LOS ANGELES (CBS) — It could give "turn down" service a whole new meaning.
Before you take that hotel key and head blithely up to your room, there are some questions you need to ask.And if you're not getting the answers you want or need, don't accept that key.
Paul Magers, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, got great travel tips from expert Peter Greenberg.
Secret #1: Ask how close your room is to construction.
Greenberg says that's a question Laura Vrooman, a northern California resident, should have asked before embarking on her Hawaiian vacation.
She wasn't a happy camper at Bob Hope Airport on her return home. "It was just a major construction site. They were re-doing part of the time share resort that we stay at. So it was just pretty loud and not a pretty view either."
Debbie Ianniello of Oak Park echoed that sentiment. "After I checked in and they gave me my room, they told me construction was going on. They said 'Don't worry. It was only between certain hours' Wasn't true...was loud...so I did request a room change."
Reminds Greenberg, "Every hotel in one form or another is either renovating or restoration. They've either closed off a whole wing or whole floor and if you don't ask that question you'll be given the keys to jackhammer suite."
Ianniello is also not a fan of weak hotel showers.
Secret #2: Ask about the water pressure and ask to be put on a floor with a booster pump.
Ianniello was tired of water that came out in a drizzle. "You realize there must be a problem you think within the hotel. I wouldn't stay there again. You complain.You call down. They say, 'Unfortunately, that's the way it is.'"
Not so says the travel expert. Which is where the booster pumps come in. "Very few hotels can maintain consistently good water pressure on all all their floors So, on different floors they put a booster pump. You turn you shower faucet on? You've got a fire hose going. I want great water pressure in my room."
Secret #3: Check rates online then call the hotel directly.
Elizabeth Peterson from Mojave tends to stop looking after she quotes the price she sees on the Internet.
Greenberg says it's always smart to consult the hotel as well. "If the Schmidlapp wedding just canceled, and sixty rooms suddenly come up online, that's not going to show up on a website, that's not going to show up on their 800 number. They dump the rooms when you call and you have a much better deal than you'll ever find on the website."
Secret #4: Be nice on the phone. It can't hurt, says Greenberg, and it might help.
"It might even get you and upgrade because you were nice to someone and they were nice to you and you actually said, 'Thank you' Ooooh bingo! Upgrade!"
Secret #5: Ask for a room on the 8th floor or below.
Why? Simple. In case of fire, says the travel guru, firefighters can only do ladder rescues as high as the 8th floor. So, the 45th floor might offer a stunning view but the room on the 3rd floor might be a safer choice.
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