coworker or boss sits back only a feet away from their bathroom door is enough to set off cascades of anxiety.

Or perhaps an employee has a really bad snoring habit (like a quarter of the population) and they will find it really embarrassing to share a sleeping space with another employee who certainly will not appreciate the snoring.

A lot of people like to meditate or do yoga these days and can find it difficult or impossible to have a good session with a stranger sitting up in a bed three feet away watching Sports Center.

And maybe your employee has a presentation to give the next day? Are they going to be able to practice and rehearse the presentation if they can’t get alone time in their room?

There is also the whole showering and changing aspect of things. Not everyone is comfortable getting dressed in front of coworkers or acquaintances and having to go in and out of the bathroom to get dressed is just annoying.

Under no circumstances would I ever ask employees to share a bed either. I don’t care if it is a California king bed, requiring or even asking employees to share a bed is just opening up a whole new legal can of worms and is low-key disrespectful.

And yes, they could request a rollaway bed but that brings us to the main point of this article regarding sharing a room.

Medical reasons

Related to general privacy is medical privacy.

A lot of people have medical issues that they are mostly able to conceal while working a typical day job at the office. In fact, only 39% of employees with disabilities have disclosed them to their manager.

Perhaps they have established procedures for dealing with bathroom issues or taking certain types of medications.

But if they were required to share a hotel room — especially for something like an extended stay — they may have to reveal pretty sensitive things about them.

The last thing you want is an employee stressing out every night about “coming out” with a major medical issue when you are trying to conduct business at a high-level.

Co-worker hostility

If you are forcing your employees to endure the discomforts above there’s a good chance they might blame you or the company.

But there is also a high chance they will blame the person (co-worker) causing the annoyances. This could cause rifts within your team and could cancel out any of the “team building” you were hoping would happen by sharing rooms.

It sends the wrong message

By forcing employees to share a hotel room you also are sending the wrong message as a business owner. You are essentially telling them that their comfort and privacy needs are not important enough for you to accommodate them.

It also may raise questions about how well resourced you are as a business if you can’t afford to offer individual hotel rooms to your employees. I mean, can you really afford to send your employees out on business travel if you can’t afford to offer them individual rooms?

If you have to make them share a room

If you are going to require your employees to share a hotel room at least be considerate enough to try to book a hotel suite with multiple bedrooms (not just something like a junior suite).

If each employee has their own bedroom and ideally bathroom that really should not be a problem because they should be able to retain a high level of privacy that would alleviate most of the issues above.

Sharing a room as an unmarried couple or same-sex couple

Sharing a hotel room as an unmarried couple or same-sex couple is a completely different matter.

In this situation, the hotel guests want to share a room and/or share a bed but there may be a worry about some sort of taboo custom or even violation of the law in a country.

For example, several countries still do not permit same sex couples to get married and have even criminalized homosexual activity.

If we are talking about a city like Dubai, the rule of thumb is to just keep things private.

Let’s say that you are a gay couple — two males or two females.

It’s very possible that you could book a single room for the two of you to share — even one with just one king bed — and not encounter any issues. In fact, you might find the hotel staff to be extremely welcoming and warm to you even if they can probably infer you are traveling as a same-sex couple.

This is true even when visiting destinations like the Maldives where it is obvious you are visiting for some sort of romantic getaway.

How do I know this?

I’ve traveled with Brad as a gay married couple over the past seven years to several countries that on the books are extremely anti-gay. In every circumstance we’ve booked a single room with a single king bed and have not encountered any issues.

There have been those slightly awkward moments where they ask if we want two separate beds but once we clarify we want a single bed there has never been an outward negative response.

Where things get questionable is when you are dealing with public displays of affection.

For example, if you are a gay couple at a hotel in the Middle East making out in the hotel lobby and then you head to your shared hotel room, you may have attracted attention to yourself and could end up in a pretty bad situation.

So when sharing a hotel room in a place that is not welcoming to your type of relationship it basically comes down to using common sense and erring on the side of being discreet.

Of course, you should also always be prepared for the unexpected. While Brad and I have never had issues with sharing rooms/beds in suspect countries, it’s always possible something could come up on your stay.

