17 QUESTIONS TO NEVER ASK YOUR HOTEL STAFF
BY MATT MELTZER
Remember that old say-no-to-drugs PSA with the egg and the frying pan — this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs, blah blah blah? Well, that commercial could just as easily have been re-dubbed for the travel industry to say: “This is your brain on vacation.” Because for whatever reason, people who pack 14 suitcases to go to the beach always seem to forget something very important: common sense.
Or so say this nation’s hotel workers. We asked a bunch of them for some of the most annoying, obtuse, or just flat-out rude questions guests ask while staying at a hotel. Here are 17 of the worst:
1. “Can I have a late check-out?”
See, when you do eight Jaeger shots, wake up at 11am, and realize your check-out time was 10.30am, we now have to rush to have your room ready by 4pm for the next guest. Making your hangover the problem of our poor housekeeping staff — who you absolutely, 100% will not tip.
2. “Why are you charging me for Wi-Fi?”
You agreed to the charge when you made your reservation, read the login instructions, and then clicked that “I agree” button on the page. Please stop pretending that you’re outraged.
3. “Can I get a room upgrade?”
Sure. We’ve actually have a special room set aside for guys who book the cheapest room in the hotel and then ask for an upgrade. It’s called the Ray J Suite.
4. “What is there to do here?”
Well, there’s a Sizzler across the street and an AM/PM about a block down. So… perhaps some in-room adult television?
5. “Can I get a king-sized bed?”
This is really a question you should have asked yourself, oh, maybe when you were making your reservation and saw the options of “King” or “Standard.”
6. “Do you have a map?”
You may be surprised to learn this, but there’s actually a difference between being AAA-rated and actually being AAA. This would be like going into a Michelin-starred restaurant and asking for tires.
7. “Why do I have to pay a city tax? I didn’t get charged one in Des Moines.”
Not sure what exactly about this red shirt and name tag screams “ninth grade civics teacher,” but here goes nothing… You see, different cities have different governments and, therefore, charge different taxes. This is why nobody in New York City can ever afford anything.
8. “Why isn’t parking free?”
I’m sorry if you just walked over that hill and out of 1865 like that episode of the Twilight Zone, but nowadays you can’t just plant a flag in the ground and say it’s yours. Which means your parking space cost this hotel money, which means it’s going to cost you money. But if you’d like to try and claim it anyway, be my guest.
9. “Why does breakfast end so early?”
Because single-serving Froot Loops are for winners.
10. “Why is there an adult movie on my bill?”
Oh, I’m sorry, the porn gnomes must have snuck into your room while you were out and watched 14 minutes of Barely Legal Summer Camp — Volume 12. We’ve been having a serious problem with that lately. Feel free to mention it on TripAdvisor.
11. “Why do I have to pay for a rollaway?”
Because you don’t gotta pay for the eight people you’re clearly harboring in a four-person room. Yes, we’re watching you, so we can do this the easy way or the hard way.
12. “How’s this neighborhood?”
A fun little game we like to play involves saying “up-and-coming,” and then Instagramming people’s reactions.
13. “Did anyone ever die in this room?”
No, typically the types of hotels people die in are pretty obvious. And you can usually rent rooms by the hour or the month.
14. “This isn’t a resort. Why am I paying a resort tax?”
Unfortunately, this state’s definition of “resort” doesn’t include a daily appearance by a giant mouse or a late-night “discotheque.” They’re tacking on an extra four bucks a night to raise money for a local pro sports stadium you’ll never use. Will that be Visa or Amex?
15. “How’s the breakfast?”
Heavenly. There’s an omelet station, bottomless mimosas, and a harp player who comes out every ten minutes to play TV theme songs. Or, we’re giving it away for free.
16. “When is it going to stop raining?”
Well, Mr. Bftsplk will be staying with us for another three weeks, so definitely not before then.
17. “Can you get me a ‘friends and family’ rate?”
The “friends and family” rate is reserved for exactly that: friends and family. I can, however, get you the “freeloading social media acquaintance” rate, which is the nightly published rate plus city tax, resort tax, parking, Wi-Fi, and any adult movie charges.