The Essentials

Why You Should Call the Hotel After You Book


Want to get a decent hotel room? Did you book it online?


While most hotels won’t admit to the practice, each hotel knows the booking history of each room — who booked it, and even more importantly, and at what rate and through what site.


If the booking came from a discount travel website, the hotel assumes potential revenue from you for food and beverage and laundry. The spa may be nonexistent. And the hotel assigns the room accordingly.


And so while you might have a guaranteed room reservation, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a great room.


To make matters worse, if you’re planning on checking in after 9 p.m. in the evening, your odds of getting a bad room increase almost exponentially.


Translation: once your online reservation is confirmed, call the hotel. Speak to a manager. Introduce yourself. Be nice. Ask to check in on the phone and let the hotel know you’ll be arriving late. Otherwise, repeat after me: closet.