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Hotels

When on business, you are most likely to stay in a 3-star to 5-star hotel. You will most likely be working at a hectic pace and the services at a 4-5 star hotel will be invaluable, especially if you are traveling internationally.

Hot Tip:
A 5-star hotel is increasingly important in the more remote cities of

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When on business, you are most likely to stay in a 3-star to 5-star hotel. You will most likely be working at a hectic pace and the services at a 4-5 star hotel will be invaluable, especially if you are traveling internationally.

Hot Tip:

A 5-star hotel is increasingly important in the more remote cities of countries that you cannot speak the native language.

Having someone at the concierge or reception desk at the hotel who can speak your native language as fluently as is required to get directions or get things done is essential. In the more remote cities even what is considered “fluent” English can be a moot point and extremely frustrating in the moment but much more effective than not being able to sort out issues and problems.

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    executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-hotel-check-in

    Hotel Check In

    Hotel check in can be done at the front desk or, increasingly online. Most major western hotel chains will provide online check in either 24 or 48 hours prior to check in.
    Hotel check in is usually at the front desk. The staff will need to know your name and will require an imprint of a credit card for hotel

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    Hotel check in can be done at the front desk or, increasingly online. Most major western hotel chains will provide online check in either 24 or 48 hours prior to check in.

    Hotel check in is usually at the front desk. The staff will need to know your name and will require an imprint of a credit card for hotel charges to be assigned to. They will also ask for a copy of photo identification. Your passport is usually required if you do not have a form of identification from the local country. They will also ask you to complete a registration card. This card has you name, address and phone number and most importantly your signature, on it. Increasingly as more hotels require on-line reservations this is not required at check-in. This is because you have provided these details on line when the reservation was made. They will, however, always require a signature on check in.

    Hotel check in on line is easy and usually attached to your reservation. You will likely receive a notification from the hotel ahead of time to remind you that you can check in online. Online check in saves time for the hotel which is supposed to reduce lines and save money.

    Some hotel chains will also provide a key on your phone if you chose to do this. Then you will be able to bypass the front desk all together and go straight to your room. Your room number will be provided with the room key on your smart phone.  The technology works like airline mobile check in. Or even just like the key card the hotel front desk would give you. Hold your phone with your room key showing against the room key scanner and it will let you in for the duration of your stay. If you chose to check in online but not accept the room key on your phone, you will need to present at the front desk to get the key.

    If you stay in the same hotel regularly once these details are on file, the registration card will be automatically printed with the details and you will only need to check that nothing has changed and sign the form.

    You may have asked for special requirements for the room like non-smoking and bed type preferences when you made your reservation. click here for Your Infrastructure for details on what special requests are commonly accommodated by hotels. It is a good idea to reiterate your request at the check-in desk to ensure you get your preference. This way you are sure up front that it is correct. Otherwise you go to your room only to find out you have 2 single beds instead of a king size. Then you have to go back to reception (or call them) and get this sorted. And get a new room key.

    All hotels will have a policy in the small print that says they will provide your request or similar. There will be occasions when you have requested a king bed for 1 guest and there are no king bed rooms left. The hotel will expect you to accept the twin share room in its place. It should only happen as an exception so be aware of it and deal with it.

    There are always “no shows” at hotels, ie guests who have booked but for whatever reason do not show on the day. As a result of this all large hotels over book their rooms. If it is very busy they will book up to 110% capacity meaning that 10% more rooms than are available will be sold. They do this on the basis that they expect up to 10% “no shows”.

    Being “Walked”
    This means that on some (rare) occasions, when hotels are busy, they over book. Then everyone turns up and there are not enough rooms!! Yes this does happen and they will “walk” you. This means they will have arrangements with a hotel nearby and they will transport you to. If and when this happens it is extremely frustrating because it is usually very late. They run out of rooms as the last guests check in. So you are likely to be tired and as a result, this experience will not be pleasant. There is nothing you can do about it so grin and bear it. However be sure to let your travel agent or assistant know to let the hotel know. If you were entitled to loyalty points or other benefits, be sure that they are allocated as though you stayed in the originally booked hotel.

