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3 questions to ask before booking a hotel stay

How to maximize your hotel stay
How to maximize your hotel stay 03:05

How do you make a reservation for a hotel room? You either go online or use a travel agent. Some of you might even call the hotel directly.

But no matter how you make your reservation, there are three questions you must ask before you ever accept the keys to your room to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Here are those questions, and the reasons why you need to ask them.

Question No. 1: How close is my room to the construction?

Most hotels are going through a cycle of rebuilding or renovation. And in many cases, the hotel closes off a wing or a floor. So having that construction information is crucial to getting a room as far away from it as possible. 

If you don't ask that question, you stand an excellent chance of being given the keys to the jackhammer suite. An alternate question: How close is my room to the ballroom? Why? You don't want to attempt to sleep in a room located anywhere above the ballroom. You stand an excellent chance of an unwanted wake-up call at 2 a.m. when they are throwing out all the wine and champagne bottles from the event held there a few hours earlier.

Question No. 2: Can you give me a room between the second and the seventh floor? 

Upper-level rooms with a view are overrated. It takes longer to get to them — and just as long to get back down in elevators that might be stopping on many floors. But there's a much more important reason to ask this question. 

First, for security reasons you don't want a room on the first floor of any hotel. It's too easy for burglars — or worse — to have easy access and an exit strategy. But it's for safety reasons you want a room between the second and the seventh floor. There's not a fire department in the world that can effectively — and quickly — fight a fire about the eigth floor of any building. 

And smoke rises, and most deaths in fires are the result of smoke inhalation. But if you insist on that higher-floor room with a view — you'll have one all right in the event of a fire of rescuers unable to reach you.

Question No. 3: Can you tell me on which of the floors are the booster pumps located? 

This question will almost invariably be met with a look of confusion by the front desk staff. So help them out — ask them to call the hotel engineer. Because this important question is all about great water pressure in the bathroom, to which everyone should aspire. 

The problem: There's not a hotel in the world that is able to maintain consistent, strong water pressure on every floor. The remedy at many hotels is to install additional water booster pumps on different floors. The key is to get a room on the same floor where there's a booster pump. 

If you do that, you'll be able to open the door to your guest room, walk into the bathroom, turn on the faucet and the water will come out with the pressure of a small fire hose.

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