Can You Order DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub When at A Hotel? [2023]]

So you are staying at a hotel but you are not quite feeling the hotel restaurant or room service.

Or perhaps you are over the continental breakfast and looking for some local cuisine to enjoy but you don’t want to get out.

You may be wondering if you can get a food delivery service like DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub to deliver to your hotel.

Well, I have some good news for you but also some important tips that you need to know about. Keep reading below to find out everything you need to consider when ordering food delivery services at a hotel.

Can you order DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub when staying at a hotel?

Yes, you can usually order DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, and many other food delivery services when staying at a hotel.

But it’s the hotel’s policy on food deliveries you need to be worried about — not the food delivery service.

Be aware that a minority of hotels may have a “no outside food policy” and may not allow for food deliveries.

In addition, getting the food delivered straight to your hotel room may be challenging in certain settings so it’s often a good idea to hang out in the lobby whenever your driver is arriving and receive your food there.

There are lots of tips that will help you avoid frustrating scenarios and keep reading below for more of them!

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

Tips for ordering food delivery services at hotels

Check for promo codes

It’s super common to be able to find promo codes that can save you money on your food delivery orders. These are those little codes like “EATS20” that you input just before you select the final order button in the app.

Whether you are using DoorDash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub, these can often be found throughout the year. Many times they are targeted so you have to use some trial and error to find a code that works but when they do work you can save a good amount of money.

Check for bonuses

In addition to promo codes, you can also sometimes earn extra points when getting food delivery services at hotels.

For example, Marriott and UberEats have a special partnership that allows you to earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on Uber Eats deliveries to hotels operating under Marriott brands in the United States with a minimum $25 basket.

Ask about the hotel rules

Hotels may not allow delivery drivers to deliver food to the hotel if they have a “no outside food policy.”

For example, the Hotel Zaza, a famous luxury brand in Houston, has a policy that states no food is permitted from outside sources.

They even reserve the right to confiscate the food, turn away the deliveries, and cancel your reservation! Kind of crazy.

I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels over the past few years and I’ve never experienced this, so I believe this would only happen in a small minority of hotels that are over protective about their on-site restaurants.

A more common restriction is that some hotels will not allow food delivery drivers to deliver food directly to your room’s door.

Instead, they may have a special lane that the delivery drivers can temporarily park in or a policy that requires them to deliver the food to the lobby area.

For example, there may be a designated table near the check-in desk where food deliveries are dropped off.

It seems that “fancier” hotels or those found in places like Disney World or Universal Studios may be more likely to have policies like this.

But I’ve also seen it at lower end properties, too.

This is more of a security thing and the properties are just trying to be protective of their guests which is understandable.

So before you place your order you may want to call the front desk and inquire about any food delivery policies that they have to save yourself some potential trouble later on.

Uber eats food delivery area hotel lobby

Choose the right delivery method

If given the option, you want to choose the right delivery method for the particular hotel you’re staying in.

You want to consider the hotel rules for delivery but also other factors like what the parking situation is like.

If there is basically no parking outside the facility, and you’re asking the delivery driver to come to your room that could make things a little difficult.

A lot of delivery drivers can simply temporarily park in the portes-cochères (hotel driveway) and enter the hotel so this is not always a real issue.

But remember, some hotels get super busy during rush hour and there may not even be a place to pull in. I actually once experienced this firsthand in Washington DC.

Also, if the hotel requires some sort of key card to enter that will obviously make things very difficult for a food delivery driver.

That can be very common during after hours when ordering food at night.

Even though most hotels are easier to deliver to than apartments, most delivery drivers will probably prefer to meet you in the lobby or in the portes-cochères.

But since coronavirus, some of these delivery services are requiring contactless delivery.

This means that the ideal scenario might be for them to drop off the meal at the front desk and then alert you that the food has been delivered.

Waiting in the hotel lobby for your food to arrive is a best practice.

Leave notes/delivery instructions

Perhaps the most important thing to do when getting food delivered to your hotel is to provide clear notes or delivery instructions.

Here are some things you should try to always include:

Name of hotel

Don’t just rely on the map pin or default address.

Type out the name of the hotel so that the delivery driver has no doubt about the destination.

Some neighboring hotels may have similar names like “Holiday Inn” vs “Holiday Inn Express” so be sure to be specific as possible.

Watch out for dual-branded properties (hotels with two names) because those can be confusing to delivery drivers, too.


Putting your name in the notes can make things a little bit easier, especially if you were to mess up on the room number.

Room Number

If you are expecting the delivery driver to bring the food directly to your room then be sure to include your room number.

Additional Details

It helps to include additional details like the floor and if the hotel is a little confusing to navigate perhaps add some guidance about which way to turn assuming you can make that clear.

Extra helpful will be if you can include directions like, “take a right out of the elevator and I’m at the end of the hallway.”


If you plan on meeting the driver outside or in the lobby you can let them know something like “I’m wearing a red shirt.”

Text when arriving

Ask the driver to text you whenever they are arriving so that if issues are encountered they can be easily fixed.

You’ll find that each food delivery service has slightly different options so just try to work with what you can in terms of providing specifics.

For example, take a look at the Uber Eats address information below. You could easily provide the room number, name of hotel, delivery option, instructions, and even a label like “hotel.”

Instructions could be: “will meet you outside front lobby door.”

Uber eats delivery instructions

DoorDash also allows you to input your drop off preferences so you can choose for them to hand it to you or leave it at your door. You can also provide drop off instructions such as asking the driver to ring the doorbell after they drop off your food or call or text you.

DoorDash delivery instructions

GrubHub also provides you with plenty of options for choosing the type of delivery. You can provide detailed notes and also choose how you would like your delivery such as at your front door, outside the building, in the lobby, etc.

GrubHub delivery instructions

Something worth mentioning is that these delivery options tend to focus on houses, apartments, or businesses.

While hotel deliveries are certainly happening all the time it’s just worth noticing that the menu options don’t exactly cater directly to hotels.

Set the tip at check out

Sometimes you have the option to choose your tip at the time of checkout versus choosing your tip at a later stage. Delivery drivers for services like GrubHub may be able to see the tip at the time they accept the order.

If you are asking them to deliver to your hotel room and they see that you are offering a sweet tip, they may be less willing to push back on delivering the food to your door.

You could also mention that you are a good tipper in the notes of your order to send the same signal. 😉

Related: Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?

Track your delivery

If possible, keep a close eye on the status of your delivery. Make note of the time the delivery begins so that you can have your own ETA.

If you are in a big hotel and up on a high floor, head to the elevators early because sometimes those can get slowed down, especially if some are out of order.

When ordering something that could melt or get ruined by temperature be vigilant.

I’ve had a driver deliver something to my room before and not finalize the order or notify me that it had been delivered. So it just sat there for a good 15 to 20 minutes until it was basically ruined.

Simply report that there is a problem with your order if this ever happens and you may be able to get refunded.

Consider pick-up

Something else to think about is that a lot of times restaurants that are partnered with food delivery services are located just next door to your hotel.

Don’t get caught up in thinking you have to use a food delivery service when you could just walk or drive a few minutes over to a nearby restaurant and potentially save on delivery fees.

In concentrated urban cities like New York City and San Francisco this is usually pretty easy to do. But you can also do this in pretty much any downtown area of a major city like Houston, Chicago, etc.

Be prepared for lazy or concerned delivery drivers

Sometimes you put all the effort needed into creating the perfect delivery notes and instructions.

You will provide the hotel name, room number, and clear instructions that ask a delivery driver to place the food at your door and then text you to alert you that the food has been delivered.

You’ll be relaxing in your hotel bed, possibly in your underwear, only to get a call or text from the delivery driver to meet them outside….

This can be highly frustrating and you can handle it in one of two ways.

You can insist that they come and deliver to your room or you can go down and accommodate their request.

Sometimes reiterating a special need can incentivize the driver to come up to the room. For example, maybe you are traveling with a baby or a pet and you do not want to leave them in the hotel room alone.

Some delivery drivers can see your notes before they accept the order but others cannot.

If a driver can see your notes (to deliver to a hotel room) and knowingly disregards them then that is on them. They are the source of friction and they should have just declined the drop off.

In that case you may want to insist they deliver to the room or consider lowering the tip.

But if they don’t see your notes until they start to deliver your food that is more problematic.

In that situation, it is more understandable that some delivery drivers could unexpectedly fear for their safety.

For example, a female delivery driver may be fearful of heading to a hotel room at night to deliver something.

Be extra clean

There’s a tendency that many of us, including myself, are guilty of sometimes.

And that’s being a messy eater in a hotel room.

Some people may just be a little bit messy when they eat in normal settings.

But eating in a hotel room, especially a small hotel room, often makes things worse because it’s not always very practical.

You can resort to some “hacks” like using the iron board as a table and those can work sometimes.

But if you don’t have a table or desk or any other flat surface in your room, you might just eat in bed.

Try to avoid this or just be really careful because spilled food can potentially ruin bedding.

The same obviously applies to room service but a lot of times room service comes with trays or a little wheel-in table, so it’s not always an issue.

Final word

It is definitely possible to have a food delivery service deliver your food to your hotel and even to your hotel room.

The key for a successful delivery is to provide as much detail to the driver as you possibly can so that the delivery method is crystal clear. You also need to clear your request with the hotel first to make sure that you are not violating the hotel’s policy for food deliveries.

If you do all of that and can prepare yourself for a delivery driver who may still not follow the procedure, you’ll be prepared as you can for your hotel food delivery.

How Much Are Extended Stay Hotels Per Month? (Prices & Rates) [2023]

A lot of people stay in extended stay hotels for weeks at a time. So a common question that travelers have is how much does it cost to stay at an extended stay for a month? In this article, we broke down the costs at various popular hotel chains and brands in order to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when heading to an extended stay for a whole month.

How much are extended stay hotels per month?

The price for a month-long stay at an extended stay hotel can vary drastically based on location and the type of property that you are booking. However, based on our data points below you can expect to spend anywhere from around $1,163.12 to $4,359.60.