    When your passport is required for check in, they will write your passport details on your registration card. In some cities and at some hotel chains, they take a photocopyof the front page of your passport. That is, the one with the passport number and your photo on it. This is a common practice and you will be required by law to conform prior to the hotel checking you in. Make sure you get your passport back from the staff while you wait. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your passport with the staff with a plan to pick it up later. Passport theft and passport identity theft does occur. You do not want to get caught up in a police matter in a foreign country if you can avoid it.

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      executive-travel-assistant-hotel-services-provided

      Hotel Services Provided

      If you are traveling extensively, knowing the hotel services provided will allow you to make the most of your stays. Selecting and staying in one hotel chain will optimize the rewards from your frequent flyer program. Click here to read more about Frequent Flyer and Loyalty Programs.
      If you go to the same city regularly, find a hotel

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      If you are traveling extensively, knowing the hotel services provided will allow you to make the most of your stays. Selecting and staying in one hotel chain will optimize the rewards from your frequent flyer program. Click here to read more about Frequent Flyer and Loyalty Programs.

      If you go to the same city regularly, find a hotel that is convenient and that you enjoy. Stay there consistently. Introduce yourself to the staff and get to know them. This will work towards improving the service you receive when you stay. secondly it will make you feel increasingly comfortable. The hotel will be tracking the number of stays you have in any given year. So staying at the same hotel will also optimize the likelihood that you will get a room upgrade or arrival gift.

      You will also get to know the neighborhood if you stay in the same hotel. This will also make it feel more like home. The restaurants in the area will become more familiar as will the shopping and other facilities.

      4 -5 Star Hotels provide a wide range of services which business travelers need from time to time. Many of the hotel services provided are included in your room rate. If there are additional charges for any of the services, the hotel will clearly communicate that. Take a look at the compendium in the hotel room when you arrive. Details of what is available in-house and if the service is provided out-of-house will be laid out there.

      At the end of the day, if you are staying in a 5-star hotel you can expect the hotel to provide you with whatever help you require (so long as it is legal!). It may be an additional charge but it is their job to see to it that all your requirements are met. Just ask!!

      Click here for a guide to what services you can expect at hotels by department.

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        executive-travel-assistant-hotel-room-number

        Room Number

        Never divulge your room number.
        4 – 5 star hotel staff are trained not to ask for your room number in a public area. If you are by the pool and ordering a drink, only give your room number to uniformed staff. In fact, they will usually give you the “check” to write your name and room number on

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        Never divulge your room number.

        4 – 5 star hotel staff are trained not to ask for your room number in a public area. If you are by the pool and ordering a drink, only give your room number to uniformed staff. In fact, they will usually give you the “check” to write your name and room number on rather than ask for it in front of other guests. Insist on this practice if it is not automatically offered.

        If you have guests to visit you at the hotel, the hotel will have trained staff not to give out your room number. This is whether the visitor is coming to your room or meeting you in the foyer. They will either have a house phone for the guest to call you on or reception or the concierge desk will handle it. If the operator is handling the call via the house phone, they ask the guest for the name of the person they are visiting. Then they will put them through to you so that you can vet the visitor. If the reception desk is handling the guest, once they have contacted you in your room, they will hand the handset of the telephone to the visitor so that you can be sure you recognize the voice and that it is someone you are expecting. This way you have complete control of who knows your room number, who comes to you room and who you meet in the foyer at your discretion.

        If in doubt, call reception or security for assistance.

