5 Hotel Hacks That Just Won’t Work

5 Hotel Hacks That Just Won’t Work



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We have read it many times – so called seasoned travellers claiming to know every single travel ‘hack’ there is – from the cheapest flight fares to guaranteed hotel upgrades, they know it all. Others then try to figure the ‘golden path’ and spending hours on Google trying to “hack the system’. Before you get overly excited, let us tell you about five hotel hacks that just won’t work:


5 Hotel Hacks That Just Won’t Work



Myth 1: Tipping upon check-in to get a room upgrade




Haha, seriously? Come on! You think 20 $ or even 100 $ can get an you upgrade? The receptionist will take the money and make sure you have no trouble during the stay, but an upgrade? No, no, no. I know, many articles and travel sites claiming this, but it’s just big BS.


On another site, tipping staff upon check-in, whether it’s the bellboy, butler, valet or receptionist, will make your stay pretty smooth throughout the stay.





Myth 2: Constantly Complaining




  • Sorry, but times are over where you get everything when you keep complaining. Unless it’s absolutely legit, don’t do it. Your AC doesn’t work properly? You’ll get a technician. If he can’t help you get a new room, probably the one next door.
  • If you’re marked as ‘Mr. Smith who keeps complaining’, you won’t make any friends with the staff. It also doesn’t help to ask for the Hotel Manager; do you think someone with 10, 20 or 30 years experience in the hotel industry has no idea about people’s intentions? They’ve seen it all. Yes, he/she will take the time talking to listen to you and you may even score a free drink at the bar, but again, if it’s not legit the hotel manager can’t help.
  • This marks you pretty much as a person no one wants to deal with and the service you’ll get will be at an absolute minimum. Yep, your reputation is pretty much set among the hotel staff. Don’t think no one talks about you.




Myth 3: Writing a review on TripAdvisor/Holiday Check, etc. to get an upgrade or spa treatment, etc.




Geeeez, c’mmooonn!!! Many hotels even ask their guests to leave a review on one of these platforms. But it doesn’t entitle you to get an upgrade or any special perks. And no, also not by promising a “5-Star Review”. Sorry to crush your dreams here.




Myth 4: Booking through a hotel platform to get the lowest rates




Booking through a hotel platform doesn’t guarantee you always the lowest rate. Many times it’s the hotel itself which offers the best rate. Take the time to compare both options and send an email to the hotel asking for their best rate. Hotels prefer direct bookings over 3rd party platforms, simply because they earn more money. In turn, they value those guests more than others reserving their room through a booking site, i.e. more perks, entitled for upgrades, etc. There are lots of fantastic benefits you will receive when booking directly with a hotel.






Myth 5: Asking direct for a room upgrade




  1. Asking for a room upgrade without any legit reason makes you a good joke in the eyes of the staff (yes, even if they smile and say “Let me see what I can do”). No, it doesn’t help either to ask for the manager again. Yes, you may get a better room if there are any problems in your current one, but the definition of a ‘better room’ doesn’t mean an immediate upgrade. This means you get the same room type on a different floor, on the other side of the corridor, etc.
  2. How to score a room upgrade: either you’re a repeat guest, member of the hotel’s loyalty program, high spender, long-stay guest or on a special occasion.
  3. Before becoming a blogger and travel consultant, I (Kian) worked for over 10 years in the hotel industry and ran the Front Office, Guest Relations and Executive Lounges in various hotels and resorts, most notably at the multi-award winning Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives and Raffles Dubai.

Use a trouser hanger

We all love amazing views from our hotel room until a sliver of sunshine wakes us up in the morning. If your hotel curtains won’t behave, use a hanger with clips to keep the curtains together and the lights out. Simply nail the curtains together by using the two clips on the trouser hanger. Easy!