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

Factoring in savings and costs

Before jumping into the cost breakdown below, it’s important to consider all of the savings and costs that go into an extended stay. Some of these costs can be avoided by choosing the right extended stay. But other costs may be incurred that you don’t usually think about on shorter stays.


A good extended-stay brand should provide you with a free breakfast, even if you do not have elite status with that program.

In some cases, you might be limited to a traditional continental breakfast that does not provide any hot items. For example, you may only have a selection of cereals, bagels, and yogurt.

But some extended-stay properties such as the Residence Inn may provide you with some pretty decent options for breakfast including hot eggs, sausage/bacon, pancakes, waffles, etc.

Sometimes these breakfast items aren’t bad at all but other times they are borderline inedible.

So try to do some research ahead of time (checking out reviews) so that you can choose a property that offers not just a free breakfast — but a quality breakfast each morning. That way you can truly save money each morning on breakfast.

Read more here on hotels that offer free breakfast.

Elite earnings and perks

You always have to consider all of the additional value you will earn from a hotel loyalty program when staying many nights.

If you have plans to repeatedly stay a lot of nights at an extended-stay property my advice would be to pick a hotel chain that will reward you with loyalty points each night you stay.

On top of that, to take your earnings to the next level you could open up a co-branded hotel credit card for that brand so that you can multiply your earnings and possibly take advantage of elite status better.

For example, you could get a Hilton Aspire credit card that comes with automatic Hilton Diamond status. Some of the benefits of that status such as free breakfast won’t be very useful since you’ll already be receiving that.

But you will be able to get a lot of value from the bonus earning rate. With Diamond elite status you’ll be able to earn 20X points on Hilton stays! That’s a 100% bonus compared to a standard member, which is pretty crazy.

At a WalletFlo valuation of .52 cents per point, this amounts to a 10.4% return which is pretty good. If you’re using the Aspire, you’ll earn an additional 14X which comes out to a total of 17% back

That means that every night you say you will be essentially getting 17% cashback. In addition to those earnings, hotel programs often offer promotions that allow you to earn even more points.

The terms of those promotions always differ but in a lot of cases you can end up earning somewhere between 20% and 35% back on your stays in the form of hotel points. That’s a huge rebate and it can allow you to use points to cover some of your nights in the future which will save you even more money.

Some programs like Hilton will offer you something like the fifth night free if you make consecutive bookings with points. If you are earning a ton of points and redeeming them for long stays you can repeatedly use these free nights.

The combination of the points earnings and the free nights can save you a lot of money over the long term.


You might also incur some small costs for things like laundry and necessities in the kitchen such as paper plates and lysol wipes. A lot of people prefer to purchase their own toilet paper since they will otherwise be stuck with low quality toilet paper for weeks at a time.

Some guests also consider bringing their own cookware such as plates and pots and pans. The same applies to towels and bedding (blankets, pillows, and sheets). Of course, if you don’t have the room in your luggage or vehicle to bring all of these things with you, you might just have to purchase them.

Tip: A lot of times you can find an extended stay property located very close to a Walmart or some other store which makes it easy to purchase those every day items that you may not realize you need until you arrive.

Related: What Hotels Have Kitchens?

Canceling your services

If you are going to stay at a hotel for a month or longer you might want to consider canceling some of your streaming services.

Typically, an extended stay hotel will provide you with cable television and an array of channels so that you would not need to stick with a streaming TV service. A lot of streaming subscriptions are month to month so there are often no consequences for canceling.

For some services such as your internet, you may be able to put your subscription on pause. There will often be a minimum timeframe for your suspension such as two months and often there is a cap on how many times you could do this per year.

You may not be able to cancel your utilities such as your water and electricity but you can still factor in the savings that you will have since those costs will be covered by your nightly room rate.

Discounted rates

Some extended stay hotels may provide you with a discounted rate if you plan on staying there for 30 days or longer. These rates may not be reflected when you search for your room online so it is best to call the property ahead of time and inquire about discounted long-term rates.

These type of discounted rates are often utilized by people who practically live in hotels.

You can also sometimes get discounted rates at hotels if you’re attending some type of event or center located nearby. For example, some extended stay properties will provide you with a discount if you are staying there to receive medical treatment at a specific facility.

Extended stay hotel prices for 30 day stays

Below are actual quotes for 30 days stays at various extended-stay properties. We chose different cities for each hotel brand since the price of a 30 day stay can fluctuate so widely based on geographic location.

The average cost for a 30 day extended stay hotel booking came out to: $2,681.39. That comes out to an average nightly rate of approximately $90.

Choice Hotels 


  • MainStay Suites Texas Medical Center/Reliant Park (Houston, TX): $2,179.62
  • MainStay Suites Northbrook Wheeling (Wheeling, IL): $1,960.10
  • MainStay Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs (Altamonte Springs, FL): $1,942.75


  • WoodSpring Suites Houston Westchase (Houston, TX): $1,123.20
  • WoodSpring Suites Atlanta Stockbridge (Stockbridge, GA): $1,547.92
  • WoodSpring Suites Elgin – Chicago (Elgin, IL): $1,465.47

Extended Stay America

  • Extended Stay America Phoenix – Chandler – E. Chandler Blvd. (Phoenix, AZ): $2,093.46
  • Extended Stay America Atlanta – Marietta – Powers Ferry Rd. (Marietta, GA): $2,120.66
  • Extended Stay America Chicago – Schaumburg – I-90 (Schaumburg, IL): $1,725.00


Home2 Suites

  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Houston IAH Airport Beltway 8 (Houston, TX): $2,167.03
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Roswell, GA (Roswell, GA): $2,997.33
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago McCormick Place (Chicago, IL): $4,382.85

Homewood Suites

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston West-Energy Corridor (Houston, TX): $2,505.63
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Atlanta – Buckhead (Atlanta, GA): $3,330.10
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile (Chicago, IL): $4,382.85
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Convention Center


Hyatt House

  • Hyatt House Houston/Energy Corridor (Houston, TX): $2,600.91
  • Hyatt House Atlanta / Perimeter Center (Atlanta, GA): $3,213.83
  • Hyatt House Cypress/Anaheim (Cypress, CA): $4,748.85


Candlewood Suites

  • Candlewood Suites Houston Medical Center (Houston, TX): $1,930.50
  • Candlewood Suites Atlanta West I-20 (Lithia Springs, GA): $2,703.00
  • Candlewood Suites LAX Hawthorne (Los Angeles, CA): $3,326.40

Staybridge Suites

  • Staybridge Suites Houston IAH – Beltway 8 (Houston, TX): $2,457.00
  • Staybridge Suites Atlanta NE – Duluth (Duluth, GA): $3,399.00
  • Staybridge Suites Anaheim At The Park (Anaheim, CA): $4,359.60


Residence Inn (Marriott)

  • Residence Inn Houston Westchase on Westheimer (Houston, TX): $2,913.30
  • Residence Inn Atlanta Norcross/Peachtree Corners (Norcross, GA): $2,828.10
  • Residence Inn Phoenix Airport (Phoenix, AZ): $3,268.98

TownePlace Suites (Marriott)

  • TownePlace Suites Houston Northwest (Houston, TX): $2,725.50
  • TownePlace Suites Atlanta Buckhead (Atlanta, GA): $3,271.23
  • TownePlace Suites Phoenix North (Phoenix, AZ): $2,499.05

Element (Marriott)

  • Element Houston Katy (Katy,TX): $2,898.00
  • Element Atlanta Buckhead (Atlanta, GA): $4,276.57
  • Element Scottsdale at SkySong (Scottsdale, AZ): $3,591.64

Motel 6

Studio Six 

  • Studio 6 Houston, TX – Clear Lake (Houston, TX): $1,163.12 (Based on 28 days)
  • Studio 6 Atlanta, GA – Chamblee (Chamblee, GA): $1,669.88 (Based on 28 days)
  • Studio 6 Cypress, CA (Cypress, CA): $2,248.12 (Based on 28 days)


Hawthorn Suites

  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Chandler/Phoenix Area (Chandler, AZ): $2,444.70
  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham St. Louis Westport Plaza (Saint Louis, MO): $1,740.00
  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dallas Love Field Airport (Dallas, TX): $2,373.00

Final word

As you can tell the price for an extended stay over a 30 day period varies based on your location and the type of hotel chain and brand you book with. If you are going with a budget extended-stay you can get your cost down to around $1,600 for a month but if you are going with a more premium hotel chain, expect to be closer to $2,800+ a month.

What Time Is Check-In for Hotels? (Early Check-In Tips) [2023]

Have you ever wanted to get into your hotel room early so that you can enjoy your hotel experience longer or simply get some much-needed rest? Well, it’s very possible to check-in early to your hotel in a lot of cases.

But how exactly is it done?

I personally have taken advantage of some form of early check-in on almost every hotel stay I’ve had over the past few years, so I’m very familiar with the process.

In this article, I will talk about how to check-in early at your hotel and provide you with some specific tips on how to increase your odds of getting early check-in and what to do if you can’t get it.

What time is check-in at hotels?

The standard time for check-in at a hotel is 3pm or 4pm. However, if a hotel has your room ready for you before that time, they often will allow you early check-in and access to your room.

Below, I will talk about how you can check-in even earlier than these times so keep reading!

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

How to check-in at a hotel

Before jumping into all of the different ways to get early check-in, it’s a good idea to review the check-in process since it is the time when you would typically request early check-in.

When you arrive at a hotel, you typically pull into the front and head straight to the front desks in the lobby. If you have elite status with the hotel’s loyalty program, you can head to the dedicated desk for elite members.

Usually, a hotel staff member will greet you and ask what they can do for you and you simply tell them that you would like to check-in. (It’s at this point that you would typically request early check-in but more on how to do that later.)

The hotel agent will then ask for your name and then they will pull up your reservation. Usually, at this point they will confirm the type of reservation you have and the dates (e.g., a one bedroom suite for three nights). You might also get a special thank you for having elite status if that applies.

Then they will ask you to present a government-issued ID along with a credit card and the staff member should take care of everything else, such as issuing you your room key, parking pass, and any other materials or pamphlets.

