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The 10 Most Important Pieces of Hotel and Resort Etiquette

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 7/12/2019 Michael Schottey
a bedroom with a large bed in a room: Nevis Four Seasons oceanview room. © Brian Major Nevis Four Seasons oceanview room.

Listen, I get it: Staying in a hotel or resort is a special thing. Naturally, the expectation is to be treated well while you are there and few of us are going to really focus on making sure our stay is better for others (or for the hotel!).

That said, look back at your last few travel mishaps. How many times have you had your trip upended by a simple lack of courtesy? The travel community is a better place when we all pitch in to ensure we're all having a great time and these simple acts of etiquette were picked for being the most important at hotels and resorts.

Have Money to Tip

So few of us carry cash anymore, but travelers need to remember to get money before their trip and to have it in the correct sizes for tipping the people who depend on those tips for their day-to-day lives. Frankly, if you don't "believe" in tips, being a good part of the travel community isn't likely going to happen for you, but maybe you'll settle for doing the right thing since it can earn you upgrades and better service throughout your stay.

Don't Be a Pig

Take 2 minutes (set the timer on your phone) and clean up your room before you leave it each day. The person who is cleaning your room is going to do a good job, but there's no reason to make his or her job more difficult by leaving your nonsense everywhere. Oh, and, if you've made an exceptional mess that you would be embarrassed for someone to see, take an extra moment to make sure you're the one cleaning up after it.

Keep it Down

Hotels and resorts do their best to deaden noise but realize that anything you do above a normal speaking voice is clearly audible to others whether you're in your room or in public areas. Keep the TV and, ahem any other activities in your room at a level befitting your surroundings.

Mind the Public Areas

Connected to the last slide, running through the halls and shouting at all hours of the night is just a jerk move. People have early tours, activities and flights, and just because you (or your kids) are excited, doesn't mean others need to suffer. Oh, and going down to a jampacked lobby in your robe and slippers is just weird. It's a public area, not your living room.

Watch Your Kids

Anyone who has had kids has been there: We all get that kids are unpredictable and that even the best parents among us have moments where the kids are going to embarrass us. No one is judging you as much as you're likely judging yourself. Still, when you're on vacation, you're still a parent, and letting your kids free-range and trample on others relaxation is a pretty terrible message to send to the future adults you're supposedly raising.

Don't Overload on Freebies

Stop trying to make a profit on your hotel stay! Do you really need every toiletry from your hotel room in triplicate after you leave? Worse yet, your seventh danish from the continental breakfast probably would fit better in someone else's waistline. Things are provided and meant to be enjoyed, but treating every inclusion like you're the only person it's owed to is a terrible way to live your life.

Be Kind to Staff and Fellow Guests

You don't actually need to see a manager, I promise. Most travelers who are consistently needy do so because they expect a higher level of service on their stay than they believe they are getting. First off: Just calm down. Life isn't so bad. But, more importantly, making life difficult for employees or those staying around you isn't going to get you treated the way you want. Do you know what will? Treating others the way you expect to be treated, and that includes offering a little grace when mistakes are made.

Be Upfront with Kids & Pets

If you're the kind of traveler who can't fathom the idea of leaving your pets at home, find a hotel or resort that is pet-friendly—there are plenty! Rolling up to your room reserved for two with a dog and four of your kids isn't going to be the relaxing stay you're hoping for anyway. Not only are you cheating the hotel (which, congrats I guess?) but you're probably ruining the stays of everyone in your room and those around you.

Go Easy on the Furniture

Take a moment and realize that you're sitting in a private but well-used area. That bed, couch, chair or counter has probably seen a lot more traffic than you'd like to admit so maybe use each furnishing the way it was intended—if you catch my drift.

Check Your Checkout

A lot of us are used to seamless checkout these days, but it's worthwhile to make sure you have the right time and procedure the night before. Let the front desk know you're leaving and take a moment to compliment them on something they did well during your stay.

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