With precious little free time to be had during the typical year, there’s a good chance you take your vacation time very seriously. As such, finding the best hotel offering the most desirable amenities and highest level of service is likely your number one priority.
Internet research prior to checking in can do a lot to inform you of your coming trip—you can uncover a wealth of information regarding the varying perks available at individual hotels and what benefits are available for each tier of hotel room. But in order to truly maximize your stay—whether it’s one night or one full week—you have to think outside the box and consider ways to boost the amount of enjoyment you get out of your hotel visit.
No matter if you’re embarking on an extended stay or planning on a quick visit, there are many ways to make the most out of your time away from home. Here are some tips to maximizing your hotel stay and truly enjoying your stay at a boutique hotel!
Flex Your Check-In And Check-Out Times
Most travelers believe that check-in and check-out times are etched in stone and cannot be altered in any way possible. Well, that’s not exactly the case. For those who want to adjust their arrival and departure times, it’s all about communication. When booking your stay, let the hotel know in advance of your arrival that you’re interested in an advanced check-in and a late check-out. Hotel staff members will often say that they cannot guarantee this request, but they will make note of it in the system and do their absolute best to accommodate your request. If you do score an extension, even gaining a few extra hours in your hotel room can extend your vacation and lead to even more relaxation. Again, be sure to communicate this request before you arrive at the hotel—you don’t want to roll up at 8 a.m. only to be forced to sit at an empty hotel bar for eight hours.
Get To Know The Hotel Concierge
The hotel concierge is there to help you maximize your time in all possible ways—including restaurant and shopping tips, local secrets, and convenient services. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, get to know your concierge by name, and spark a friendly relationship. Remember, if there’s something you’re looking to do nearby, it can’t hurt to ask the concierge how you can make it happen. They might have the inside scoop on ticket deals for shows, discounts in the area, the best hairdressers within a five-mile radius, a last-minute babysitter or any number of other local perks. This is the hotel staff member that’s the key to any inside information or hot tips about what’s happening around town.
Research Your Destination
Don’t merely read up on the hotel where you’ll be resting your head and what it offers in terms of amenities. Be sure to also do plenty of research to learn about your destination at large and any local special events that you can take advantage of. For starters, check out any websites of community newspapers that serve the area, as these town-centric publications often regularly advertise any hyper-local happenings taking place near your hotel of choice. Also make it a point to make note of any weather updates in the area—this not only helps you know how to pack, but it also can assist you in adjusting your plans.
Preview The Hotel Menu
While the menus at hotels are typically designed specifically to satisfy an array of tastes, you should pursue the edible offerings just to be sure the hotel can accommodate any singular tastes you might have. Most hotels provide a complete list of menu options on their website, making this particular task somewhat of a cinch. And if the hotel menu and food options aren’t quite to your liking, find out what food options there are in the general area around the hotel. Dining out is a great way to get to know the culture of the surrounding town and is a great way to find new delectable reasons to make a return visit. You can also ask your hotel about local grocery options, this way you can stock up on snacks and prepare food in your room—just be sure to ask if your room has the necessary kitchen equipment. Speaking of equipment, find out what types of appliances your room will have, like a refrigerator for your own foods and beverages.
Celebrate Special Occasions
If your hotel stay celebrates a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or just a night out of the house without the kids, call ahead and let the front desk know. This is another one of those situations where if you ask for something, you just might get it. Sometimes—if the hotel can accommodate—this sort of special request can result in a highly coveted upgrade, free champagne, flowers, chocolate or any number of other indulgent luxuries. Most hotel front desk staff members are incredibly kind when it comes to celebrating special occasions, so don’t be too bashful to ask, especially if you want to surprise your significant other! Hotels are in the business of delighting their customers and will likely jump at the chance to gift you with any perks they have at the ready.
Experience Everything The Hotel Offers
Don’t just know about the many amenities offered by a hotel, use them! Whether it's a hotel gym or a spa or free breakfast buffet or wi-fi, be sure to use everything that’s offered to your full advantage. Spending time at a hotel during a vacation or any getaway is about more than sleeping late and not making your own bed. It’s about diving headfirst into the fully pampered experience of a boutique hotel. For example, the Inn at Fox Hollow’s Courtyard offers a tropical destination in a resort-like setting for guests to enjoy—complete with a heated salt-water pool, hot tub, full-service bar, al fresco dining, luxury cabanas, lawn games, and live entertainment on select nights. Don’t merely sleep at a hotel, indulge in it!