Related: Do You Really Need to Check Out of Your Hotel?

hotel check-in sign for Hyatt elite members
Dedicated check-in line for Hyatt elite members.

How to check-in early at a hotel

Now that you have the check-in basics down let’s get into some specific tactics you can take advantage of in order to check-in early.

The big thing to keep in mind is that early check-in is virtually always going to be based on the occupancy rate. If the hotel was at 100% occupancy the night before and is dealing with guests who want to stay late, getting early check-in is going to be more difficult regardless of things like your hotel status.

That is because the only alternative would be for the hotel to essentially wake up guests and kick them out of their rooms. That type of service would probably not be ideal for most guests so it is not likely to happen.

Also, early check-in is dependent upon the housekeeping procedures. Some hotels don’t begin housekeeping until a certain time in the morning and rooms just don’t get cleaned 24 hours a day.

So while the strategies below can certainly help your early check-in odds just remember that in some cases there is only so much that can be done to get you in your room early.

Just show up and ask

One way to access your hotel room early is to simply show up at the hotel and ask if they have your room available. For best results you probably don’t want to try this crazy early (especially if you do not have elite status).

So let’s say that check-in is at 3pm, showing up around 1pm and asking if your room is ready is not unreasonable.

In some cases when trying this, I’ve been able to check-in absurdly early like the time we checked in at the Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel around 6am!

That is probably an outlier case because some hotels have policies that don’t allow early check-in before a certain time such as 6am or 7am. If you attempt to check-in a little bit before that cut-off (e.g., 5am), you’ll likely be charged a full or partial day rate. If you attempt to check-in wayyy before that, such as a minute after midnight or 1am, expect to be charged for a full extra night.

In most cases I would not expect early check-in to work until at least 10am to 11am but even that can be pushing it for some properties — it all comes down to available inventory (and housekeeping procedures).

The key with making a request like this is to be extremely presentable and friendly when making your ask. A simple smile and a “Hello, I have a reservation for today and I wanted to see if early check-in was available” can take you far.

Related: What Hotels Have Free Breakfast?

Call ahead of time

Sometimes I call the hotel ahead of time and ask about checking in early. You could call ahead anytime before your stay but the most effective time to call would be the night before and/or the morning of your stay.

Most of the time when I call about early check in, they tell me that they cannot guarantee anything until I physically show up at the check-in desk. However, sometimes they are able to guarantee that my room will be ready early whenever I arrive. It’s pretty hit or miss.

If you are calling the night before and can’t get a straight answer on early check-in you could ask them what the occupancy rate is for the night. Assuming they have accurate information, and they tell you that the hotel is not full, you could expect some rooms to be available before check-in.

(You could also check the hotel’s website the night before to see if a lot of rooms are available.)

If you are calling the day of your stay, convey to the person on the phone how close you are to the hotel. It is much more effective to let them know that you are on your way to the property because that will put some pressure on them to actually find out if your room is ready rather than giving you a vague or generic response.

Email ahead of time

You may also choose to email the hotel and request early check-in. Typically, I would go this route if I had a very specific reason for needing early check-in.

If that applies to you then you could send an email in several days prior to your check-in. Most likely the hotel staff will tell you that they cannot guarantee early check-in but at least it will already be noted on your reservation and potentially prioritize the cleaning of your room.


Certain hotel chains like Hyatt are now offering you the option of requesting early check-in online or via their mobile app (but sometimes you have to pay). Also, you can now mark your preference for early check-in in your profile for certain hotel chains.

I personally would not rely on ticking a box on my hotel profile to get me early check-in and would much rather make the request face-to-face at check-in.

Elite status

Having hotel elite status is one of the best ways to increase your odds of getting early check-in. Unlike late check out which is often guaranteed, early check-in is usually not guaranteed.

One of the cool things about early check-in is that it is often a benefit given to lower elite levels.

For example, the bottom level of elite status with Hyatt, known as Discoverist status provides you with early check-in. I have now utilized that early check-in at numerous Hyatt properties and it has become very valuable.

As an IHG Spire Elite (now diamond), you can check-in as early as 10am, subject to availability. Marriott has been pretty good about offering me early check-in and if you have Platinum status or above, you can get instant lounge access if your room is not ready.

Hilton has been pretty hit or miss with early check-in for me (even as a Diamond member) but it never hurts to ask since they base things on availability.

Overall, hotel elite status doesn’t usually guarantee early check-in but it does make it more likely that you’ll receive it in a lot of cases.

It might even be worth mentioning your status when you make your early check-in request (although typically the staff member working the desk will point out your elite status when they look up your reservation).

Hotel programs

There are a number of special hotel programs that provide you with early check-in but a lot of times this benefit is subject to availability.

Here are some programs to look into:

In addition to early check-in, these programs also offer great benefits like upgrades, free breakfast, property credits, etc., so be sure to look into those.

Ask about a downgrade

If you really want to get a room as soon as possible and you don’t really care what type of room it is you could ask for a downgrade to see if you could get into a room earlier. This will obviously only work if you did not book a basic room, but it is one of the most effective ways to get early check-in.

I’m not sure if a hotel would refund you the difference in the room rate since you are receiving a benefit (early check-in) but it would not be unreasonable to inquire about a potential refund in an instance like this, especially if you booked multiple nights.

This can be really helpful because sometimes if you booked a really big suite it may take the cleaning crew longer to get it ready.

Ask about a paid upgrade

On the flip side, you could also ask about paying for an upgrade. Perhaps your basic room is not available but there is already a suite that has been cleaned. If you stand no shot of getting a free upgrade, then asking about the paid upgrade route could be a smart option if you really want a room ASAP.

Repeat customer

Generally, the more you visit a specific hotel the more special treatment you will receive. If you repeatedly visit the same hotel your odds of getting early check-in probably go up. This is especially true if you can develop some type of relationship with management or staff at that hotel.

When you arrive at check-in you could say something like “Hello, it’s good to be back again! I was wondering if early check-in was available for my room?” That will immediately signal to the hotel agent that you are a returning guest and might prompt them to act more expediently to get you in your room.

24 hour stay

Sometimes you might run into a hotel that allows you to check in at any time but requires you to be out 24 hours after that. So if you checked in at 10am you would be expected to check out by 10am the next day. As long as you have your exit plan for your check-out day this should not be an issue.

Half-day rate

Sometimes when you try to check-in really early, such as early in the morning you may be offered a “day rate” or “half-day rate.” As the name suggests, this could be 50% of the nightly rate but in other cases it might actually be a different dollar amount.

If you are offered this you could counter and ask them at what time you could attempt early check-in to avoid the half-day rate. Also, feel free to negotiate. You might be able to get them down to half of the day rate depending on when you are arriving.

Read more about hourly rate hotels here.

Marina Bay Sands
I once received 6am early check-in at the Marina Bay Sands!

Hotels that play hard to get early check-in

For the most part, I have had some great success with early check-ins but there are certain types of properties where early check-in usually becomes problematic. The hotels that have given me the most trouble with early check-in are resorts.

Specifically, all-inclusive resorts have almost never provided me with early check-in.

It could be just a matter of bad luck but it also could be caused by the fact that there is just more going on at resorts in terms of occupancy rates and stocking up rooms.

Another type of property where early check-in has been hard to get is specialty lodging such as cabins, lodges, etc. and it’s likely a product of having a smaller housekeeping staff.

What to do if not given early check-in

When it comes to early check-in, it is a very good idea to have a back up plan because you never know what to expect. If you were not given early check-in you have a few options.

Ask for priority cleaning

If you were not given early check-in you can request for your room to be put at the top of the list for cleaning. If you have elite status or some type of VIP status with that hotel this should be very doable. Sometimes the hotel will even offer to shoot you a text when your room is ready.

The key with this request is to be extremely nice when asking. You need to give the front desk a reason to go out of their way to help you and to put (mostly unnecessary) pressure on housekeeping.

Check in your luggage

If you are denied early check-in and get stuck with a lot of luggage the hotel should be able to store your bags for you while you wait for check-in. In fact, many hotels will do this for free. When doing this, I usually make sure I keep valuable items on me like my electronics or passport.

Related: Is It Safe to Use a Hotel Room Safe?

Hang out in the bar area, lounge, etc.

Sometimes you might just be forced to hang out at the hotel for a little while. Ask about any restaurants, bars, pools, or lounge areas you can visit. If your elite status provides you with lounge access you will probably be given early access to the hotel’s lounge.


Some all-inclusive hotels will still issue you a wristband even when you are arriving early. This will allow you to start partaking in the food and beverage experience before you even are assigned a room.

Hilton Americas Executive Lounge.
The Hilton Americas Executive Lounge.


One of the major downsides of checking in early is that you could hurt your upgrade chances.

The reason is simply that there will be a more limited availability of rooms and because you’re checking in early the hotel may not know what type of inventory they will have that night.

So always be sure to balance that trade-off and perhaps even inquire with the front desk to see if you’re killing your chances of an upgrade by requesting early check-in.

Checking in late

In some cases, you might be wondering about the opposite end of the spectrum: if it is possible to check-in late.

For example, you might have booked a hotel stay for a Wednesday night and you might not be showing up until 1am Thursday morning. (Sometimes people do this so that they are guaranteed early check-in.)

At a major hotel chain, you should be able to check-in 24 hours a day but you should still verify this.

If you think you will be checking in after hours (after 9pm) your best bet is to call the hotel ahead of time and let them know about your situation. They should be able to put a note on your reservation so that your booking is not cancelled and they should also inform you about any special procedures for checking in that late.

For example, sometimes you have to call a special phone number or input some type of passcode to get into the building.

Smaller hotels such as boutique hotels or hotels in random locations sometimes have hard limits on when you can check in. (I once encountered this in Iceland.) These should be explicitly stated in the terms of your booking but again I would always follow up to verify these policies if you think you’ll be checking in late at night.

Related: How Late Can You Book a Hotel? (After Midnight!?)

Final word

As you can tell, there are several different ways to get early check-in. Sometimes it is as simple as showing up early and politely requesting it while other times you can rely on hotel status or special hotel programs. Just remember to always have a back up plan just in case early check-in is not granted so that you are not forced to linger around the lobby for hours on end.

