- A Quora user asked: ‘What are things about 5-star hotels that they do not want you to know?’
- Users with experience in the hospitality industry, including with roles at Rosewood Hotels and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, replied to the thread.
- Here are their most interesting behind-the-scenes secrets.
Whether your lifestyle allows you to stay in them or simply admire them on Instagram, five-star hotels are an appealing prospect.
From the doormen to the Champagne-filled suites, the most luxurious hotels in the world give off the idea that they have everything seamlessly under control. But there’s more going on behind the scenes than you might think.
A Quora user asked the question: “What are things about 5-star hotels that they do not want you to know?”
A number of people who claim to have experience in hotels and hospitality replied to the thread – here’s what they had to say.
Your social status matters…
Business Development Leader Cameron Nezam, whose LinkedIn profile cites senior roles at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, noted that your status gives you more leverage when staying in a plush hotel.
“If you are a high-profile guest, VIP guest, loyal guest, you provide value for them by staying there so they will most likely put you on the ‘special attention’ list,” he wrote. “How special your experience turns out to be all depends on who you come across whether it’s a front desk agent, reservations agent, front office manager, sales manager, etc.
“Notice when that manager comes around the desk quickly when an A-list guest is in their periphery, they want to make sure everything is ok.”
He added that this “special attention” often happens behind the scenes through notes in the property management system.
“A celebrity or wealthy guest will definitely be watched after with more attention than a regular citizen at these hotels,” he wrote.
…and they often know who you are before you arrive
Nezam said high-end hotels try to Google every guest who stays with them “to get an idea of who they are, what they are like, and once again, rank the status of each. This will determine how good of a room they will get. A VP of a small company will likely get a better room than a Senior Associate of a large well-known company.”
Your behaviour is recorded in a database
“If you flip out at someone, that goes in your ‘profile,'” Nezam said. “If you make a big deal about being put in a room near an elevator, that gets recorded.
“This is so they can get better at anticipating your needs and providing intuitive service which is considered 5-star level. If you are a troublemaker they may have a manager handle your check-in/check-out.”
They can’t enter your room if your Do Not Disturb sign is on
This is a legal matter, according to Nezam, and it’s a “big deal” if they do it anyway.
They often give free rooms to celebrities and influencers…
This is in hopes they will get a promotional Instagram post in return – and they usually do.
…but they will never reveal who is staying there
“This is a BIG rule and the reason they earn their reputation and they rather rely on the guests to promote on their own,” Nezam said.
Bruce Claver, who claims to have over 25 years of experience in luxury hospitality, wrote: “In fact, the employees themselves are required at many upscale hotels to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to employment.
“They have a duty to maintain supreme secrecy in order to continually attract and maintain their designated market, the affluent guest… They have money to spend and usually friends and family who also have money to spend and are potential guests.”
He added: “Famous people never stay under their real name and we allow people to be registered under an alias or as an NRG, non-registered guest, so their name does not pop up on the computer screen if the front desk agent types it in.”
They will protect your privacy if you’re having an affair
“You will see people come with their side girlfriend/boyfriend one weekend and then with their family another,” Nezam said. “The staff will look the other way and will make sure they don’t accidentally mention something.”
You’ll be treated better if you tip
While this one may seem obvious, Nezam added: “Once you tip well, word gets around and bellmen and other staff will act more nicely towards you in case you decide to tip well again.”
Luxury hotels have cockroaches too
That’s according to Claver, who, with “20 years of providing luxury hospitality experience at the five star/five diamond level” according to his LinkedIn profile, said that “even the best-maintained hotel kitchens have some roaches.”
There are perks they don’t advertise…
Andrea Lopez, an employee at Mexican Beach Resorts since 2010, says every good hotel has benefits and amenities they don’t advertise because they don’t want guests to make the most of them. This can include free Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, special decorations in your room, free breakfast, and even a room upgrade.
…and you’ll get access to them by making friends with the concierge
“Since most people approach them mad or with a complaint, concierges always appreciate a guest who treats them nicely and will reciprocate with extras or good information,” Lopez said. “There can be no better ally than the concierge, especially if you are on vacation.”
Jim Stevens, the founder of jimsbeachdeals.com, added: “Hotel employees often are at the tail end of demanding customers and complaints. So a little kindness can go a long way.”
If someone dies, you’ll never know
Stephen J Serva Dei, who runs a catering service, wrote that people regularly die in hotels – and the establishment will do whatever it can to keep them quiet.
This can range from elderly people passing away in the night of natural causes to drug overdoses and even suicide. “No hotel advertises if someone ever died in a particular hotel room, for obvious reasons,” Serva Dei added.
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