Hotel Etiquette Guide

10 February 2011

In support of the current "Country Means Business" promotion, Road Warriorette will be featuring a weekly sponsored post on behalf of Country Inns & Suites and has been compensated by Country Inns & Suites for her contribution.

We want our hotel rooms to feel like home, right? That’s part of the deal with hotels. You travel, you’re away from home, and you want to feel comfortable. I get that, but it’s still important to remember that not only are you a guest, you are not the only guest. Be cognizant that your actions can affect the stay of others. Road warriors have to look out for each other! Some things to remember:

Be ready to check in. When you reach the front desk, try to have your credit card and ID ready, especially if there is a line. Often by the time you get to the hotel you have been traveling or working for a long time. It can be very frustrating to wait for someone to remove all of the contents of their purse, wallet or briefcase to find their itinerary.

Watch your noise level. Most of us know this one, but sometimes we can be loud without realizing it.  Be aware of this whether you are on a work conference call or catching up with friends or family. I was guilty of this myself once. I was in a room next to a coworker, and she could hear my alarm through the wall. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except that I am a “snoozer.” I set my alarm 30 minutes early, and it goes off every five minutes. This could be very irritating for guests in rooms nearby.

Don’t slam the door. I am pretty sure that most people’s parents taught them not to slam doors in the house. Why should a hotel door be any different? I know these doors are very heavy, which makes it even more important to close them quietly.

Share the common areas. You’re not in your own living room. Spreading your stuff all over every available space is rude, but too common. Once, I came downstairs to the hotel lobby to get some work done, and found one person using three armchairs- one for him, one for his briefcase and one for his papers, with his laptop taking over the ottoman! It’s true that common areas are typically designed to be very comfortable (check out the lobby at Country Inns & Suites-many have fireplaces, oversized chairs, freshly baked cookies and even a lending library!) but don't forget to allow others to share the space with you.

Clean up after yourself. Leave your room in a reasonable fashion. Towels on the floor are one thing, since this often signals your desire for laundry service. But don’t leave trash lying around, and make sure to call room service to pick up your tray when you finish eating.  This extends to the common areas as well!  If you are enjoying breakfast at a busy time, clean up after yourself and throw items in either the trash or appropriate recycling containers so that someone else can use your table quickly. No need to wait for housekeeping.

Tipping. The tricky question: To tip or not? It is never required, and should be thought of as a reward for excellent service. There are many different rules for tipping, so check out this great guide from Cheapflights. Tipping etiquette varies between countries, so be sure to research local customs when traveling internationally.

Remember that while traveling, you are in a shared environment – whether you're borrowing space on a plane seat, in the restaurant booth, or yes, even the hotel room. So share nicely!

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