Final word

Sharing a hotel room for business travel is something I would always recommend against unless it just absolutely cannot be avoided or you have a business culture where it is not a problem. But for most standard companies, it sends the wrong message to your employees and may cause them to underperform just so you can save a few bucks.

When it comes to sharing a hotel room for non-traditional couples in certain countries it is often not a problem but you still need to be aware of drawing attention to yourself and be prepared for a potential situation.

How Do Hotels Keep Their Sheets So White?

Hotels are famous for providing exquisitely clean and white sheets.

You’ve probably never seen cleaner white sheets than in a hotel room (or at least that’s how we hope your experience has been — there are definitely some less desirable experiences out there).

But at a quality property, hotel sheets are almost always clean, white, and soft — like they just came out of the packaging.

And there’s a good reason for that.

Hotels invest heavily in cleaning technology. They use the best soaps and the latest washing machines and employ the best cleaning practices.

They do this because clean white sheets give a luxurious feel and prove the room is clean. While you can’t do everything that hotels do, you can replicate hotels’ cleaning methods at home. 

How do hotels keep their sheets so white?

Walk into a hotel room, and you’ll be greeted with a pristine white hotel sheet. Not only will it not have any visible stains or creases, but it’ll also be soft to the touch. You might even think the sheet’s brand new just for you. It most likely isn’t. 

Hotels do purchase new sheets when needed. But they don’t give every guest a new sheet. Instead, hotels keep their sheets white and clean by constantly cleaning them with some powerful tools. 

They do this because large numbers of hotel guests will use and dirty up the sheets over time. And it’s more economical to clean existing sheets than to buy new ones for every guest. As for how they clean the sheets? Hint: They don’t use regular bleach and hot water. 

Naturally, since hotels have to deal with a mountain of laundry every day, they can’t hand wash every sheet with a stain. Instead, hotels have a few unique cleaning methods: 

  1. Stain removers and soaps

They use large quantities of stain removers and the latest soaps to wipe away stains. 

  1. Batch cleaning 

Hotels commonly place a large amount of laundry in a big “pot” containing a mixture of cold water, laundry detergent, and baking soda. They’ll boil the sheets in this for up to half an hour before wiring the laundry. 

  1. Fabric softener and bleach 

The final step involves using fabric softener and bleach to bring out the sheet’s white color. They’ll use cold water since hot water breaks down linen faster. 

Getting those bed sheets clean and white is an expensive and time-consuming process. Hotels use a lot of water and energy. But they do it because it saves them from buying new sheets for every guest. 

In fact, hotels invest heavily in the latest cleaning technology. For example, they’ll use cleaning solutions and tech that even breaks down microscopic dirt with modulated ultrasonic waves.

Related: Do Hotels Wash Bedding Between Stays?

Why do hotels use white sheets?

White sheets are expensive to maintain. They’re also notoriously easy to stain. So why use them? It’s because they’re luxurious. Also, since they’re easy to stain, an unstained white sheet proves the sheets are clean

Imagine if hotels used darker-colored sheets. It’d be much harder to tell if they’re clean. In contrast, an unstained white sheet is an instant proof that it’s clean. So hotels use the fact that white sheets are easy to stain to their advantage. 

An unstained white sheet just looks clean. It’s more likely to please guests, giving a hotel room a more luxurious feel. Even a dated room looks much better with clean white sheets, giving it a fresh and clean appearance. 

Hotels know this, and they want to give you a good impression. They know giving you cleaner and nicer-looking rooms means you’re more likely to stay again. So it’s worth it for them to invest in cleaning white sheets if it means more people stay. 

The final reason why hotels use white sheets is that they’re easier to clean. If all your sheets are white, you can wash them all together instead of sorting them separately. 

5 rules for keeping hotel sheets white

Hotels use these five rules to keep their sheets clean and white. 

1. Spot cleaning prevents permanent staining.

Spot cleaning is the best way to remove permanent stains, especially on white sheets. Spot cleaning will always be more effective than dumping large amounts of detergent in the laundry. 

So hotel personnel are required to separate deep stained sheets for cleaning. The deep stained sheets are then brought to a separate laundry area. The deep stained sheets are treated separately. 