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          executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-butler-service

          Butler Service

          At the “high end” hotels, sometime referred to as 6-Star and often at regular 5-Star hotels in Asia, a butler service is provided. Or you can reserve a room with butler service. If this is the case, the butler will knock on your door within 15 minutes of you arriving and introduce themselves. The service will be available 24 hours

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          At the “high end” hotels, sometime referred to as 6-Star and often at regular 5-Star hotels in Asia, a butler service is provided. Or you can reserve a room with butler service. If this is the case, the butler will knock on your door within 15 minutes of you arriving and introduce themselves. The service will be available 24 hours per day with the butler on rotating shifts. You usually find that the daytime butler is the same every day so you will get to know them.

          If you are offered a butler service, they will organize whatever you require. Tea or coffee, drinks, meals, pressing, laundry and shoe shining are all things they do. Even unpacking and packing your suitcase can be arranged by them. Advice on local area, how to get where you need to go, booking car service and anything else you ask them to do or organize. You just need to contact them usually via the phone. In some newer hotels, you can also contact them via email whether you are in the hotel or not. The butler will let you know the best way to contact them when they introduce themselves.

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            executive-travel-assistant-drycleaning-and -laundry

            Laundry Dry Cleaning Service

            Most hotels provide same day service for laundry dry cleaning and pressing. Most 4 and 5 star hotels provide an iron and ironing board in your room for pressing.
            There will be forms for completion and bags for the laundry and dry cleaning in the cupboard in your room. You will need to fill in your name, room number, itemize

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            Most hotels provide same day service for laundry dry cleaning and pressing. Most 4 and 5 star hotels provide an iron and ironing board in your room for pressing.

            There will be forms for completion and bags for the laundry and dry cleaning in the cupboard in your room. You will need to fill in your name, room number, itemize the items you are sending out for cleaning (by ticking the boxes) and nominate if it is to be laundered or dry cleaned. Finally there will be a ”special instructions” box. This is for any notes you wish to inform the laundry of. You will need to sign the form. Sometimes there are several copies of the form, one may be for you to keep as your record. If this is the case, it will be nominated on the form as to which form is for you.

            If you have laundry and dry cleaning, it is probably best to minimize confusion to use 2 bags and 2 forms – one for the laundry and one for the dry cleaning. The same approach goes for pressing.

            Put the cleaning and the form in the bag/s. Call housekeeping to let them know to pick it up. Make sure housekeeping gives you clear instructions as to what to do with the laundry. If you are not going to be in the room when the housekeeper comes to pick up the laundry they may require you to leave the bag/s inside your room or may ask you to put it outside your door. It is always best to follow these instructions in case of theft.

            Generally, they will ask you to have the cleaning available prior to 9am for returning by the end of the day. This will also be outlined on the form.

            There may be an express service and there may be a pressing service (usually 2 or 3 hours). The surcharge for express service is usually twice as much as the regular service.

            Hot Tip: Saving money. Sometimes hotels provide laundry and dry cleaning services externally to the hotel, as in people in the neighborhood will use the service. This is usually administered through the hotel shop, where they sell souvenirs. magazines and supplies (like toothpaste, etc). If you drop your laundry and drycleaning in here to collect it later, you will save 30-50% on in room laundry and dry cleaning services. You will have to drop it off and collect it but it is a significant savings. Check if your hotel has laundry and drycleaning available through the shop! Remember to present your hotel loyalty card to ensure you accumulate points on the money you spend here

            Alternatively, you can use a laundry/dry cleaning service in the neighborhood. This will be especially cost effective for “bag wash” (sometimes called “wash and fold”). To find a local laundry/dry cleaning service near your hotel, check out the locations finder and select laundry/dry cleaning service on this website. Here is the link Location Finder

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              executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-Clothing-repairs

              Clothing Repairs

              If you require clothing repairs – eg a button has fallen off your jacket, housekeeping will be able to repair this. This service will be provided in 4-5 star hotels. If one button falls off, then they will be able to use the spare button that is usually sewn inside the jacket. If there is no spare or you require

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              If you require clothing repairs – eg a button has fallen off your jacket, housekeeping will be able to repair this. This service will be provided in 4-5 star hotels. If one button falls off, then they will be able to use the spare button that is usually sewn inside the jacket. If there is no spare or you require 2 buttons, they will take off all the buttons and replace them. They will usually complete the work with the buttons they have available which may or not be to your liking. But better a jacket with buttons than not being able to wear it for the rest of the trip.

