Let me apologize in advance for today's tip, because after you read it, you may never fully relax in a hotel again.
See, I recently read Jacob Tomsky's Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality.
Just like Anthony Bourdain's famous Kitchen Confidential, which revealed things you never wanted to know about the restaurants you eat in, Heads in Beds exposes some equally scary stuff about the hotels you visit on business and vacation.
And I'm not just talking about downmarket chains.
According to Tomsky, who worked for 11 years in all departments of upscale and even luxury hotels in cities such as New Orleans and New York City, no matter where you stay, there's a good chance:
Your bed has used by the staff for something other than sleeping...
Your room's drinking glasses have been "cleaned" with furniture polish...
Your clothes and other belongings have been rifled through...
And if you're rude to the staff?
Well, let's just say you better not leave your toothbrush out.
How can you tell if hotel workers are doing this kind of stuff behind your back?
Tomsky says it all starts with how you check in.
Watch the video below to see if you do these "annoying" things that immediately get you labeled as a "PITA," the hotel industry's nickname for "pain in the ..."
Thankfully, Tomsky's book also explains how we can avoid the worst of the "paybacks" described above, and it isn't any more complicated than what we were taught in kindergarten: be nice to people.
"There's nothing better than giving someone a great stay just because you like them," said Tomsky in a New York Post article about his book. "Kindness really does go a long way."
And Tomsky isn't the only person with great insights into how to make sure you get the best possible service from the staff at the hotel/resort you're visiting.
In fact, our very own Tim Gavrich recently stayed at an Extended Stay America hotel in the Orlando area for a couple nights, and was able to get the housekeeper to visit his room, even though housekeeping is normally only available on stays of six or more nights. He hadn't been made aware of this rule, so after inquiring politely about the housekeeping schedule, the hotel arranged it as a courtesy.
Bottom line: be nice, be kind to the staff even when things don't seem to be going your way, and you're likely to be rewarded. Be a jerk and things could go from bad to worse, sometimes without you even knowing it.
What do you think about the hotels you've stayed in -- do you think these kinds of shocking shenanigans are common, or are they just one man's embellished tales to help him sell books?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below!