Hotels use Heavy Duty Detergent (HTD) to spot clean deep stains. HTD contains phosphates that remove even the worst stains–far more effectively than indiscriminate cleaning. 

In fact, spot cleaning is the only effective way for anyone to remove deep stains–hotel or not. You just can’t remove deep stains by repeated cleaning. In fact, doing so will likely just damage the rest of the sheet. 

Related: Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping?

2. Use of different washing techniques

Hotel sheets receive different types of stains, i.e., juice stains, tomato stains from makeup and greasy food, etc. Different stains have to be treated differently. Else, they won’t get washed properly. 

So hotels have different stains identified and treated accordingly. 

  • Sheets with makeup stains are soaked in chlorine bleach, water, and detergent before being rinsed. 
  • Tomato stains are pre-treated, then bleached. 
  • Greasy food stains are broken down with sweeteners to break down the oil and baking powder before being washed. 

Hotels usually clean stained sheets first because it’s generally better to clean a stain as early as possible. Their laundry departments are trained to identify and treat the different stains appropriately. 

3. Use of peroxide detergent

Most people assume the only way to clean a white sheet is with bleach. In reality, while bleach is a good cleaning agent, it’s not always ideal. Bleach is caustic, meaning it can burn and corrode the sheet’s fibers. So hotels don’t use it all the time. 

Instead, they use peroxide-based laundry detergents for most of their cleaning. These types of detergents are highly effective but less caustic than bleach. Peroxide-based detergents even help prevent white sheets from graying or yellowing

So hotels use peroxide detergent regularly to clean their sheets. It’s an effective agent for removing most stains. 

4. Use of Cold Water & Drying

Contrary to popular opinion, hot water isn’t the best for cleaning sheets. That’s because hot water breaks the linen fibers more easily than cold water. For that reason, hotels use cold water. 

They can’t afford white sheets regularly breaking down after cleaning. They’ll only use hot water for deep stains. All other sheets are regularly cleaned with cold water. 

Hotels are also careful about laundry soap use. They calculate the amount needed to distribute evenly in a laundry pile. Using too little or too much won’t properly clean the sheets. 

After cleaning, they reduce dry time by using a lower setting since drying quickly wears fibers faster. 

5. Using a Professional linen service provider

Smaller hotels can’t afford a professional in-house laundry facility. Those are expensive. Luckily for them, they can outsource their laundry needs to hotel linen service providers. 

Professional linen service providers are already experts in how to make linen. So they’re the best choice to outsource linen cleaning needs. They generally use the same equipment as the setup described above. 

The advantage of outsourcing to a professional linen service provider is that it saves the hotel from investing in operating an in-house laundry facility. 

The hotels will transport their laundry to the service providers, who will have their own professional laundry facilities. The service providers will clean the sheets for the hotel and send them back. 

Most small hotels outsource to professional linen service providers since they can’t afford an in-house alternative. But most larger hotels prefer to clean their own laundry if they can afford it. 

How do I make my sheets white like the hotels? 

You might not be able to build your own in-house laundry facility. But here are a few steps you can follow to get crisp white linen sheets at home:

  1. Purchase high-quality white sheets. This can be a bit of an investment, but it’s worth it. High-quality sheets last longer.
  1. Use a good quality laundry detergent and either vinegar or baking soda with a 1:1 ratio. Vinegar and baking soda are both excellent cleaning agents readily available in most homes.

    Ensure you don’t overuse either of the two. That could damage the sheets. Measure the amount of detergent, baking soda, and vinegar you use to prevent excess use.
  2. Use a good quality fabric softener to make your sheets soft and smell good. This step is optional, but it’s great for replicating the feel of hotel sheets.

Use moderately hot water and bleach to clean out stains. Emphasis on moderate usage. Remember that too much hot water and bleach could damage the linen fibers. 

  1. Ring out excess water and laundry soap. Doing so keeps the sheets soft. Too much detergent and soap suds make sheets become tougher. Keeping them soft lets them last longer.

Use a dryer sheet to wash your sheets for 50 minutes. Dryer sheets also help keep sheets fresh and soft. 