Connect Netflix to the hotel room TV

You don’t need to be a tech whiz to master this travel hack. If your hotel room has a flat-screen TV with an HDMI port and your room has WIFI, bingo! Now you can hook Netflix up to the TV directly from your laptop, tablet or smartphone and binge-watch all your favourite TV shows. Of course, staying at a hotel like Ovolo makes this even simpler thanks to them hooking you up with an Apple TV and Smart TV with media hub.

Keep the power on

This hotel room hack is a favourite. Always ask for two key cards when you check in. Leave one card in the slot by the door to ensure the air-conditioner is on whilst you’re out and your laptop, camera and iPhone are being charged.

Slip ’em a $20 note (for an upgrade)

Fluttering your eyelashes may only get you so far. In our experience, cash is king! Slip the front office staff your credit card together with a $20 note and ask if there are any ‘complimentary upgrades’ available, and just wait for the magic to happen.

Pack your favourite tea

Sadly, sometimes your favourite hotels don’t stock your favourite tea. Not every hotel can be like Ovolo with a full supply of popular T2 Teas! Oh, the horror. Solution? Bring a plastic zipper bag with your teabags.

Turn your shower into a steamer

For business travellers eager to impress, this life hack is for you. Sort out your wrinkled clothes by hanging them in the bathroom while you enjoy a hot shower. The steam will smooth out any wrinkles, ensuring you are looking sharp for your meeting.  

Make (real) use of the shower cap

Leave those bread rolls alone! There are by far more valuable ways to make use of the magic shower cap. For example, place your dirty shoes in the plastic cap before packing them in your suitcase. 

Use the heated towel rack as a clothes dryer

If you’re a full-time traveller, a little hand laundry is impossible to avoid. Instead of spending a small fortune on the hotel laundry service, use the towel heat racks in the bathroom to dry your hand-washed clothes. The ultimate hotel hack!

Make use of those sugar packs

Tired of travelling with your seven-step skincare products making your wash bag look like a small suitcase?
Save on the number of products you pack by mixing your facial cleanser with a packet of sugar and voila (!) you’ll have an exfoliator.

Create your own surround system

Drop your iPhone into an empty glass to host your very own hotel room party. This is the best travel hack to turn the beats up! Chances are, though, you probably won’t need to do this little hack at Ovolo, thanks to their booming Bluetooth speaker systems.

De-crinkle your clothing without the help of housekeeping

If you are one independent individual who doesn’t need a housekeeper to give your clothing that crisp crinkle-free look, this hotel hack is a must. The time spent washing and ironing your clothing ahead of a hotel stay quite often is very dishearteningly made redundant by the time you unpack your bag and see your hard work has gone to waste. 

This hotel hack is not only a saviour for you well-planned vacay or staycay looks, it’s also a two-in-one timesaver. While you’re having a shower, shut the bathroom door for optimal steam build, placing your fit in the bathroom with you to steam out those creases. Your other option, if your clothing is not moisture friendly, is to use the hairdryer. Alternate between blowing your do dry and smoothing out those unwanted clothing creases. Or, save the hassle altogether and make use of a hotel hack people often forget, call the crew at the front desk and send up a steamer. 

Let the hotel know about special occasions

It is rare that we as busy individuals take the time to treat ourselves without the purpose of a special celebration. This hotel hack is as simple as it is effective. Let the hotel know ahead of your stay what special occasion you are celebrating and watch them put their best foot forward for you with special treats to amplify your celebratory stay. 

Don’t just let this hotel hack guide your stay, let it be a life hack lesson to follow. With every booking (restaurant, tour, etc.), let them know what you’re celebrating. It will forever be our gift to you that keeps on giving.  

Book directly through the hotel

Too often, we at Ovolo hear people seeking the lowest price as guidance for the stay. How wrong they are. Here’s our hotel hack to you. BOOK DIRECT. By using the hotel’s own website for bookings, or even calling the hotel directly, you may find some very enticing and price justifying discounts, offers or upgrades. The off-season is usually when you’ll find the best deals about. 

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