Call or approach the hotel receptionist to ask for a room change
Call or approach the hotel receptionist to ask for a room change – Have a nice day photo (canva)

Excited to check into your hotel room and it’s not lived up to your expectations? You don’t have to put up with a room that’s having a negative impact on your stay. Hotels will help you to change rooms for a variety of reasons.

You can ask to switch rooms by approaching the front desk by phone or in person. First and foremost, be calm and clear. If they have availability, they will often accommodate a room change.

Keep reading if you are wondering how to ask for a hotel room change and what can you expect from the front desk workers. You can also find a list of good reasons to ask for a room change in a hotel when you keep scrolling down.

Can I ask for a new hotel room?

You can ask for a new hotel room. It is your right as a guest and customer to question the quality and suitability of the services you are given. There is nothing wrong in doing so, as the main goal of a hotel manager is to have happy and satisfied guests that will most likely return there at some point in life. Providing the hotel is not fully occupied, changing a room is in fact a simple request.

Nobody wants to be the fussy hotel guest, but the manager is invested in making your stay magical. We’re living in an age where the customer has all the power. Studies show that travelers are 3.9 times more likely to pick a hotel with better reviews. If changing rooms leads to greater guest satisfaction, they will do everything in their power to meet your request.

How to ask for a room change

  1. Stay calm and collected. It’ll be much easier to get the staff on your side if you’re friendly and confident than if you’re rude and irritable.
  2. Tell the receptionist that the room you have been given does not quite meet your expectations.
  3. State the reason for why you would like to change rooms and ask if that would be possible. Find more details about possible reasons below.
  4. If you feel that the receptionist isn’t taking your issue seriously, politely ask to speak to a supervisor or manager.
  5. Please remember that it may take some time, especially if it is a big resort or a conference center.

If you still feel like you’re not being listened to, consider taking to social media. Large hotels have whole departments devoted to maintaining a good online presence. 48% of hotels consider social media to be their 2nd most important marketing strategy. A quick Tweet or post on Instagram may help you to get a better deal.

Bear in mind that if the hotel is full or there are no better rooms available, the hotel may not be able to help. They may offer you some other compensation, such as a free drink or discounted meal. But this is at the hotel’s discretion and not a guarantee.

Also if you’re checking-in past midnight (yes, it’s possible), there might be fewer people that are available to help you because it’ll be on night shift. Plus the night shift manager might have less authority to provide you with creative solutions.

Reasons for requesting to switch hotel rooms

Sometimes you may think your reason for a room change is not valid, or too insignificant. Stop right there. Your hotel stay should be the best possible, therefore it is fully within your rights to ask for a different room. Here are a few good reasons to do so:

1. Inconsiderate neighbors

Noisy neighbors can be a big disruption to your peaceful night’s sleep. Loud parties, thumping music, and people shouting are annoying and unfair to other guests. Maybe you’re next to a family with young children who won’t stop screaming. Or it could be something as small as the TV being too loud or a door constantly slamming.

No matter what the noise is, you’ve paid to stay in this hotel so that you can wake up feeling rested. Talk to the front desk and see what they can do. If they can’t give you a new room, they may talk to the offending guests and warn them to keep the noise down.

2. Location of the room

The location of your room makes a big difference to your stay. Party animals might be happy by the bar, but light sleepers are unlikely to be pleased. Some people like to be on the top floor to get the best views, while others like the convenience of being close to the ground floor.

How close you are to the elevator is a personal preference. You might like the convenience of being close to it. If you have mobility issues, this would be the most comfortable option for you. But some people find the noise from the machinery irritating. You also have the constant chatter of people waiting for it to reach their floor.

Talk to the front desk. If you’re happy with the room, they might be able to move you to a similar one in a better location.

3. Disappointing views

Deliberately booked a hotel because of its promise of stunning views? Whether you’ve been dreaming of waking up to mountain vistas or wanted to take your holiday beach photo on the balcony, waking up to beautiful scenery is a big incentive. If it doesn’t live up to your expectations, it can be disappointing.

Maybe there’s construction obstructing the natural beauty. Or maybe the panoramas you were promised can only be seen when you stand on your tip toes.

Pull out your original booking and double-check what you were promised. If you feel that the hotel hasn’t delivered, then you’re within your rights to request a room with a better view. Some hotels put a premium rate on the rooms with the best views, so if you didn’t check this before, it might be something that you’re willing to pay a bit extra for.

4. Plumbing problems

We often take hotel bathrooms for granted but when they’re bad, it’s noticeable. No hot water, dripping taps, and leaky showers can put a dampener on your stay. And nothing is worse than heading to the bathroom and being greeted by an unpleasant mystery smell.

No hotel can predict when there could be problems with the pipes. But it’s their responsibility to provide you with a functioning bathroom. This complaint should be taken seriously. If they can’t get a plumber out on the same day to fix the issue, they should provide you with a new room.

5. Poor maintenance

If a hotel is halfway through renovating its rooms, they’ve likely used the newest ones for its advertising. This means that you could check in expecting a sparkling suite and be met with run-down amenities and threadbare couches.

If the hotel hasn’t delivered the promised standard, ask to be moved into one of the newer rooms. They won’t want negative reviews about the quality of their rooms while undergoing a major investment.