  1. Also, dry your sheets carefully. The threads are more likely to come off looser after being cleaned. 
  1. While washing, ensure that you spot clean deep stained sheets, especially if you have a smaller washing machine. Spot cleaning is the only way to effectively remove deep stains. 
  1. It may also take you a few tries before your own sheets compare to hotel ones. But as long as you wash carefully with the right agents, you’ll have clean white sheets just like those in a hotel! 

Final word

In conclusion, hotel sheets are so white and clean because hotels invest in effective cleaning methods.

Hotels have professional laundry facilities with the latest cleaning tech and methods, ranging from heavy-duty detergents for deep stains to modulated ultrasonic waves for microscopic dirt. Hotels invest this much in cleaning their white sheets to give a good impression and avoid constantly buying new sheets.

You can even replicate how hotels clean their sheets at home by buying high-quality sheets and cleaning them with good-quality laundry detergent.

Can You Bring Alcohol Into a Hotel?

For a lot of travelers, traveling and drinking alcohol go hand-in-hand. There’s nothing like relaxing on a vacation and having a cold one while escaping reality for a few days.

But is it actually allowed for you to bring alcohol into a hotel or do you have to purchase all of your alcohol at the bar or from the minibar?

In this article, we will take a look and see what type of policies hotels usually have when it comes to alcohol.

Can you bring alcohol into a hotel?

Most hotels will allow you to bring alcohol into the hotel and with you to your hotel room. However, they may place restrictions on where you can consume alcohol. For example, you may not be able to consume your own alcohol in the lobby area or in the bar area.

Let’s take a closer look at how hotels handle guests bringing in alcohol!

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“Prohibition” hotels

Believe it or not, there are some hotels that do NOT allow guests to bring alcohol into the hotel.

They do this for a few reasons but it’s mostly just to prevent people from getting out of control or causing noise disturbances. It’s essentially a way to try to prevent people from throwing parties in their hotel rooms.

It also could presumably help increase revenue for the hotel since more guests would be inclined to purchase alcohol from the bar or the mini bar in the room.

The obvious issue with this type of policy is the difficulty with enforcing it.

You could imagine a guest walking into a hotel after hitting up the local liquor store and taking several cases of beer to their room. Or better yet, bringing an entire cooler of brewskis with them.

In that situation, the guest could stick out enough so that someone at the front desk could stop them and inform them that alcohol is not allowed in the property.

If they were truly enforcing the policy they would probably just ask you to leave the alcohol at the front desk or perhaps take it back to your vehicle in the parking lot. It’s highly unlikely that a hotel would kick you out on the spot.

However, if anyone was aware of the rule they could easily hide their alcohol in their luggage making it very easy to get around the rule.

The other way this could be enforced is when housekeeping gets into the room and they see evidence that someone has been drinking.

They could see a lot of empty beer bottles lying around the room, for example.

The issue with that scenario is that any “punishment” is going to result in some very unhappy guests, especially because the evidence is still somewhat indirect.

Also, if the guests were not causing any kind of loud commotion, the hotel does not really have a good reason for coming down on them. So I really wouldn’t worry too much about this scenario.

Related: Can You Bring Alcohol & Mini-Liquor Bottles on Planes: A Sobering TSA Guide

Hilton Aspire bonus free night
Hilton Americas-Houston Lobby Bar

Restrictions on pool and gym areas

Hopefully your idea of a workout is hitting the treadmill hard and not shotgunning a beer or guzzling down a bottle of wine.

But, you can probably expect alcohol to not be allowed inside of hotel gyms because it’s a bad idea and it just doesn’t vibe with other people who are in there trying to work on their fitness.

It’s also extremely common for alcohol to not be allowed in pool areas.

Lots of hotel pools do not have lifeguards on duty and so the potential of someone getting drunk, slipping, and then drowning is a real possibility.

There’s also the threat of someone breaking glass bottles somewhere by the pool and creating a hazard for others.

Restaurant and bar areas

Restaurants and bars — whether located inside of a hotel or outside of a hotel — usually have strict policies that do not allow you to bring alcohol in. “No Outside Food Allowed” signs are very common to see.