              There will also be local clothing repairs businesses available. Often this is a service provided by dry cleaners or laundry service businesses. Click here for the location finder You will be able to find a clothing repair business in many business cities in the world. If you know one to add to the list, feel free to add it to “add a listing” on the right of location finder page. Thanks for your help!

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                executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-hotel-smart-phones

                Hotel Smart Phone

                A recent development is the offer of a complimentary hotel smart phone. You can take it with you from the hotel for use during your stay. They are usually provided to high status level guests, suite reservation guests and in some cases they are in every room of the hotel.
                They provide:

                a local telephone number for people

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                A recent development is the offer of a complimentary hotel smart phone. You can take it with you from the hotel for use during your stay. They are usually provided to high status level guests, suite reservation guests and in some cases they are in every room of the hotel.

                They provide:

                • a local telephone number for people to call you from,
                • free local calls and/or calls to a limited daily amount
                • apps installed which you can use for free like maps, restaurant guides, etc
                • data downloading

                Of course, if you lose or misuse the telephone you pay for it and some services available on the telephone need to be paid for. All the usage information and conditions are outlined with the telephone.

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                  executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-valuables

                  Valuables

                  The hotel will not take responsibility for your valuables so use the hotel safe. Most hotels in most cities in the world have in room safes. You just insert your own pin code or credit card to gain access. Use it!
                  In the unlikely case that there are no in room safes, the hotel will provide safety deposit boxes which

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                  The hotel will not take responsibility for your valuables so use the hotel safe. Most hotels in most cities in the world have in room safes. You just insert your own pin code or credit card to gain access. Use it!

                  In the unlikely case that there are no in room safes, the hotel will provide safety deposit boxes which you can use. These will be accessed by the reception desk.

                  Passports, tickets, credit cards and cash and jewelry and watches are likely to be your valuables. There are a few cities in the world where it is either required or sensible to carry your passport with you at all times. In the major English speaking cities this is not necessary and your passport can be left in your hotel room safe. Laptops, tablets and phones usually fit into the safe also. If you are leaving these items behind in your room, it is best to leave them in the safe.

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                    executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-safety-and-security

                    Hotel Security

                    Hotel Security should be considered carefully. Lock your door when you stay in a hotel and put the chain (or other lock) on the door. This way you will know that you are the only person who can let anyone in. Remember that all hotel staff have a master key. They can gain access to your room but the chain

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                    Hotel Security should be considered carefully. Lock your door when you stay in a hotel and put the chain (or other lock) on the door. This way you will know that you are the only person who can let anyone in. Remember that all hotel staff have a master key. They can gain access to your room but the chain on the door gives you control of who enters. If you forget your key, ask reception for another key. They should always ask for photo ID prior to giving you a new room key.

                    4 and 5 star hotel staff will announce themselves when they knock on the door, For example, if you order room service, they will knock on the door and announce “Room Service”. Use the peep hole in the door to check who is knocking. It will be obvious that it is housekeeping because they will be holding laundry or whatever else you have ordered. Only open the door to some one you are expecting or a uniformed staff member.

                    If you have not asked for a service and someone knocks, check through the peep hole. Check if you recognize the hotel uniform. Through the door ask who is there and expect a prompt answer and if you are unsure, call the department they say they are from and ask if you should be expecting someone from that department to visit your room at that time. If in doubt, call reception or security for assistance.

                    While it is highly unlikely that a stranger will knock on your door, it is better to be safe than sorry. While it is highly unlikely, it has happened that a room can be accidentally allocated to another customer on check in. This is more likely in hotels that still use regular room keys and whose computer check in systems are not world class. The worst experience that you are likely to have is someone to burst into the room in the middle of the night having been given the key to your room. They will be as surprised and you and it could be embarrassing all around. Having the chain (or other door lock) bolted will at least keep them on the other side of the door!

