Staying at a nice hotel can be fun, and for "common folk" like myself, perhaps a bit intimidating. It can be a different experience letting someone else park your car, carry your bags, bring you bottles of wine to your room, and hand you a towel at the pool or locker room. Or perhaps you like to travel in style, and are used to being taken care of? Either way, a man on the inside has the scoop on how to deal with the employees. Here are some tips:
1. Let them do their jobs! A lot of people don't want to hand over the keys to their car, or let someone take their bags to their room. The employees hired to do those things for guests are there for that purpose. Let them do it. A common complaint is that people don't want to tip the valets, room service people, bell staff, concierge, etc. So they try to do everything themselves, and often throw the hotel into disarray. Let the employees do their job. If you don't want to tip, then don't. Most won't take it personally.
2. With a bump in class comes a bump in price. You may be able to get a room at a four or five star hotel on Priceline for the same as a room at the Best Western, but realize that they operate differently. Things cost more at high-end hotels. For example, expect to pay for parking, internet, and for food to be more expensive. Don't blame employees for these things either, they have no control over it. So keep in mind that if you do stay at the Four Seasons, you may be getting a good deal on the room. But that doesn't mean that everything else is discounted as well.
3. Tipping. Tipping makes a lot of people uncomfortable. If you don't feel like tipping the employees, then don't stay at a high-end place. It may sound crass, but that's the truth. It's understandable that you may not want to shell out cash every time the valets bring your car around, so tell them up front that you will take care of them when you check out. Learn their names and thank them. Not being a jerk is much more important than tipping. If you are strapped for cash, instead of tipping, speak with a manager and commend the employees who helped you on their service. Or go on Tripadvisor and leave a nice comment. There are ways to take care of people without dropping Lincolns in their hands.