Sharing Hotel Rooms: Do’s and Don’ts for Business & Couples [2023]

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.

11 Lessons Learned from Living in Hotels Full Time

This is sort of Part II of my blog post: Can You Live in a Hotel? Or Better Yet, Should You?

At that time, I’d thought about living abroad in hotels but eventually decided not to go that route for various reasons.

But years later, I made the jump and decided to live full time in hotels/AirBnbs (but in the US)!

Allow me to now share with you a few valuable insights and lessons that I have acquired along the way.

Organization is key

Staying organized in a hotel room is of paramount importance, especially for individuals planning to live in a hotel and who may have more baggage and belongings compared to the average traveler.

With all the extra items, it becomes easier to misplace or lose important belongings amidst the confined space and constant rotation of luggage.

So what can you do?

First, you need to avoid bringing too many things with you.

We did a pretty good job of getting rid of our stuff but we still did bring some things that we just didn’t have to have like a ramp for our dog, extra bed cushions, etc.

But don’t stress too much about getting this right.

You can trim down your belongings all you want but you probably won’t be able to get it completely right until after you’ve been living in a hotel for a couple of weeks. Only then will you see what you truly need or don’t need.

You also need to implement some organizational strategy.

One thing that I do is I have designated places for valuables. If I’m ever looking for a wallet, keys, key card, etc. I know it’s gonna be on the corner of a table or a piece of furniture. My hat and sunglasses will always be on the dresser, by the TV.

I have a designated luggage bag for all of my electronics including my camera, drone, batteries, charging cables, etc. I also have another bag for things like medications, toiletries, etc.

I also always know what I keep in each compartment of my backpack, so I’m not left guessing as to where things are.

By implementing effective organizational strategies, one can maintain order and minimize the risk of misplacement or damage.

keys and wallet on table

Be aware of local ordinances

Lots of people know that if you book a longer-term stay you can save money by taking advantage of the extended stay rates. Sometimes the savings can be very significant, too!

But what a lot of people don’t know is that certain cities may have ordinances that restrict extended stays in hotel properties for longer than a month.

Unfortunately, hotels may not always disclose this information at the time of booking, allowing guests to proceed with their reservations unknowingly.

It won’t be until later on when the hotel does an audit that they pick up on this and then request for you to terminate part of your booking — something that can obviously be a huge inconvenience.

Therefore, it becomes essential for long-term residents to conduct thorough research about local regulations and clarify any potential limitations directly with the hotel before finalizing their stay.

Pick the right property

Often, you will be drawn to extended-stay properties that are specifically designed for people to stay long stays, including longer than a month.

These are great because they often have kitchenettes or kitchens, laundry facilities, a gym, pool, and are relatively easy to get in and out of.

But sometimes they do have their drawbacks.

You could be dealing with a single, slow elevator, less than tidy properties, thin floors and walls, lower points earning (such as with Marriott), and areas more removed from the heart of a city (though not always). They also could be more expensive than a traditional hotel, although that really varies.

A traditional hotel can offer you cheaper rates, better locations, more dining options, and a greater selection of room types. They also may be located in high-rise buildings with better views, better soundproof walls and windows, more aesthetically pleasing designs, bigger staff, etc.

The drawback is that it may be harder to find rooms with a kitchen, you may have to pay more for parking, and if you’re saving money on the room rate, chances are you’re in a pretty small room.

In the end, it may take some experimentation for you to get a feel of the type of hotel you prefer living in. Be open to trying different room types.

Personally, I prefer a smaller, quieter hotel in less populated areas with nice open spaces but with a diverse selection of restaurants and stores within reach. Areas like the Denver Tech Center fit this description perfectly.

hotel room with kitchen

Verify the hotel’s details

Once you settle on a property, make efforts to verify hotel details before booking.

While hotel websites may showcase various amenities and facilities, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and confirm the accuracy of the information provided.

Often, discrepancies arise where certain facilities or services mentioned on the website might not actually exist or may be temporarily unavailable due to renovations or other reasons.

We actually ran into this at one of the first hotels we stayed at.

They advertised that they had laundry facilities but when we arrived we were notified that they no longer had them which means we would have to find a local laundromat which was a pretty major inconvenience.

By taking the time to verify hotel details through multiple sources, such as contacting the hotel directly or reading reviews from past guests, individuals can avoid potential disappointments upon arrival.

Verify things like:

  • Safety and security measures (e.g., security cameras, well-lit parking areas)
  • Availability of 24-hour front desk or concierge service
  • Room amenities (e.g., Wi-Fi, air conditioning, heating)
  • Accessibility features (e.g., wheelchair ramps, elevators)
  • Availability of laundry facilities or services
  • On-site dining options (e.g., restaurant, lounges, breakfast service)
  • Fitness center or gym facilities
  • Swimming pool or spa
  • Parking options (availability, cost, valet service)
  • Pet-friendly policy (if applicable)
  • Business center or meeting rooms
  • Shuttle service or proximity to public transportation
  • In-room amenities (e.g., mini fridge, microwave, safe)
  • Housekeeping frequency and policies
  • Additional charges or resort fees
  • Children’s facilities or activities (if applicable)

This proactive approach ensures that one’s expectations align with the reality of the hotel, allowing for a more enjoyable and hassle-free long-term stay experience.

Related: Laundry At Hotels? Essential Tips for Keeping Your Threads Fresh

hotel laundry room

Transplant + modify your routines

When choosing to live in a hotel full-time, it becomes crucial to transplant and modify your most precious routines to adapt to the new environment.

Some of your routines may need to be modified to fit the hotel’s setting.

For example, before moving into a hotel I had the same breakfast smoothie probably 355 days a year every morning at 6 AM.

But using a loud blender at 6 AM in a hotel room may disturb others who are still sleeping or trying to relax. To address this concern, I adjusted my routine by preparing my smoothie during lunch (which also allowed me to take advantage of a free breakfast).

It’s essential to maintain other “centering” routines as well, such as working out, going for walks, or meditating, as they contribute to a sense of normalcy and help you settle into your new lifestyle more comfortably.

By modifying and transplanting your routines, you can create a semblance of familiarity and establish a sense of stability in your hotel living experience.


Study your nearby area/neighborhood before booking

Picking the right hotel property is crucial for individuals planning to live in a hotel as it sets the foundation for a comfortable and convenient long-term stay.

There are several factors to consider when selecting the ideal hotel.

First and foremost, being familiar with the crime levels of the surrounding area is essential for ensuring personal safety and peace of mind.

When living in a hotel room for extended periods of time, you’re going to want to get outside to get fresh air, exercise, etc. And you don’t want to be constantly looking over your shoulder or worrying about people breaking into your car.

While you can figure out some details (like whether or not there are sidewalks) by utilizing satellite images and Google Street view, sometimes you also just need to call the front desk and try to get the inside scoop.

I once called a hotel to inquire about the safety of the area, and after a long and awkward pause, the front desk agent’s equivocating response didn’t exactly leave me feeling reassured.

Despite liking the property and what it had to offer, the uncertainty surrounding its safety made me decide against staying there.

It’s important to prioritize your own peace of mind and security when choosing accommodations, and if a hotel’s response leaves you uncomfortable or uncertain, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and explore other options that align with your safety concerns.

criminal walking

Take control of your environment

When staying in a hotel, it’s often unpredictable whether you’ll encounter noise issues or unwanted street light entering through the windows.

To take control of your environment and ensure a peaceful stay, it’s imperative to come prepared.

Consider packing essentials such as eye shades to block out any intrusive light and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to counteract potential disturbances from neighboring rooms or noisy surroundings.

I’d also highly recommend bringing your own blanket and potentially your own pillow so that you can always have a baseline level of comfort in your bed. (Some hotels just don’t wash their bedding.)

By proactively equipping yourself with these items, you can mitigate any unforeseen disruptions and create a more serene and comfortable atmosphere for yourself, regardless of the hotel’s environment or the behavior of fellow guests.

It’s also good to familiarize yourself with the quiet hours of a property so that you’ll know when you need to voice a complaint.

Related: Can You Get Kicked Out of a Hotel?

Make requests if needed

When living in a hotel, it’s important not to be afraid to make special requests. Hotels are often willing to accommodate guests’ needs and preferences to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Whether it’s requesting additional amenities like a microwave or a mini fridge in your room, or even something as specific as chargers for your electronic devices, it’s worth asking the hotel staff for assistance.

Here are some requests you might make:

  • Extra towels or pillows
  • Toiletries or personal care items
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Microwave or mini-fridge
  • Electric kettle or coffee maker
  • Extra hangers or storage space
  • Yoga mat or exercise equipment
  • Adapter or charger for electronic devices
  • Room service menu or restaurant recommendations
  • Portable fan or heater (depending on the season)
  • Wake-up call service
  • Umbrella
  • First aid kit
  • Stain remover or laundry detergent
  • Late check-out or early check-in (subject to availability)
  • Assistance with luggage storage or handling
  • Access to fitness center or pool
  • Assistance with arranging dry cleaning or laundry services
  • Assistance with finding local attractions or events.

Many hotels are equipped to fulfill such requests or may have alternative solutions available.

Being proactive in communicating your needs can enhance your living experience and make your temporary residence feel more like home. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the hotel’s front desk or concierge and make your special requests known.

Leverage hotel breakfast benefits for savings

Picking a hotel that offers free breakfast can be a smart choice for individuals planning an extended stay, as it can result in significant cost savings on a daily basis.

Having breakfast included in your hotel stay eliminates the need to spend money on dining out every morning, allowing you to allocate those funds for other expenses or activities.

However, eating the same hotel breakfast every day might lead to some monotony or boredom over time. To mitigate this, some hotels offer variety in their breakfast options, but even then, there’s only so much variety you’ll be offered in the long-run.

Sometimes you’ll need to get creative with how you fix up your breakfast. For example, you can whip up a savory breakfast sandwich by toasting the bread, topping it with a perfectly cooked egg and a dollop of salsa for a burst of flavor.

Breakfast is also one of the most easily quantifiable savings you can calculate we’re living in a hotel. For example, you might typically spend seven dollars a day on breakfast during the week and $12 during the weekend. It’s really easy to calculate your savings and factor those into the cost of your room.

