tips for getting the most out of your hotel

I hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend! Ray and I went to the desert. As I mentioned in my post last week, this was a last minute decision. We knew we wanted to do something, we just weren't sure what that something was. We also knew we wanted to book our hotel on points. We had a budget for the trip and knowing how we eat (and more specifically) how we drink on vacation, we needed to get the hotel for free. Surprisingly enough, our cheapest option was to stay at the Ritz (or a Westin golf course but, no thanks).

Our stay was incredible. It was just what we needed. After we checked in, settled down and went to the pool, Ray was saying how we really make ourselves known in hotels. I said there was no point not to, you need to make the most of your vacation. In other words, Ray was saying that we rarely settle and always try and get the most we can. It's not that we're cheap (although it can be looked at that way). It's that when you are spending soo much on a hotel, or soo many points for your stay, you want to maximize and make the most of it. I'm sharing my tips for making the most of your stay below.

Never settle for the first room. This is something I learned from my dad and for some, may seem obnoxious. I remember when I first started dating Ray he would get kind of embarrassed but would do it for me.  Now he is a pro and believes in this whole heartedly. The fact is, hotels normally have many different types of rooms and are rarely full to capacity. Moreover, they want you to be happy (and don't want bad yelp or trip advisor reviews). This trip our first room was terrible! Well, terrible for us. It was an "upgrade". There was a front patio with a fire pit that was very charming. But there were crying children on both sides (we're not there yet), the room overlooked the pool so zero privacy and it was pretty dark. I remember walking into the room and thinking this is not going to be good. We went back to the front desk and the woman was sooo understanding and helpful. She said she had a room she thought we would love and it would be ready in an hour or so. When we finally got to our room we were in awe. It was a totally different experience then the first. It was quiet, on the third floor with the most incredible view of the desert, bright and beautiful. Not to mention they had rose petals all over the bed. It is not a lot to them to give you a better room (even if it's an upgrade of an upgrade) if the room is vacant. To me, it's always worth the try.

Always tip the person at the front desk. This goes hand in hand with never settle for the first room. if you plan on playing musical rooms as I call it, you need to tip. We generally give $20. And don't get cheap here. If you want a better room you need to give something. Have one less shot, use that money here and you'll thank me later.

If your celebrating an occasion, mention it.  Always mention if you're celebrating an anniversary or birthday. Even mention if you're just trying to enjoy a special couples weekend. Good hotels will generally do something about it (rose petals on the bed, free champagne or fruit in the room, a better room etc).

Negotiate at the spa. We really wanted to use the spa services but massages were so expensive! We went into the spa and asked if they had any promotions. They had two for May: a prenatal massage or Mother's day massage- very helpful for a couple with no kids. I said something along the lines that there was nothing for couples, only for mothers? (in a polite way). But I mean, c'mon. The woman at the front desk said hold on, went to the back and came out with $25 gift vouchers per massage. Had I not said anything, we likely would not have received those. There are always promotions/offers so just ask.

* I wore this outfit on our getaway. In love with the grey & white combo. 

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Top, Shorts and Shoes from Vici Collection

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