                    There are cities in the world and neighborhoods in cities that are not safe to venture into. Your host with the company you work for, your customer or the reception or concierge desk at the hotel will be able to give advice on this. They will be able to assist you with getting to where you need to go safely if you are in one of these cities.

                    Click here to learn more about Fire and Other Emergencies

                    Click here to learn more on Security in general.

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                      executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-in-case-of-fire-or-emergency

                      In case of Fire or Other Emergency

                      To ensure your safety in case of fire or other emergency in a hotel, here are some tips. When you get to the floor of your hotel room, you just need to make a quick check of where the fire exits are in case you need to use them. There is also usually a diagram on the back of the

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                      To ensure your safety in case of fire or other emergency in a hotel, here are some tips. When you get to the floor of your hotel room, you just need to make a quick check of where the fire exits are in case you need to use them. There is also usually a diagram on the back of the door in your hotel room which shows the layout of the floor in case of emergency. Do not use the elevators if there is a fire.

                      In larger hotels today, there is usually an intercom system and you will hear the hotel management communicating messages over this system if there is an emergency. Follow their instructions and do not panic!

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                        executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-checking-Out

                        Checking Out

                        Checking out allows you to finalise the account, get a copy of the detailed account and complete the transaction. In all modern hotel chains, all this work is completed on line. They will often put a copy of the bill under your door t
                        Checking out allows you to finalize the account, get a copy of the detailed invoice and

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                        Checking out allows you to finalise the account, get a copy of the detailed account and complete the transaction. In all modern hotel chains, all this work is completed on line. They will often put a copy of the bill under your door t

                        Checking out allows you to finalize the account, get a copy of the detailed invoice and receipt and complete the transaction. In all modern hotel chains, all this work is completed on line and they will often put a copy of the bill under your door the morning of your scheduled departure. Or you may be able to view this account on the television.

                        Needless to say, there is no real need to formally check out except for one of three reasons. Firstly, you may have an account query (which you can handle over the telephone),. Secondly you want to pay for the bill with a different credit card than the one you presented on check-in or reservation, or in cash. The third reason would be that you need a detailed copy of the bill immediately.

                        If you chose not to formally check out, the hotel already has a copy of your credit card and so you can just walk out.

                        The hotel, in most cases, automatically emails you a copy of the detailed invoice to the email address you nominated on the registration form.

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                          executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-serviced-apartments

                          Serviced Apartments

                          Serviced apartments are another option for accommodation. They are usually best suited to longer stays where a hotel room is too cramped. A one bedroom serviced apartment is usually about the same price as a 5 Star hotel in the same city for short stays. They will have a small living/dining area and a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette. One

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                          Serviced apartments are another option for accommodation. They are usually best suited to longer stays where a hotel room is too cramped. A one bedroom serviced apartment is usually about the same price as a 5 Star hotel in the same city for short stays. They will have a small living/dining area and a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette. One of the key benefits of serviced apartment for longer stays, is that the price per night usually drops over time. For example a one month stay per night will be much cheaper than paying per night, the normal practice in a hotel.

                          You will get extra space compared to a hotel room and they usually offer most of the benefits of a hotel. Some services may be downgraded. For example, in a serviced apartment, the room is usually only serviced by housekeeping either once or twice per week compared to every day for a hotel. Car parking may not be available and while there is usually a gym, a swimming pool is harder to come by in serviced apartment complexes. Room service is usually available but perhaps not on a 24/7 basis.

                          Often there is no restaurant on location. However, the receptionist will be able to recommend restaurants and cafes in the local area. And the reception will point you in the direction of the nearest supermarket so you can stock the fridge. This way you can prepare your own breakfast, other meals and snacks. Usually there are laundry facilities in serviced apartments. While you will need to do your laundry, you can significantly reduce the cost of laundry compared to a hotel. Sometimes this is washer and dryer in your room and sometimes it is a common laundry.