Certain hotels may provide free breakfast in a restaurant setting, which may require tipping the server.

While this can slightly reduce the overall savings, the convenience and time saved by having a prepared breakfast readily available can still outweigh the additional expense, at least for those who are okay with tipping.

Overall, selecting a hotel with a complimentary breakfast can be a practical choice that helps stretch your budget while providing a convenient start to your day.

hotel breakfast cereal

Create front desk BFFs

Making friends with the hotel front desk staff is of utmost importance for individuals planning to live in a hotel. Building a positive and friendly relationship with the front desk can prove invaluable in various ways.

They are the go-to people who can assist with a wide range of needs that may arise during a long-term stay. Whether it’s sending or receiving packages, they can ensure the smooth handling of your mail and deliveries.

Additionally, in case of any issues or complaints, such as problems with Wi-Fi, hot water, or other amenities, having a good rapport with the front desk staff can expedite the resolution process.

Here are some of the major ways they can help you out:

  • Assist with room upgrades or changes if available
  • Provide recommendations for local attractions, restaurants, and activities
  • Help arrange transportation services or provide information on public transportation options
  • Assist with booking reservations for dining, shows, or other events
  • Facilitate mail and package handling, including receiving and holding packages on your behalf
  • Help resolve any issues or complaints during your stay, such as noise disturbances or maintenance problems
  • Quickly provide additional amenities or supplies upon request, such as extra towels or toiletries
  • Offer insights on hotel policies, such as late check-out or early check-in options
  • Assist with arranging special requests or surprises, such as celebrating a special occasion or organizing a surprise gift delivery
  • Provide local maps, guides, and information on nearby attractions or services.

Their knowledge and expertise can help swiftly address and rectify any concerns you may have, ensuring a more comfortable and enjoyable living experience.

By fostering a friendly relationship with the hotel front desk, you gain a reliable resource and ally who can provide assistance and support throughout your stay.

hotel front desk agent

Mandatory housekeeping is not always so mandatory

While some hotels may claim that mandatory housekeeping is required at least once every five or seven days during an extended stay, it’s important to note that this policy may not always be strictly enforced.

Many hotels understand that guests may prefer to maintain their privacy and choose to decline daily housekeeping services.

However, it’s still advisable to keep your room in good condition throughout your stay.

By tidying up regularly, you can ensure that your living space remains comfortable and presentable, and prevent a buildup of clutter or mess.

Taking responsibility for the cleanliness of your room also means that when the time comes for a housekeeping agent to attend to your room at the end of your stay, they won’t be confronted with a daunting and overwhelming task.

Two tips I have for keeping your room in better condition:

  1. Put your trash in a tightly wrapped bag and place it outside the door for housekeeping to pick up or throw it away in a bin located in the hallway/outside an exit
  2. Ball up your towels and place them outside your door for housekeeping to pick up; request new towels via phone or from a housekeeper in the hallway

Related: Don’t Want to Use Hotel Housekeeping? Here’s What to Do

Final word

In conclusion, living in a hotel can be a great option for individuals who are looking for a temporary or long-term living arrangement.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. By following these tips, you can make the most of your hotel living experience.

Here are some of the key points to remember:

  • Do your research. Before you book your stay, be sure to research the hotel and the surrounding area to make sure it is a good fit for your needs.
  • Be organized. When living in a hotel room, it is important to be organized to avoid clutter and make the most of your space.
  • Pick the right property. Consider the size of the room, the amenities offered, and the location of the hotel when making your decision.
  • Verify details. Make sure the hotel’s website accurately reflects the amenities and services offered.
  • Study your nearby area. Be aware of the crime levels, sidewalks, and parking options in the area.
  • Make requests. Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel staff for special requests, such as additional amenities or chargers for your electronic devices.
  • Take advantage of free breakfast. Many hotels offer free breakfast, which can save you money on dining out.
  • Make friends with the front desk staff. They can be a valuable resource for assistance and support throughout your stay.
  • Keep your room clean. Even if housekeeping is not required, it is still considerate to keep your room clean for the next guest.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your hotel living experience and enjoy a comfortable and convenient stay.

Hotel Elevator “Close Door” Buttons: Do They Actually Work?

Have you ever been in a hurry to get to your hotel room, only to be delayed by the slow-closing elevator doors?

You press the “close door” button, but it seems to have no effect. You start to wonder, does the “close door” button even work?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the “close door” button in hotel elevators.

We’ll explain why it may not work in many hotels, and we’ll show you how to use it to your advantage in certain situations.

Does the “close door” button work in hotel elevators?

The answer is: yes, but maybe not the way you’d expect.

In lots of hotels in the United States, the “close door” button is sort of a placebo button. It may make you feel like you have more control over the elevator, but it doesn’t actually immediately close the doors.

This is in part because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires elevators to stay open long enough for people with disabilities to get on and off.

Specifically, the U.S. Access Board states, “[u]ser activation of door close (or automatic operation) cannot reduce the initial opening time of doors (3 seconds minimum) or the minimum door signal timing.”

(Sometimes the minimum dwell time is based on the distance between the call buttons and the elevator doors.)

In addition to the ADA, there are also state building codes, local municipality codes, etc., that are added to the mix.

As a result of these codes and restrictions, many owners and installers have programmed the close door buttons to not take effect immediately.

That doesn’t mean the close door buttons don’t “work,” though.

First, they still need to be operational for fire departments and independent services. Otherwise, there’s some big safety issues.

But more pertinent to the average hotel guest, pressing the close door button still could decrease the amount of dwell time the elevator door is open for so that the doors only stay open for the minimum programmed time.

To illustrate, let’s say you hop on a hotel elevator with a minimum ADA open time of three seconds. And let’s say its software is programmed by the hotel for the doors to stay open for 15 seconds. If after the doors open you wait four seconds to hit the close door button, it will probably close at that time. But if you hit it as soon as you board the elevator, it won’t do anything.

So saying these buttons “don’t work” isn’t exactly accurate.

It’s worth noting, there are some hotels where the “close door” button does work immediately.

These are usually older hotels that were built before the ADA was passed or hotels that for whatever reason, don’t have to comply with minimum dwell times.

I’ve personally stayed in a few these over the past few years.

In these hotels, the “close door” button will close the doors as soon as possible, regardless of how long the doors have been open.

So, if you’re staying in a hotel and you’re eager to get to your room, pressing the “close door” button may not do anything, at least not for a few seconds.

But if you’re staying in an older hotel, then pressing the “close door” button might actually help you get to your room faster.

Hotel elevators button

Other uses of the close door button

Older hotels or hotels with older elevators may allow you to use “floor bypass trick” to expedite your trip to a certain floor. This trick works on some elevators, but not all of them.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get in the elevator and press the button for the floor you want to go to.
  2. Hold down the close door button (some say hold down the floor button, too)
  3. The elevator should start moving to your floor, bypassing any other floors that have been selected.

This trick works because the close door button overrides the other buttons that have been pressed. So, if someone else has pressed a button for a different floor, the elevator will still go to your floor first.

But keep in mind, it’s rare to find elevators where this trick still works and holding down buttons like this on modern elevators might trigger a malfunction or get you stuck on an elevator. I’d suggest not trying this with other passengers in the elevator.

Also, some modern elevators might make it impossible for you to even attempt this trick based on their design.

Elevator reservation keypad

Another use of the close door button could be to “reboot” the elevator. If the elevator doors have been held open for too long (past the allowed “nudging time”) the elevator could go into a door obstruction mode where the doors will not close.

Sometimes if you hold down the close door button this can trigger the elevator to get back to normal.

Finally, you can also sometimes use the close door button to cancel the open door button (a button that should usually work).

So if you’re trying to be nice and you hit the open door button, simply hit the close door button once those other elevator passengers have made it inside to save a few seconds.

(I think this works because at that time, the minimum open door time has probably commenced.)

Hotel elevators in different countries

It’s important to remember that other countries may have different regulations and standards that do not align with the ADA. Therefore, when you’re traveling outside of the US, it’s likely that the close door button will have an immediate effect.

In fact, at times, it may even close the door quite rapidly, which can be somewhat alarming!

Some of these elevators in different countries may also have different features you’re not accustomed to in the US. For example, sometimes you can press a button for a floor a second time in order to clear out the request if you happen to hit the wrong button.

Hotel elevators

Hotel elevators and the 13th floor

Another interesting observation you might have made is the absence of a designated button for the 13th floor in certain hotels.

This peculiar omission stems from a common superstition held by many individuals, associating the number 13 with potential bad luck. In order to accommodate guests who hold these beliefs, hotels often choose not to officially label or name the 13th floor.

To navigate around this superstition, hotels employ various approaches in handling the 13th floor. To learn more about how hotels address this peculiar situation, refer to this article on hotels and their treatment of the 13th floor.

Final word

In US hotels, the “close door” elevator button works but often does not have an immediate closing effect due to the ADA’s minimum required open time.

However, there are still some hotels where it does close the doors promptly and hotels may program their elevators to work differently which is why you might have so many different experiences.

Also, if you’re staying in a hotel outside the US, the close door button will likely work as expected but again it comes down to how the elevator is programmed.

Residence Inn Breakfast: What’s in Store for You? (Hours & Menu Options)

Are you considering a stay at the Residence Inn and curious about the breakfast arrangements? You may be wondering what to anticipate.

Will it be a grand feast that fills you with delight, leaving you gleefully strolling down the hallway with a contented stomach? Or should you brace yourself for a disappointing start to your day?

In this exploration of the breakfast experience, I will share everything you need to be aware of regarding breakfast at the Residence Inn. I’ll cover the different types of menu options and also go into details on the hours as well.

Is the Residence Inn breakfast free?

Yes, the Residence Inn breakfast is included in the cost of your room, so you don’t have to pay extra for it.

Related: What Hotels Have Free Breakfast?

What to expect with a Residence Inn breakfast

You’ll be pleased to know that Residence Inn properties often offer a breakfast spread that goes beyond the basics of a simple continental breakfast.

A typical Residence Inn breakfast is buffet-style, allowing you to savor a range of offerings.