So it’s no surprise that you’ll find these policies applied to restaurants and bars located in hotels.

Lobby and other common areas

Whether or not you can drink in the lobby area of a hotel (or any other public area) is going to depend on the hotel’s policy and also on the local laws.

It’s not uncommon for there to be rules against drinking and smoking in common areas and the hotel lobby is the quintessential common area of a hotel.

For example, here is what the Hampton Inn Portage states:

Our Hotel does not possess a State Liquor License nor a special event permit. We prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the common areas to include the lobby, pool, fitness center, and/or hallway corridors. 

The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Collingwood states the following:

Drinking Alcohol is prohibited in all Public Areas including; in the hotel’s Lobby, Hallways, Pool areas, and parking areas

With that said, some hotels will allow you to do it.

Contrary to what some believe, most hotel staff members don’t want to interfere with a guest unless they feel like they have to. Even if a hotel does have “no alcohol in the lobby” policy it’s possible that the hotel staff may look the other way if you are drinking but not causing a problem.

However, if you are getting belligerent or running around causing a scene, that could be a different story and they may decide it’s time to enforce their policy.

So don’t expect hotels to allow you to drink your own alcohol in common areas but if you do and are discreet, you may not run into trouble.

What if you get caught with alcohol?

In most cases, unless you are causing some other type of issue, if you get caught drinking alcohol somewhere you are not supposed to you will probably just be asked to leave or discard your alcohol.

If a hotel does not allow you to bring in alcohol, there is also a chance they may have some type of penalty for getting caught. For example, they could slap you with some type of $100 fee.

Any property that develops a reputation for charging this type of fee would probably be quickly ridiculed and suffer in the realm of public opinion so I would not expect this to happen.

There’s always the possibility of a hotel kicking you out for violating its policies but again I would imagine getting kicked out for simply possessing alcohol would be an extremely rare occurrence. The backlash to the hotel would just be too great.

Related: Can You Get Kicked Out of a Hotel?

Final word

Most hotels will allow you to bring alcohol into the hotel and into your room. You probably will not run into any issues consuming alcohol in your room unless you are causing some type of disturbance.

But if you want to consume alcohol in common areas of the hotel, you need to be mindful that this could be against the policy of the hotel or even local laws.

In addition, some areas of the hotel will virtually always be off-limits to alcohol such as the hotel pool.

What Are Hotel Quiet Hours? And What Happens if You Violate Them?

If you’ve ever been trying to get some rest at a hotel only for your hotel neighbors to keep you up at night, you’ve probably wondered about hotel quiet hours.

But do hotels actually set certain hours where noise limits need to be contained or do they just handle everything on a case-by-case basis?

In this article, we will take a look at hotel quiet hours and also give some insight into how hotels will handle noise complaints.

What are hotel quiet hours?

Hotel quiet hours are hours during the night and morning when hotels require guests to keep noise at a minimum.

They typically begin around 9 PM to 10 PM and last until about 6 AM. Some hotels may not begin quiet hours until 11 PM and some properties also have different quiet hours for the week versus the weekend.

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How do you know what the quiet hours are at your hotel?

Hotel quiet hours are often not advertised on the hotel’s website. Instead, you will need to contact the hotel and speak to someone to get clarification on when they apply.

Getting a hotel to tell you their quiet hours is not always so straightforward.

For one, a lot of workers simply may not even know what the quiet hours are.

I’ve spoken with some front desk agents who gave me a puzzled look whenever I brought up “quiet hours.”

Some agents may be uncomfortable telling you what the quiet hours are because they think that if you are inquiring about such a thing, you must be up to no good.

For example, perhaps you are throwing a party and you want to know when you need to start shutting things down. Even if you are going to comply with the quiet hours, you could be a liability to the hotel.

But, you will find some hotel agents who are quite willing to divulge this information to you and in those cases all you have to do is ask.

What happens if you violate hotel quiet hours?

Every hotel is going to treat noise complaints according to their own internal policy so outcomes for noise violations may not always be the same.

With that said, this is typically how it works.

If you were causing a noise disturbance during quiet hours and someone reports you, you usually get a warning.