Poor maintenance usually reflects in many things in the hotel, so the way to spot it early is to check the most recent guest reviews. Use these 6 best hotel booking sites to check some reviews before finalizing your booking so you can avoid possible unpleasant experiences.

6. Room Temperature and lighting

A good temperature and lighting are essential to the perfect snooze. A stuffy room with the sun blaring through is never a nice way to start your day. But if the AC is stuck on freezing you might wake up shivering or get a sore throat. Likewise, a poorly lit room makes it difficult to unpack and get ready. But bright, harsh lighting will make your stay unpleasant.

Speak to the front desk and see what they can do. Sometimes these features come as standard, so moving rooms may not fix anything. But they can still make efforts to make your stay more comfortable and consider how to fix these issues for future guests.

7. Bad smells

Ever checked into a room and found that it smelled a bit funky? Stinky pillows, dampness, and traces of cigarette smoke make your room smell anything but homey. Talk to the staff as sometimes the issue can be easily fixed. They may give you fresh laundry or request housekeeping to do a second clean. If not, then they may move you to a new room.

Regardless of the reason, hotel workers at the reception desk literally hold the keys to happiness during your stay. They are highly skilled customer service workers, and your wellbeing is their top priority. Do not hesitate to ask them about anything that in your opinion could improve your experience.

When to cut your losses

Sometimes a hotel won’t live up to its advertised standards. Poor hygiene, bad maintenance, and a terrible environment might not be fixable whichever room you stay in. It may be time to consider negotiating a refund.

Maybe you’ve already moved rooms and are still having the same problem. Maybe the environment and practices of the hotel have made you reconsider your stay. Or maybe you’ve discovered something so unpleasant in your room that you would rather stay anywhere else.

Reasonably discuss this with the hotel staff. Often, they give full or partial refunds to avoid bad reviews. If they refuse, there may be grounds to escalate your complaint.

Complaining about anything in a hotel is not a fun experience, both for you and the hotel staff dealing with your complaints. However, it’s something that you should not hesitate to do. Read more about minimizing conflict and achieving your goal at our tips about the best ways to complain to your hotel about anything.

What special requests can you ask for at hotels?

How else can the front desk enhance your stay? Let’s have a look at a few ways to make your holiday even better.

  • Extra pillows or blankets – this must be the most common request and it is completely reasonable. Bedding preferences vary; therefore, most hotels are prepared to provide extra pieces to ensure you get a good sleep.
  • Towels or bathrobes – again, a quite popular ask from hotel guests worldwide. Sometimes customers need more towels than provided as a standard or ask for a different size of bathrobe. That also includes cases where there is a fresh set needed outside of the usual housekeeping activities timeslot.
  • International plug adaptors – if you travel to countries with different voltage or shape of a power plug and happened to forget an adaptor, feel free to ask your front desk if they happen to have a spare. They usually do, unless already given out. Worst case scenario, they will direct you to a place, where you can purchase one.
  • Phone chargers – you must have forgotten a phone charger at least once. In big hotels it is almost a daily occurrence. Either guests leave their chargers behind or ask the front desk for one. Chances are, you will get to lend one that fits your phone.
  • Iron and ironing board – this depends completely on the hotel. Some have those in the rooms, others have special ironing rooms on each floor or so. In some places, this can be a simple call to request one. Regardless, just pick up the phone and you will be able to source one.
  • Ice – there are number of reasons why one could need ice. Minor injuries, headaches, or a delicious drink, you name it. If there are no ice machines in the hallway, you can always call the front desk or the bar to get some fresh ice.

There are plenty more things that you could ask for during your hotel stay. Do not hesitate to do so. Remember, you are a valuable customer, and you deserve full use of all amenities, especially if you pay the resort fee. If you are not sure what resort fees are or why we pay them, have a look here: Hotel’s Resort Fees: What It Means & How to Dodge Them

How to ask for a room upgrade?

Hotels want their guests to have a great experience, so if they have the option to upgrade you, they probably will. This is truer if you’ve booked a new hotel or one looking to increase its positive reviews. You’re more likely to get an upgrade if you’re traveling during the low season when they have an extra room available. They’ll give these to higher-paying guests first so if you’ve booked the cheapest option, it may be harder to get your room upgraded.

  • Best time to ask for a room upgrade is at check-in – straight on, before you even got your keys, so you can spare the desk assistant the hustle of re-registering you in the system.
  • It is helpful if you join the hotel’s reward program – loyalty goes a long way in the hospitality industry and may help you with your upgrade request.
  • Let the receptionist know you are celebrating a special occasion – whether it is a birthday or anniversary, they are there to help you make great memories, mention the reason for your stay and you may be able to upgrade in no time.
  • Don’t book online or through third-party booking sites – when you book online or through third party company, the hotel needs to give you exactly what you have signed up for. That means they won’t be able to upgrade you as this would be providing different service than the contracted one. The best way is to call when booking and simply ask for any available promotions.
  • Be kind. Genuine kindness makes a difference and smiles are what we all lack in everyday life. Approach the front desk with a great attitude and you are bound for success.

Keep in mind that room upgrade aside, you can always book a better room for less by timing your booking. Find out more about this in our guide about the best days and times to book your hotel room.

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