Residence Inn properties usually provide a comfortable and inviting breakfast area where you can enjoy your meal.

Some locations may offer spacious dining areas with cozy seating arrangements, including TV screens so you can catch up on the latest news or weather forecast in the morning as you prepare for the day.

If you don’t want to eat breakfast out with everybody else, or you are struggling to find an open table you can always take your meal up to your room.

Residence Inn breakfast dining area

What will be included?

At a Residence Inn, you can usually find an assortment of both cold and hot breakfast options.

For the cold options, you can expect a selection of bagels, croissants, and muffins/pastries. The specific types of pastries may vary depending on the property. Don’t expect highest quality in the world but sometimes you can get by with some decent options.

Residence Inn breakfast pastries
Residence Inn breakfast breads
Residence Inn breakfast muffins

Condiments such as jelly and different butter options will be available for your bread. To toast your bread or bagel, a 4-slotted toaster should be provided for your convenience.

Residence Inn breakfast toaster

In addition, you’ll likely find a range of cereals like Cheerios, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, and other popular choices such as Frosted Flakes.

Residence Inn breakfast cereal

The cereal can come in different forms including individual boxes, individual sealed plastic bowls, and from the dispensers. Sometimes the Residence Inn might even switch up how they offer the cereal every few days. And you usually have a choice of skim milk or whole milk for your cereal.

Residence Inn breakfast  milk

You can also enjoy yogurt and possibly some fresh fruit like oranges and bananas. However, the quality and variety of fruit may vary.

Oatmeal is another staple you can expect to find. This may come in a large container or an individual packs such as apple cinnamon and plain. Often times, you have a lot of condiments to choose from, which could be things like brown sugar, nuts, and chocolate chips.

Residence Inn breakfast oatmeal

Moving on to the hot items, you may find traditional breakfast options such as scrambled eggs, potatoes (hash browns, tater tots, home fries, etc.), and proteins like sausage, bacon (US or Canadian). There may also be a container with French toast, French toast sticks, or mini pancakes.

Residence Inn breakfast eggs

In terms of the quality of the eggs, they are pretty much your standard bulk-made scrambled eggs but not those terrible, inedible eggs you may have encountered at cheaper properties.

Sometimes the Residence Inn switches up how they serve their eggs but I’ve seen some that simply serve basically the same scrambled eggs every morning. If you’re on an extended-stay, this can start to go old really fast so it helps if you get creative.

For one, always look for some salsa or picante sauce to spice up your eggs a little bit. Throw on some shredded cheese if it’s there and salt and pepper as all of that will help give you some unique flavor.

You can also turn to the breads to make things better. Try to make your own egg sandwich with some of the bread selections and you likely won’t be disappointed.

Some hotels will switch the type of sausage they serve and rotate bacon, pork sausage, and turkey sausage patties or links throughout the week. But I’ve seen some properties that simply randomly alternate this so it makes it really difficult to predict what will be down there in the next morning.

Residence Inn breakfast bacon

Typically, a potato dish is commonly included. You can expect choices like hashbrowns or house fries, among others, although there may be occasions when no potato dishes are available.

Residence Inn breakfast  potatoes

You can expect to find biscuits and gravy on certain days. For example, they may be available every Saturday offering you a nice country-style breakfast option. Some properties may do something special like offer omelettes, breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, or other special items but that’s never a given.

One of the perks of staying at the Residence Inn is that sometimes you can have a waffle or pancake maker to enjoy your own fluffy creation. Butter and syrup will also be available.

Residence Inn breakfast waffle maker

Always make sure to spray down the waffle maker before using it to prevent your batter from sticking (assuming they offer you that option, of course)!

When it comes to the beverages available at the Residence Inn, rest assured that you’ll have a diverse selection to satisfy your morning thirst. You can indulge in freshly brewed coffee, tea, and the refreshing flavors of a variety of juices.

Orange juice is pretty much a given but you also may be able to choose from other types like a cranberry juice and apple juice. Sometimes, a juice may go out and not be replaced for quite a while.

Coffee lovers will be delighted to discover a choice of regular and decaffeinated options, and there might even be a variety of roasts available, ranging from light to dark. All the cream and sugar you require will be conveniently placed next to the coffee canisters, ensuring you have everything you need to personalize your favorite cup of coffee.

It could be just bad luck but the Residence Inn hotels that I’ve stayed in have not had the best tea selection. Often, you can find a wide variety of tea flavors down in the breakfast area at a hotel but at the Residence Inn this has not been the case in my experience.

Sometimes extended-stay properties get busier quicker for breakfast.

I think it may have to do with the routine people get into at extended stays where they get ready for breakfast quicker or perhaps the business workers travelers who are staying there that need an early start. But just be prepared for the breakfast area to get busy in a hurry at some locations.

The good news is that there will be a staff member there to make sure the breakfast area remains kept well.

A good Residence Inn will have someone constantly replenishing all of the items so that you’re never left hanging or dealing with things like overflowing trash cans. Sometimes there is also a tip a jar for them which you can use to show your appreciation.

Departures from the standard

It’s always possible that a Residence Inn property will depart from the ideal breakfast experience. For example, they may have limited hot items during the week or offer grab and go options.

Lots of these instances have been due to the pandemic as some properties have not fully adjusted back to normal.

For that reason, if you are going to settle down at a Residence Inn for a while, it might be a good idea to call ahead and ask about the breakfast options.

Residence Inn breakfast hours

As for the Residence Inn breakfast hours, typically breakfast will begin at 6 AM or 6:30 AM on a weekday and last until 9 AM or 9:30 AM.

On weekends, breakfast usually begins a little bit later such as about 30 minutes later and remains open until about 9:30 AM or 10 AM. (On occasion you’ll find a property where are the hours remain the same during the weekday and on the weekends.)

To give you a sense of some real world breakfast hours at the Residence Inn, we’ve supplied the breakfast hours for various properties across the country below.

Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Midtown East6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Weehawken Port Imperial6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn New York Downtown Manhattan/Financial District6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Jersey City6:00am – 10:00am6:30am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Secaucus Meadowlands6:00am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn New York JFK Airport6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Los Angeles L.A. LIVE6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Los Angeles Glendale6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town6:00am – 9:00am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Beverly Hills6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Los Angeles Burbank/Downtown6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX/El Segundo6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Los Angeles Redondo Beach6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Marina del Rey6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX/Manhattan Beach6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Loop6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Chicago Midway Airport6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Chicago Wilmette/Skokie6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Chicago Oak Brook6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Chicago O’Hare6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston Downtown/Convention Center6:00am – 9:30am7:30am – 10:30am
Residence Inn Houston-West University6:30am – 9:30am7:30am – 10:30am
Residence Inn Houston Medical Center/NRG Park6:00am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston by The Galleria6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston Westchase on Westheimer6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Houston West/Beltway 8 at Clay Road6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Houston Pasadena6:00am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston West/Energy Corridor6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston Sugar Land/Stafford6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Houston Northwest/Willowbrook6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix Downtown6:00am – 9:00am6:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Phoenix Airport6:00am – 10:00am6:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Tempe Downtown/University6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Scottsdale Salt River6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix Glendale Sports & Entertainment District6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix West/Avondale6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix Mesa6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix Chandler/Fashion Center6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Scottsdale North6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Phoenix Glendale/Peoria6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Bala Cynwyd6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Airport6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Deptford6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Cherry Hill Philadelphia6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Conshohocken6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Mt. Laurel at Bishop’s Gate6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Willow Grove6:30am – 9:00am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Philadelphia Montgomeryville6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Antonio Downtown/Market Square6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Antonio Airport/Alamo Heights6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Antonio SeaWorld®/Lackland6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Antonio North/Stone Oak6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Antonio Six Flags® at The RIM6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Marcos6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter6:00am – 9:00am6:00am – 9:00am
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayfront6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Diego La Jolla6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn San Diego Chula Vista6:30am – 9:00am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Diego Sorrento Mesa/Sorrento Valley6:30am – 9:30am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Diego Rancho Bernardo/Scripps Poway6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn San Diego Del Mar6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Jacksonville Downtown6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Jacksonville Butler Boulevard6:00am – 10:00am6:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Jacksonville Airport6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Jacksonville-Mayo Clinic Area6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Jacksonville South/Bartram Park6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Columbus Downtown6:30am – 9:30am6:30am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Columbus OSU6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:00am
Residence Inn Columbus Airport6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:00am
Residence Inn Columbus Easton6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Columbus Dublin6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Columbus Polaris6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte City Center6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Uptown6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Airport6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte SouthPark6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Northlake6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Steele Creek6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Piper Glen6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Concord6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Charlotte Lake Norman6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Seattle Downtown/Convention Center6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Seattle Downtown/Lake Union6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Seattle University District6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Seattle Bellevue/Downtown6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Seattle Bellevue6:30am – 9:30am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Denver South/Park Meadows Mall6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Denver City Center6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Denver Downtown7:00am – 10:00am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Denver Cherry Creek6:30am – 9:00am7:00am – 9:30am
Residence Inn Denver Central Park6:30am – 9:30am7:00am – 10:00am
Residence Inn Corpus Christi6:30am – 9:30am6:30am – 9:30am
Residence Inn by Marriott Tucson Airport6:00am – 9:00am7:00am – 10:00am

Final word

Overall, you can assemble a satisfactory breakfast at the Residence Inn, particularly when there are special items like biscuits and gravy on the menu. If you’re staying for an extended period, it’s advisable to get creative and mix up the items to avoid getting tired of eating the same things consecutively for several days.

Don’t Want to Use Hotel Housekeeping? Here’s What to Do

The world of travel has changed significantly over the past few years, largely due to the pandemic.

In the realm of hospitality, the landscape of housekeeping has undergone a transformative shift, bringing with it a mix of blessings and curses for discerning guests like yourself.

If you’re a hotel guest who prefers not to utilize hotel housekeeping services, I will provide you with some guidance on how to approach this to ensure a seamless hotel experience.

Can you decline hotel housekeeping service for your entire stay?

