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Top tips for a happy hotel stay

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

When staying at a hotel, regardless of the destination or the number of stars, it pays to be a considerate guest, which in turn will go far to ensuring a more enjoyable stay. has compiled a list of top tips on great hotel etiquette to help travellers on their way.

When in Rome, do as the Romans

Being aware of local customs when travelling is imperative. Researching the destination you are visiting prior to arriving there is important to avoid offending locals and hotel staff.

Illustrations: Dominic Xavier

Get to grips with the local tipping practice

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

Arriving at a hotel to be greeted by a doorman or a porter can leave the most worldly holidaymaker in a cold sweat as they wonder how much to tip.

Every country is different and it is important to research the tipping culture of that destination before embarking on your journey. Tipping in countries such as America, Africa and the Middle East is customary and guidebooks will often give you a guideline as to the acceptable amount for your particular destination.

To avoid an awkward situation, always carry small notes or coins in your pocket for tipping you can't ask for change!

Complain tactfully

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

If something is not to your liking or is upsetting your hotel stay, feel free to voice your concern to hotel staff, but remember to be polite when doing so. Golden rule: speak to people as you would want to be spoken to.

Many hotels now ask guests to reuse their towels or use the same bed linen during their stay so they do not have to use water unnecessarily.

If possible, use your towel more than once. Not only are you helping the environment but the staff will also appreciate you lightening their load. In addition, turn the TV, air-conditioning and any lights off when leaving your room.

Tidy your room

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

Treat your hotel room as you would expect guests to treat your own home. A considerate hotel guest does not leave the room in a messy state.

You don't need to make your bed, but leaving food scraps, clothing items and other refuse on the floor will do you no favours.

Keep the noise down

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

Hotels are busy places and people will undoubtedly be trying to get some sleep or rest at any time of the day or night. If you are a creature of the night, it is polite to keep noise to a minimum after 10pm.

It is also not advisable to bring extra guests back to your room and host all-night parties. Remember you are not a rock star so do not behave like one!

Don't be the bread thief

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

It's all very well getting your money's worth from the breakfast buffet, but stealing food from the buffet is a no-no.

Taking a piece of fruit is acceptable but stashing lunch and dinner into your handbag is going to be frowned upon.

Breakfast time is also too early to be cutting the line or pushing and shoving to get to the front, so be patient when queuing.

Don't be the lift lunatic

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

A small but serious part of good hotel etiquette is the hotel lift. If you wish to go all the way to the top of the hotel etiquette class, do not play games with the hotel lift.

Pushing the button for every floor leaving the next guest an unnecessarily long journey to their room is not only childish but highly annoying and safe to say that your fellow hotel guests will not find this act amusing.

You are what you wear

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

You are entitled to wear whatever you desire whilst in the confines of your own hotel room but it is vital to consider your surroundings -- and others -- when leaving the room.

Many countries have strict customs and even laws when it comes to appropriate clothing and, as a visitor in their country, you do not want to offend locals or land up on the wrong side of the law.

Be sure to fully research the dress code of your destination.

Mind your language

Last updated on: April 27, 2010 11:09 IST

Greeting hotel staff in the native language is an excellent way of showing five star hotel manners.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to learn 'hello', 'thank you' and 'goodbye' in the local language and even if you make a mistake, most locals will appreciate you having made an attempt.