                          Take a look at some of these options especially if you plan to stay for more than a week. Click through to useful websites section – check out booking sites to find a serviced apartment

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                            executive-travel-assistant-hotels-and-accomodation-airbnb-and-other-room-sharing-websites

                            AirBnB, Room Share Websites

                            The rise of Airbnb, roam.co and other room share websites provides another accommodation option. Like serviced apartments, they are most relevant for longer term stays. If you do not mind sharing an apartment with the owners/occupiers or have time for collecting keys etc on the day you arrive, this could be a good option. You will miss out on all

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                            The rise of Airbnb, roam.co and other room share websites provides another accommodation option. Like serviced apartments, they are most relevant for longer term stays. If you do not mind sharing an apartment with the owners/occupiers or have time for collecting keys etc on the day you arrive, this could be a good option. You will miss out on all the benefits of a hotel like room service, concierge, a gym, access to staff to assist you along the way, a business center. But perhaps you do not need these services. Choose carefully on Airbnb, room share website. Then contact the owner/occupier for more detailed information, and you can probably find an apartment to suit you.

                            Be aware, that these services are still being integrated into the legal and social frameworks of cities. In some cases there are issues around “legality”. This is usually the domain of the owner rather than you as the tenant but can include issues with neighbours who do not appreciate properties being sublet like a hotel.

                            Also remember that sometimes there are problems with owners and in this case, you will need to get the management of the room share website involved to resolve issues. This can add complexity and unforeseen time wasting issues which can be problematic. Imagine waiting in the airline lounge to board your 15 hour flight to Los Angeles from Sydney. You receive an sms from the owner/occupier is no longer available. You have booked the property and paid a deposit which can be refunded but your booking is now cancelled. It has happened. The difficulty of finding somewhere to stay with such short notice can lead to added cost and unnecessary frustration. There can be risks/downsides compared to hotels and serviced apartments.

                            You also need to be conscious of security in room share apartments. Who has a key to the apartment and how many people have a key is not known. Anyone could enter (previous room share participant could copy a key) and steal from you. Or worse, your personal safety could be at risk. A door wedge maybe a useful tool to take if you are staying in a room share apartment. Take Care.

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                              executive-travel-assistant-frequent-flyer-and-loyalty-programs-hotel-chains

                              Hotel Loyalty Programs

                              Hotel loyalty programs work like the airline programs and most hotel chains and hotel alliances have them. They allow you to accumulate points for free stays, for promotional pricing in hotels. Also in some cases to transfer to airline frequent flyer programs to add to your points.
                              Hotel loyalty programs provide you an opportunity to put in place a

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                              Hotel loyalty programs work like the airline programs and most hotel chains and hotel alliances have them. They allow you to accumulate points for free stays, for promotional pricing in hotels. Also in some cases to transfer to airline frequent flyer programs to add to your points.

                              Hotel loyalty programs provide you an opportunity to put in place a profile. This will allow you to secure your bed type preferences, smoking/non-smoking preferences, pillow preference, level of hotel room. The hotel chains use these profiles to ensure the correct room preference is available when you arrive and so they can contact you. They also use this profile to email you special promotional offers and prices.

                              Often hotel chains have a similar status system to the airline status reward system. Depending on how often you stay with the group or chain this will entitle you to preferential booking, room upgrades and late check-out.

                              As you achieve higher status level, the more benefits you receive starting with bonus points for stays, access to club lounges which provide breakfast or happy hour drinks and food, free internet access, fast internet access, etc

                              Take a look at your favourite hotel’s website. See Useful Websites Quick Finder for a list of hotel websites and which hotels belong to which Hotel Alliance program Click through to useful websites page.

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                                Quick Survey - My Favourite Suitcase Brand

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                                Services you can expect from Hotel by Department