The first question you might want to know is whether or not you are allowed to completely decline hotel housekeeping.

Every hotel is going to have its own housekeeping policy, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific hotel you’re staying at.

But the general trend that you’ll find at properties here in the US is that you can turn down daily housekeeping without an issue.

You can do this by simply placing a “do not disturb” sign on your door or just by talking with the housekeeping staff and letting them know you would like to decline housekeeping services.

You can also arrange this at the front desk although there are often miscommunications that arise when not dealing directly with housekeeping. Using the do not disturb placard is usually your best bet.

Housekeeping workers

Tips for going without housekeeping

If you choose to go without housekeeping, below are some helpful tips you might want to consider.

The maximum amount of time you can go without housekeeping

At many hotels, it should not be a problem to turn down housekeeping for a few days. What I mean by that is that you will not face any kind of resistance if you have a three-day stay and you do not allow housekeeping into your room during that period.

However, some properties may have a maximum amount of time that you can decline housekeeping. For example, they may specify that housekeeping “must enter your room after every seven days.” It’s worth noting that based on my personal experience, these maximum time frames may or may not be enforced.

If no personnel from the hotel is following up on this and it is up to you to schedule the housekeeping, then chances are the property will let it slide for quite a while. This can make life a lot easier for those on extended stays.

Receiving a benefit for turning down housekeeping?

If you decline housekeeping at some hotels, it’s possible that they may offer you some kind of benefit, such as a free drink at the bar, a dining credit, award points, discounted room rate, gift shop discount, or even an upgrade.

Usually, if this is offered it will be mentioned at check-in but on occasion you could bring it up to see if there is any perk that was not brought to your attention.

How to handle your trash and dirty towels

Even if you are a well-organized hotel guest, if housekeeping doesn’t come to your room to take out the trash or replace your dirty towels, things can get messy quickly, especially when dealing with the minuscule dimensions of those Lilliputian trash cans.

So, what can you do?

The best approach is to talk to the front desk and ensure that your plan is acceptable. In my experience, most front desks are okay with the steps I’ll outline below, but it’s always good to check with them as some hotels may have different policies.

For dirty towels, you can simply ball them up and place them outside your door, signaling to housekeeping that they are dirty and need to be taken. However, they may not automatically replace them, so you might need to call the front desk and make a request.

If you happen to catch housekeeping on your floor, you can also just approach them and ask or signal to them about taking your towels.

To manage towels more efficiently, you can do two things.

First, reuse your towels multiple times, as it’s more energy-conscious, and if you hang them up on the back of the door or somewhere else, they will usually dry quickly. If you’re worried about sanitation, HealthLine states that “[i]t’s sanitary to reuse a bath towel two or three times between washes.”

Second, you can request your towels in bulk. We usually ask for four towels at once, although I think we’ve requested even more than that on occasion.

Sometimes, you may receive peculiar looks when making a request that appears as if you’re creating your own mini Bath and Body Works store in your room, but if it results in fewer inquiries or trips to the reception, does it truly matter?

If a hotel is very slow to honor your request or tends to be forgetful, you can go down to the front desk and request for the towels at that moment, sometimes even following the front desk agent to the laundry room to pick them up on the spot.

You can follow a similar approach with your waste management — just put it out by your door.

When it comes to managing your trash, be sure to give it the “tight bag treatment” before placing your trash in the hallway. If you’re lucky enough to score some grocery bags, they make excellent makeshift trash bags. Or if you have access to hotel-provided trash bags, you can use those as well. To-go bags from restaurants can work as well.

Aside from room service trays, it’s important not to leave loose items in the hallway. That can unleash a medley of unpleasant smells that quickly tarnish the sweet ambiance of the hotel. It can also be an extremely unsightly appearance.

Even if you have bagged something up, if the food is very smelly it’s best to just throw that right into the bin somewhere.

Some hotels have larger trash cans on each floor, usually located next to the vending machine or ice machine.

Additionally, there is usually a trash can located right outside the front entrance or a side entrance. Typically, the hotel dumpster out back is off-limits but that doesn’t always stop people.

Remember, do not disturb does not always keep people out your room

If you were relying on the do not disturb sign to always keep people out of your room, be aware that that sign is not a full proof measure.

Hotels handle these signs differently but it’s possible that someone could come into your room based on different circumstances.

Don’t deny housekeeping if you can’t stay on top of things

As a hotel guest, be honest with yourself. If you are not going to be able to keep your room in order over the span of several days, let housekeeping in to straighten things up so that things don’t get out of hand.

It’s rather disrespectful to let your room descend into a state of utter disarray and then expect housekeeping to magically restore order in a timely manner. In some cases, you could get hit with a cleaning fee.

Simply put, opting out of housekeeping services is not the right choice for everyone.

Is it ethical to decline housekeeping?

There is an argument to be made that by turning down housekeeping you are making a bad situation worse for those who are largely immigrant, low-wage workers. Since the pandemic, their job opportunities have gone away in a lot of cases and NPR reports that “the number of people working in hotel housekeeping is down more than 20% compared to before the pandemic.”

By refusing housekeeping you could be contributing to the loss of jobs for a vulnerable segment of the population.

While it is easy to be sympathetic to this argument, it’s hard to force people to request a service that they don’t need or want. This is especially true if people have additional privacy, security, or health concerns or just don’t want people snooping around their room.

So while I do admire people who actively seek out housekeeping in order to help create steady demand for housekeeping jobs, I fully understand those who choose not to.

Related: Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping?

Final word

In today’s world, you can often refuse housekeeping for the entire duration of your stay without an issue, specially if you are on a shorter stay.

The key thing is to make sure you are keeping your room in order especially when it comes to your towels and trash.

I would suggest verifying your management plan with the front desk just to make sure you are on the same page but if you follow some of the steps above, you should be able to keep your room in order without the help of housekeeping even for extended amounts of time.

Do Hotels Provide Airport Shuttle Service?

Are you planning a trip and wondering about the most convenient way to get from the airport to your hotel?

Many hotels offer airport shuttle services that can save you cash money but they do come with some drawbacks.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of hotel airport shuttle service and provide you with all the information you need to make the most of this convenient transportation option.

What are hotel airport shuttles?

Hotel airport shuttles are convenient transportation services (typically in the form of vans or minibusses) that roam the airport grounds, eagerly hunting for passengers in need of transportation to specific hotels.

These shuttles operate on specific routes, picking up passengers from designated locations at the airport and dropping them off at their respective hotels.

They (sometimes) offer a seamless and hassle-free transfer experience, ensuring that guests can easily access their accommodations upon arrival or reach the airport in a timely manner for their departure.

But the key here is “sometimes.”

Group of travelers outside shuttle van

Do hotels provide airport shuttle service?

Many hotels do provide airport shuttle service. However, it’s important to note that not all hotels offer this amenity, so it’s always a good idea to check with your hotel before your trip.

Interior of shuttle bus

What hotels provide airport shuttle service?

When it comes to hotels that provide airport shuttle service, airport hotels, which are conveniently located near the airport, are the most likely to offer shuttle service.

These hotels can come from all different types of hotel brands and chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, etc.

Keep in mind that there are various types of airport hotels.

Some are directly located within the airport complex or terminal buildings, just steps away from the arrival and departure gates, so there’s really no need to hop on board a bus when staying at these.

However, other airport hotels are situated a short distance from the airport or a few miles away, yet they still provide airport shuttles.

Occasionally, your hotel may be located a considerable distance from the airport, yet still provide an airport shuttle bus service.

In such instances, there is a chance that you might be required to pay a fee due to the distance covered. Nevertheless, these fees are typically reasonable when compared to the cost of private transportation.

In addition to airport hotels, other properties like resorts and even boutique hotels are also known to provide shuttles from airports. Always look out for these in vacation hotspots.

It’s worth noting that shuttle service may vary in terms of frequency and operating hours, so it’s advisable to check with your hotel for specific details.

Airport shuttles provided by hotels can also vary in terms of their operating hours.

While some shuttles operate 24 hours a day, ensuring round-the-clock availability, others may have limited hours of operation. Those that limit hours may offer shuttle service aligned with common flight arrival and departure times.

On occasion, you may have to request a shuttle yourself during off hours.

Related: Are Airport Hotels Good Options? (Pros & Cons)

Rental car centers also have shuttle busses.

How to Book Airport Shuttle Service

Booking airport shuttle service at your hotel is typically a straightforward process.

Here are a few steps to follow:

Check the hotel’s website

Start by visiting the hotel’s official website and look for information about airport shuttle service. Many hotels provide details about their shuttle service, including schedules, pickup locations, and any associated fees.

Other times, this information could be somewhere in your booking confirmation emails.

Contact the hotel

If you’re feeling lost on the hotel website, don’t be shy to contact them directly.

The front desk or concierge staff will be able to assist you with any questions you may have and help you book the shuttle service, although many times they may just tell you where you need to wait in order to board the shuttle bus.

Make sure that you ask them what the shuttle bus looks like because sometimes the shuttle bus does not contain obvious branding on it. You don’t want to accidentally board a disguised ice cream truck (or maybe you do) ;).

Provide your flight details

When booking a shuttle service reservation, you’ll probably need to provide flight information like arrival and departure times.

This will help the hotel coordinate the shuttle schedule and ensure a smooth transfer to and from the airport.

If you’re coming in on one of the last flights of the night then a good hotel should postpone the shuttle service so that it is properly timed with your flight.

Confirm your reservation

It’s always a good idea to double-check your shuttle reservation a day or two before your arrival. This will help avoid any misunderstandings and give you peace of mind.

Be aware that some hotels have a special phone number you can dial to inquire about the shuttle service. They may provide you with automated messages regarding the latest status of the hotel shuttle and give you details on things the routes, stops, and operating hours.

How does the cost of airport shuttle service compare to other forms of transportation?

When considering transportation options from the airport to your hotel, cost is often a significant factor.

Hotel airport shuttle service can be a cost-effective option, especially if the shuttle service is provided at no extra charge for hotel guests.

However, it’s important to note that some hotels may charge a nominal fee for the shuttle service, so it’s essential to inquire about any associated costs when making your reservation. (Sometimes, it might be factored into the resort fee.)

