Good hotel coffee starts with ice – Hotel tip

If you like to wake up to a good cup of coffee, you know the appeal of having a coffee maker in your hotel room. But if you love coffee, then you also know hotel coffee can taste pretty mediocre, especially when made with tap water.

To make a better coffee, take advantage of the hotel’s ice machines — they use filtered water. Simply fill your coffee maker with ice the night before, and let it melt. You’ll enjoy the difference the free filtered water makes to your morning cup – and to your tastebuds.

Read more about coffee makers:
* Sterilize baby bottles using the hotel room coffee machine
* Cook with the coffee pot

[Photo: Flickr | stevendepolo]

Grab a book of matches before leaving the room – Hotel tip

When visiting a foreign country, especially one with an unfamiliar language, grab a book of matches from the hotel where you’re staying as soon as you arrive.

If you get lost in town during your stay, and you know just a little of the language, the book of matches will be a great way to show locals where you need to go, and have them direct you to the right place.

Double check reservations – Hotel tip

There’s no sadder sob story than the one that involves showing up at a hotel only to discover there’s no room reserved for you. To avoid that scenario it’s a good idea to double check your reservation.

You can do this online, or you call the hotel 24 hours before you arrive. If the booking never went through, this will give you plenty of time to reserve a room there — or to reserve a room elsewhere, if that hotel is booked.

It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of the transaction or online confirmation page just to verify that you did, indeed, pay for a room. Being able to prove the rate you paid may help protect you from any “gotcha” fees the hotel tries to levy.

Treat your kids – Hotel tip

In an effort to keep a hotel stay low key and peaceful, many parents may opt to downgrade from premium accommodations. However, this is one of the worst things a parent can do.

Children, like adults, can enjoy a dip in the hot tub, room service, and other amenities of staying in a four star hotel. Allowing the child to partake in these simple luxuries can help diffuse the restlessness that may often accompany a hotel stay.

In addition, it teaches children how to behave properly in “grown-up” situations, which is key for travel.

Remember their names – Hotel tip

The best way to get extra special treatment during your hotel stay is to remember the names of the hotel employees who assist you.

People love it when they’re acknowledged in a more personal way. Instead of the usual “Sir” or “Ma’am,” make it a point to address them by their first names (as in, “Thanks, Robert, I appreciate the fast and efficient check-in” or “Thank you, Angela, for sending extra towels to my room.”).

By adding the personal touch, they will be more likely to remember you and make your stay as pleasant as possible.