In working the front desk of hotels and resorts across Southern California for more than 10 years, I’ve witnessed perfect weekends and major meltdowns.
I interacted with guests who planned every last detail of their trip and those who waited until the last possible minute to make a dinner reservation.
As friends started asking me for tips on how to ensure a pleasurable hotel experience, I realized this is something any traveler should know.
The Pavilion at Indian Wells Golf Resort
1. Understand the Seasons
JW Marriott Desert Springs
2. Call the Front Desk Manager
Chances are you will make your reservation online, either through the hotel’s website or a third party (Expedia, Booking.com, etc). Once you complete the reservation, call the hotel and speak with the Front Desk Manager. Be polite and explain that you have made a reservation and would like to discuss room preferences, arrival time, billing, etc. The Front Desk Manager will be your greatest asset in ensuring all your needs are met since they are typically the ones assigning your room and coordinating all aspects of your stay.
The Saguaro Palm Springs
3. Understand the Hotel’s Debit Card Policy
While many travelers choose to use a credit card at the time of check-in there are still many who use a bank debit card. Hotels will typically put a hold on debit cards for the total amount of a stay plus an additional hold per day to cover charges like drinks or dinner. If using a debit card to check-in, call the hotel ahead of time to better understand what will be charged upon arrival.
Two Bunch Palms
4. Plan Ahead
If plans include dining at the hotel’s restaurant or visiting the spa, book those as soon as you make your room reservation. Chances are you are not alone in wanting to take advantage of the hotel’s offerings. If you wait until the last minute, you risk dining at 5 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
La Quinta Resort & Club
5. Make Friends with the Concierge
With millions of Smartphone users in the world who have answers to any question at their fingertips, it may seem easy to forgo the Concierge. While you may be able to find a restaurant for dinner or a local spa for massages, you might be missing out on the city’s hidden gems! Hotel Concierges pride themselves on being the expert in their city, and they can usually pull strings to get you into a sold-out event or even score that coveted table at the most sought-after restaurant.
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