7 crazy things we learned about hotels from Reddit


Reddit users give their tips on how to get the most from hotel stays and what to stay away from. (iStock)

It’s time to once again to mine the experts wading in anonymity on Reddit for their wisdom on various aspects of travel.

Much as we did when we pored over Reddit looking at insider secrets regarding the cruise industry, we offer the following bits of tid on hotels.

Now we have to offer the same disclaimer we did in our cruise industry article: These tips and anecdotes come from people who state they are hotel workers while enjoying the anonymity afforded a Reddit user name.

So please, take a great deal of these items with a grain of incredulity.

Also, if you have anything to add in the way of awesome things we previously were unaware of, please feel free to chime in accordingly.

With that, let’s dive into hotel chatter:

Free Fridges:

According to poster Papapain in this Reddit chain, it is possible to snag a free fridge for the room:

Papapain states: “Get a free fridge in your room. Say it is a medical need for medication. (HIPAA) laws mean they can’t pressure details out of you. May not work for smaller motel/hotel but should for most larger hotels/cruises.”

Another user chimes in, “Vegas hotel worker here. It works. If it’s not for meds, I’m supposed to charge you, but I don’t, because I don’t get paid enough.”

Now about that incredulity, one commenter stated in the same chain, “I actually do need a fridge for medical needs and have been denied at multiple properties before.”

Also, we would feel absolutely awful if we tried to snag a free fridge only to deny someone who actually needed it. So search your soul and determine if chilling your leftovers is worth it.

Beware The Comforter:

One thing I noticed time and again in these posts is how little the bed comforters are cleaned. (This goes double for the remote controls). It’s something I knew before this little bit of research, but it’s worth repeating in case you don’t rip those bad boys off the bed the moment you enter your room.

One Reddit user states: “We only change the sheets and pillowcases. Like, 90% of the time. If there’s a bit of crust or ‘hardness’ on the comforter, then we’ll change it. This might not be the policy of every hotel. I’m sure a lot of you already knew this… but yeah.”

One reply cautions, “I’ve worked for two hotel chains and the comforter thing was true at both. That’s always my travel advice – take the damn comforter off the bed as soon as you check in!”

In Fact, Don’t Sit…Anywhere:

Another Reddit thread leaves little to the imagination: “Use a towel or sheet on the chairs or sofa, a LOT of people sit on them naked. It’s nasty but…”

We will just pull the eject button there. You can click above to find out what might be lurking.

Cancel A Reservation Sans Charge:

One of the more helpful comments describes how you might get out of that annoying reservation fee.

druumer89 states: “The best way to cancel your reservation without getting charged, if you’ve waited after the cancellation time, is to call (first) and say you’re changing your stay to a later date, then call back within a few hours, (hopefully getting a different clerk) and the cancellation fee will be bypassed because there’s now a new cancellation time on the new date.”

A follow-up commenter states: “I do this for people all the time. They call and need to cancel after the cut off time, so I tell them I will change the arrival date and that they should call back in 2 or 3 days and cancel it then. That way they do not get charged and I do not get in trouble with the boss. But this only works for reservations that are booked through the hotel directly. Pre paid reservations from travel sites like Expedia can not be manipulated this way.”

Staff May Be Under Time Constraints:

The cleaning staff, according to Reddit, may have to deal with the frustrating confines of time.

One comment states, “I’ve worked as a chambermaid and the job itself I don’t mind (although I’ve seen some disgusting things) but you have a time limit for each room. I hated leaving a room not fully cleaned but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I tried explaining this to the manager there and he basically said if I needed x amount of time on a room I had 2 options: work through my break to spend longer on each room or be replaced by someone else.”

Ritz Is Ritzy:

Now we simply have to have some confirmation from anyone out there who knows, but one Reddit user dropped this bombshell on how far an upper-end hotel would go for its guests.

The comments states: “I worked for the Ritz-Carlton for a few years. In my orientation, the HR rep told everyone that each employee has a special allowance of $1,500 to make sure they can help the guests feel like their stay would be memorable. There was a story about a guest who lost his Rolex and asked the front desk if they had seen it or one of the maids took it and complained a lot. When the guest finally left, the guy from the front desk went out and purchased the guest a new Rolex and was reimbursed fully by the Ritz. The guest was extra happy and is now returning to the same property every year. So, every Ritz Carlton employee in the U.S. has a $1,500 account for guests if needed. Not many people know that.”

A follow up confirms, “I stayed on the ‘club’ level of the Ritz once and the butler guys in the club would say yes to just about anything I’d ask (it was all free in there). Can I have two Red Bull vodkas, a jack and coke and a warm chocolate chip cookie? My pleasure sir. I asked if they ever said no. His response was ‘We aren’t allowed to perform sexual favors and we can’t sell you drugs but what you do in your room is your business.”

Just Be Cool:

Lastly, we have this following piece of advice. While not shocking, it’s still worth remembering: “Been working in a big-name chain hotel for a year. Biggest piece of advice is to just be polite to the front desk person, and we will go the extra mile every time. Bottle of wine, freshly baked cookies in your room, late check-in, hints of the best local eateries, whatever. Also, don’t be afraid to try and talk the front desk person down a little for a lower rate. Don’t be obnoxious about it, as we’ll lie and say it can’t go any lower!”

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