While negotiating the rate or haggling for an upgraded room may not be an option, getting conveniences and amenities, such as a room closest to the elevator, is often feasible. Travel experts offer these hotel booking tips to help seal the deal.
1. Get to know the hotel before you book hotel rooms. Researching a hotel online can help, but the best way to familiarize yourself with a property before your stay is to talk directly to a hotel's front desk agent. It’s unlikely a reservation agent at an off-site call center will know the property. But speaking to someone who works at the hotel and is well-acquainted with room locations and accessibility is better suited to help you get what you need.
2. Before you book it, ask yourself what will you be doing most. This will determine if your room should be near the parking lot, restaurant, lobby, beach, pool, etc.
3. Make your requests at the time you make your reservation. While hotels may not be able to guarantee your room’s location, requesting it during the reservation process – which is when you have the most leverage – will give you a better chance at getting it. Call the hotel the morning of your arrival and ask to be “pre-blocked” into the room location you requested. If you hit a wall, ask to talk to the manager.
4. Be specific with your requests. When making hotel reservations, ask for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible room, if you need it. Many hotels now have such rooms with showers, bathtubs, toilets, sinks and closets that are easier to access. You can find lowered beds, light switches, sinks, and peep holes, plus grab bars in the bathroom and a roll-in shower with a retractable shower head.