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Why You Should Never Accept The First Hotel Room You're Offered

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 25/03/2016 Suzy Strutner

We've all experienced hotel letdown. You arrive at what you thought would be a majestic place to stay, only to be assigned a corner room on the first floor, with a view of the parking lot and the faint scent of cigarettes in the air. 

Pro tip: This is why you should pretty much ALWAYS ask to switch hotel rooms after seeing the first one you're offered. 

Oftentimes, the second room you're assigned (or third, or fourth if you're the daring sort) is much, much better than the first. All it takes is a gentle inquiry to land something spectacular, even when it's not what the front desk initially prescribed.

The diagnosis here is simple:

ATHENA IMAGE © Michael Blann via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

If you're any less than perfectly satisfied with the room you're given, then it's worth it to ask for a swap.

After checking out your initial room assignment, head down to the front desk and ask if there's anything they can do to better suit your needs. Hotels often assign visitors to the most basic room in the price bracket they booked, says Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of The Points Guy.

We speculate that in doing this, hotels are saving the best rooms in the bracket for guests who complain or have special circumstances (aka guests like YOU). 

Honig says he wouldn't ask for a swap without seeing his initial hotel room first, and that's exactly what we'd recommend.

After seeing a room firsthand, you can point out issues -- such as lack of light or an odd smell or even noisy neighbors -- that bolster your case for a new space.

"Providing an explanation for why an upgrade would be helpful can make a difference," Honig told HuffPost. "For example, if you plan to spend a lot of time working from the hotel room rather than exploring your destination, explaining that the extra space would make for a more comfortable working environment could land you a larger room or suite." 

And please, always be courteous when asking for more.

It's as simple as going to the front desk and conversationally asking for a switch. And if it's a special occasion like a honeymoon, be sure to mention that too. But whatever you do, don't get feisty: Hotel staff are your friends, and they do NOT reward rudeness. 

The room-swap trick may not apply at boutique hotels, where occupancy is limited and doesn't allow for much changing around. But every room in a boutique hotel tends to be high-quality, so it's less likely you'll want to switch in the first place.

Try out the trick, and in time you too will be in a suite, young travel grasshopper. 

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