Comparing the cost of hotel airport shuttle service to other forms of transportation, such as taxis or ride-sharing services, can help you make an informed decision.

Typically, a shuttle service is going to be the most economical because it’s often free or at least much cheaper than a taxi or rideshare.

However, the lower cost of a shuttle does come with some drawbacks.

It could take longer than using a taxi or rideshare

The first drawback is that it’s often going to take longer to get to your hotel or to the airport than it would if you were using something like a taxi or Uber.

Some shuttle busses like to make a grand tour, stopping at every possible hotel along the way. If you were one of the last properties to get dropped off at, it might feel like you were on something of a sightseeing tour!

Then there’s the classic case of the bus running fashionably late, and you never know when that can happen.

And let’s not forget the situations where a bus picks up passengers from multiple points. In these instances, the bus can quickly transform into a can of sardines before it even reaches your stop.

To maximize your chances of a smooth getaway, position yourself strategically at the stop nearest the shuttle bus lane entrance. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting skipped by a shuttle bus that won’t be returning until another 20 minutes!

Luggage issues can become a problem

If you have a lot of luggage with you, shuttle buses can sometimes be problematic. One issue is that if there are many other passengers on the bus vying for precious storage space, you may not have enough room for all your luggage.

Typically, you will find some racks inside the bus where you can place your luggage and sometimes there is a spacious storage area in the back.

However, if you are traveling with excessive luggage, there is no guarantee you will have enough space, and you might be subjected to a quick and stressful game of Tetris, where the consequences of failing include a bus full of scowling faces.

In some cases, if you have heavy luggage, the driver may assist you in storing it (in which case you should tip), but this is not always the case.

Consider using the shuttle for one-way and private transportation for the other

If you’re torn between the luxury of private transportation and the allure of shuttle bus savings, why not find a middle ground?

On your arrival day, splurge on a private ride from the airport to your hotel, because that is when you will be the most tired and then the other passengers will be the stinkiest.

On the way back to the airport, people tend to be more refreshed, and you’ll be less exhausted, ready to tackle any delays.

Remember to have good etiquette

When you arrive on an airport shuttle bus, try to do the following:

  • Avoid sitting next to other passengers if there are other open seats
  • Avoid placing your luggage on top of other bags unless absolutely necessary
  • Hold on to poles or cables if standing so that you don’t fall into the lap of a stranger
  • Offer a helping hand if someone frail is struggling with luggage
  • Avoid sitting in the seats for those with disabilities unless you need them or are sure you’re not taking a seat from someone who needs it
  • Put your personal item in your lap so that the aisle stays clear

Final word

Hotel airport shuttle service offers a convenient and often cost-effective transportation option for travelers. Many hotels provide this service, making it easier for guests to reach their accommodations. But it’s always good to think through the savings and conveniences offered so that your travels are not made more miserable than they need to be.

Hampton Inn Breakfast: What’s in Store for You? (Hours & Menu Options)

Are you planning on staying at the Hampton Inn anytime soon and wondering about the breakfast situation? You might be wondering exactly what you can expect.

Will it be a breakfast bonanza that leaves you skipping down the hallway with a happy belly? Or should you prepare for an early morning let down?

In this breakfast exposé, I’ll spill the beans (and maybe some syrup) on everything you need to know about the breakfast scene at a Hampton Inn.

Is the Hampton Inn breakfast free?

Yes, the Hampton Inn breakfast is included in the cost of your room, so you don’t have to pay extra for it. It’s like a sneaky little cost hidden in your room rate, which is why I hesitate to really consider it “free.”

But this isn’t some exclusive breakfast club where only Hilton Honors elite members with Gold or Diamond status get to indulge. Nope! Everyone typically gets a piece of the free breakfast pie at Hampton Inn. So go ahead and enjoy those golden waffles without any membership prerequisites. It’s a breakfast free-for-all!

Related: What Hotels Have Free Breakfast?

What to expect with a Hampton Inn breakfast

You’ll be pleased to know that some Hampton Inn properties serve up a “continental plus” breakfast — that’s fancy talk for an upgrade from your run-of-the-mill continental breakfast. What does that mean?

Well, in addition to the basic breakfast items, they’ll hook you up with some hot and hearty items to fuel your day. Think fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and fresh-off-the-griddle pancakes. These can be much more filling which is why a Hampton Inn can be a great place to start your day.

A typical Hampton Inn breakfast is going to be a buffet style breakfast so you can eat until your heart’s content.

On occasion, you might see a sign that says you are limited to a number of items but I don’t think those signs are typically enforced especially because there often are little to no attendants in the area. Still, try not to go overboard for the sake of other guests.

Hampton Inn breakfast

The breakfast area

Some Hampton Inn properties, particularly those recently renovated or newly built, offer a nice breakfast area to savor your meal. For instance, I was pleasantly surprised by the Hampton Inn in Salem, Massachusetts, which provided a roomy restaurant-like area with cozy booths, including some with TV screens.

Hampton Inn breakfast area

At times, you might encounter a smaller eating area, which means you won’t have anywhere to sit. The hotel should allow you to retreat to your room and indulge in the comfort of your own private dining haven, so that’s always a good backup plan.

As far as what your options will include, most likely, you’ll have a variety of both cold and hot choices.

For the cold options, you may find a bin filled with bread slices, loaves, bagels, croissants, and some muffins/pastries. I’ve had some truly divine blueberry muffins at Hampton Inn properties, but the type of pastry you receive will always depend on the property.

Hampton Inn breakfast

Expect to find an assortment of condiments for your bread, including grape jelly, strawberry jelly, peanut butter, and various butter options. You might also come across honey, as well as ketchup, salsa, and salt and pepper. If you feel the need to toast your bagel or bread, rest assured that a toaster should be available for your toasty desires.

Hampton Inn breakfast

In addition, you may have a collection of cereal items including cereals like Cheerios, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, and other popular types like Frosted Flakes. The cereal could come in individual boxes or in one of the dispensers that require a touch of caution to prevent any accidental spillage. So, exercise your breakfast ninja skills and enjoy the crunchy goodness of your chosen cereal.

There may be a dispenser for milk next to the cereal or you may find individual cartons inside of a refrigerator (along with other cold beverages).

Hampton Inn breakfast
Hampton Inn breakfast
A touch of caution, indeed.

You could also enjoy a variety of different flavors of yogurt, granola bars, and possibly some fresh fruit, such as oranges and bananas. However, I must admit, there are times when the fruit may appear a tad past its prime.

Hampton Inn breakfast

For those who love to indulge in a steaming bowl of creamy goodness, you’l be happy to know oatmeal is another staple that you can expect to find.

Hampton Inn breakfast

Sometimes you will have your own little instant oatmeal packs that you can make yourself which can come in different flavors like apple cinnamon, cinnamon and spice, original, and maple and brown sugar.

Hampton Inn breakfast oatmeal

Now getting into the hot items. You may find traditional hot breakfast items like eggs, potatoes, and proteins such as sausage or bacon.

The eggs may come in scrambled form but you may also find them in other varieties like omelettes.

For the potatoes, those could come in the form of a hash brown, tater tots, home fries, etc. Expect the quality of the breakfast sausage and bacon to vary from not so delicious to quite enjoyable.

Hampton Inn breakfast eggs sausage

If you’re really lucky, you might even stumble upon some biscuits and gravy or even fresh breakfast burritos. If so, report back and let me know what you thought!

One of the perks at staying at the Hampton Inn is that sometimes you can have a waffle or pancake maker to enjoy your own fluffy creation.

Hampton Inn breakfast waffle maker

You might have different options for the batter which could consist of a traditional vanilla flavor or something a little more interesting like a blueberry waffle batter.

Always make sure you spray down the waffle maker before you use it so that you’re better doesn’t stick (assuming they offer you that option of course)!

Hampton Inn breakfast batter

You can expect a delightful assortment of beverages to quench your morning thirst at the Hampton Inn. Your options will include coffee, tea, juices, milk, and water, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

Citrus-lovers will likely find orange juice available, usually without pulp. In addition to orange juice, there may also be a tantalizing variety of other juices available, such as apple juice.

Coffee enthusiasts can find both regular and decaffeinated options and might even find a selection of different roasts, ranging from light to dark. All your cream and sugar needs will be conveniently located right next to the coffee canisters, providing the perfect fixings for your preferred cup of joe.

For the tea aficionados, the breakfast area may offer more tea options than your own room, with a hot water dispenser readily available to assist you in crafting the perfect cup of tea in the morning. Some hotels may even provide hot chocolate packets, particularly if you find yourself in a chilly area or visiting during the winter season.

Hampton Inn breakfast coffee

What are the breakfast hours?

Typically, they serve breakfast from around 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. until 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. on weekdays, although some might stop serving even earlier. On weekends and holidays, the breakfast hours may be extended to accommodate late-risers, usually until 10:00 a.m. or possibly even 11:00 a.m.

Sometimes a Hampton Inn may have grab and go options for people heading to breakfast extra early or late but those are not always available.

But every property is different so you always need to verify hours with the front desk!

The different forms of breakfast at Hampton Inn

Sometimes the breakfast will not live up to the standards you would hope for. In fact, there have even been reports of Hampton Inn properties offering discount cards when you show your room key to nearby breakfast restaurants such as Denny’s.

That’s probably not a super common occurrence but it is something you can look out for, as it might be a sign that the breakfast isn’t all that.

Also, be aware that some properties might be offering a grab and go breakfast experience which will be very different from the options described above.

Other properties might even give you a voucher to be used at the pantry/market so just remember that breakfast can come in a lot of different forms within the same Hampton Inn brand.

It’s also possible that some properties may offer a different breakfast on weekends versus weekdays so be prepared for that. And finally, it’s also possible that for whatever reason breakfast may not be available at all. If breakfast is really a top concern, you should think about calling ahead to verify what you can expect.

Final word

A Hampton Inn breakfast can be quite satisfying if they have a decent amount of both hot and cold options to help fill you up along with a good selection of beverages. The key to remember is that every property may be a little bit different so just because one Hampton Inn delivers at a high-level, the next one may not.

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