Two Steps to Prepare for Your Hotel Stay During the Pandemic
by Elliott McNamee, on April 19, 2021
You’re preparing to get back on the road for business -- what should you expect?
Flying is pretty routine: fewer drinks and snacks onboard, sometimes fewer crowds.
Car rentals have their own challenges right now due to short staffing at rental agencies and smaller rental fleets - check out AmTrav’s advice for renting a car.
Hotels can be a real challenge with reduced amenities and services due to the pandemic. But there are two steps you can take when checking into your hotel to make sure you get the best experience possible right now (and hopefully you don’t need the second step!).
Confirm amenities at check-in
When you check in, confirm the available amenities with the front desk staff. What’s available for breakfast? Are the gym and pool open, and if so, what capacity? What about housekeeping services?
(You can always call ahead and ask your hotel about the available amenities, but keep in mind that details could change between calling and check-in. And if you use contactless check-in offered with the hotel’s app, just call the front desk when you get to your room.)
Hopefully the answer is that everything is available and open for use, but that’s unlikely. So you’ll want to make sure you ask a few follow-up questions.
On breakfast, if the buffet is closed, what accommodations have they made - can you get a hot breakfast delivered to your room or breakfast vouchers at a nearby restaurant? This is especially important if you booked a rate that includes breakfast, negotiated by your travel administrator!
Likewise for the gym and pool, if capacity is reduced, can you sign up for specific time slots to visit? If they’re closed, do they have partnerships and/or vouchers with a local gym or pool?
And housekeeping is up to you: you can request that nobody enter your room, that housekeeping remove only garbage, that you leave your garbage in the hallway, or that housekeeping only refresh your room.
Getting a clean, safe hotel room
Hopefully you arrive at a hotel room that’s clean and safe, with no odors, stains, or other discomforts. But should you find the room or hotel is not clean and safe enough, here’s what to do.
First, report the issue to the front desk to see how they can rectify the situation. Maybe there’s another room available that will better suit you.
If that doesn’t work and you feel that leaving is the safest option for you (it may be!), head to the front desk and let the front desk staff know that you’re leaving. Let them know why you’re leaving and be sure to get their first and last name (business cards are great!) - even better if you can get a manager. But it’s important that you do this in person, get their name, and that you tell them exactly why you’re leaving. It’s not a big deal and it’s nothing personal -- but you’re leaving.
Finally, call AmTrav. We’ll book you a new hotel, and when you give us the name of the front desk person (first and last!) along with the reason you left, we’ll call the hotel to get your stay refunded. With that, you’ll have a new hotel and you can head over and enjoy a nice stay.
*Note: These three steps are most effective if you do them on your check-in day. Please don’t wait until three days after leaving the hotel to contact AmTrav, we’ll be less able to secure your refund and help.
(Bonus step: if the hotel is irredeemable, your travel administrator can have AmTrav remove the hotel from future hotel searches so that nobody else will have this bad experience.)
Hopefully you’re delighted with your hotel and you won’t need to use any of this advice, but now you have it just in case you need it.