That warning may come in the form of a phone call or you could even have a member from the hotel knock on your door to see what’s going on.

They will probably inform you that a guest submitted a noise complaint although I’m sure most hotels keep that complaint anonymous.

If a hotel believes that there is some kind of emergency situation in the room, such as someone getting assaulted, they could just come right into your room even if you have a do not disturb sign on.

On the other hand, the police will have to get a warrant to get in your room unless an exception applies (which could be the case if they believe that someone was getting harmed inside).

Anyway, after you receive that warning you are going to be on a short leash.

If you have yet another noise complaint, some hotels have a two strike policy and they will kick you out of the hotel at that point.

Usually there is at least one security guard working at a hotel and if the hotel is smart they will send a security guard to escort you off the premises.

In some cases an actual police officer could be called, though.

If you get kicked out of your property, you will almost certainly not get a refund. (Hotels usually state that they are allowed to kick you out with no refund for certain reasons in the terms and conditions that you agree to.)

If you are on a multiple night stay and you get kicked out towards the beginning, you might be able to get away with a cancellation fee but I doubt the hotel is going to be very lenient with you considering the circumstances.

Finally, some hotels will not kick you out until you have a third noise complaint.

What kind of noises should you minimize?

The most common type of noise disturbance is just people being rambunctious such as when they are partying.

This would usually include loud laughter, shouts, music, and potentially people knocking things over, stomping, etc. There are also those people who run through the hallways….

It’s pretty much the worst for anyone staying in a hotel room near you so I would highly recommend that you avoid trying to throw (loud) parties in hotel rooms.

It’s one thing to pregame for a little bit but quite another to bring a large after party back to your room.

Loud TVs can also be a problem.

Sometimes the culprit simply does not realize how loud the TV is but I’ve definitely had neighboring rooms blasting the TV throughout the evening.

Another problem can be if someone has a loud alarm but they simply do not hear it.

And of course, the most awkward of situations, when people are engaged in loud love making.

Real examples of hotel quiet hours

During our research, we contacted a lot of different properties to see if they would divulge the quiet hours to us.

A lot of hotels chose not to do so but others were gracious enough to share them and we have listed them below. As you can tell, they usually begin from 9 PM to 11 PM. As for when the quiet hours end, most hotels did not state when the ended but you could assume that it is somewhere between 5 AM and 7 AM.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York Times Square WestAfter 10pm
Hampton Inn & Suites Los Angeles/HollywoodAfter 11pm
Palmer House a Hilton HotelAfter 10pm
Hyatt Centric Midtown 5th Avenue New YorkAfter 10pm
Park Hyatt New YorkAfter 10pm
Andaz West HollywoodAfter 10pm
Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The LoopAfter 10pm
Hyatt Regency ChicagoAfter 9pm M-F; After 12am Sa-Su
Park Hyatt ChicagoAfter 10pm
Hyatt House Houston/GalleriaAfter 11pm
Hyatt Centric The WoodlandsAfter 11pm
Kimpton Hotel EventiAfter 11pm
voco Times Square South New YorkAfter 11pm
Kimpton Hotel Monaco ChicagoAfter 10pm
Crowne Plaza Chicago West LoopAfter 10pm
Kimpton Hotel Palomar PhoenixAfter 10pm
Staybridge Suites Phoenix – Biltmore AreaAfter 10pm
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix Dwtn – State CapitolAfter 10pm
The Ritz-Carlton, Los AngelesAfter 10pm
W HollywoodAfter 9pm
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown HotelAfter 10pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & SpaAfter 10pm
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Chicago O’Hare South, ILAfter 10pm
Wyndham Garden ChinatownAfter 10pm
TRYP by Wyndham New York City Times Square / MidtownAfter 9pm
Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham ChicagoAfter 9pm

Final word

Some hotels have official quiet hours and they will share them with you while others either don’t have them or are not willing to share them.

Either way, whenever you are staying at a hotel you should be prepared to start shutting it down around 9 PM or 10 PM.

This is a good practice not just because hotels have rules in place but because it’s good to be considerate of other people sharing your walls or ceiling/floor.

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