check room before checking in?

Old Jul 7th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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check room before checking in?

I've read that it's appropriate to ask to see the room you have reserved before actually "checking in." Presumably to be sure it's what you expect and not in a noisy place, etc. Have many of you done this? I don't stay in lots of hotels, but this seems like an uncomfortable thing to do, but maybe not as uncomfortable as an unsuitable room would be... Any experiences in this are appreciated.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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I have never done that. If there is a problem with the room after I have checked in, I just call the front desk and get it worked out.

But, that is just me.

Karen
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Hi
on a few occasions, when I am being escorted to my room for the first time, I have seen it and asked for another. Either it was clearly not what I'd reserved (wrong type of bed, wrong view etc) or else there was something definitely unacceptable to the room (in disrepair, or strangely shaped, or next to the laundry room). I stress that this has happened only a few times, but in each case I was given another room.

To see it before checking in is I suppose a reasonable option if you are afraid of being charged for something you don't want, or of being cheated in some way. I haven't had that experience, but I deal with pretty reputable hotels.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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Makes sense in older hotels where each room is different. I prefer to see the room without dragging luggage..that way you can see several and have your pick. If you or the bellman is carrying luggage, you'll be more likely to settle for the first thing you see rather than reviewing the options.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Thank you for the input on this question. I'm not inherently distrusting, but I wanted to know if this is truly customary.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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I'll have to admit I've never done this, but have always admired those who talk about doing it (seeing the room or many rooms before choosing one and before checking in). I'd like more specifics as to exactly how to accomplish this, maybe I'm too timid about it. I have objected to a room once I didn't like but did it after I was taken to the room by the bellman and then I called the desk to see what else they had.

First, what exactly do you say when you present yourself at the desk and say you have a reservation? I've just never had the never to say, can I examine the room you have assigned me before checking in and can I leave my baggage here while I do it? or something, that's what I need to know.

I think what tashak suggests implies a high-level expensive hotel. First, many of the hotels I stay in don't have bellmen. Second, there is no one available to show you around the hotel or they would be leaving the desk, which they can't do. I am often at hotels with only one person in the lobby at the desk.

There are some hotels that won't even entertain such thoughts -- the Muguet is one of them. When I politely inquired about the location of the room they were giving me (not even getting picky about shape, etc--just general floor or side of hotel, the owner snippily informed me that I would take what they gave me, they were completely booked up, period.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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I started doing this years ago and it is not because I distrust the hotels, it is because it is just easier to see the room before the luggage arrives or you carried it yourself and then have to carry it again to another room.

It is fairly common practice to try and push the less than desireable rooms to people who won't complain, this way they are rid of those rooms early in the day. It is business practice.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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I just say in the nicest way when they say the room is ready that I would love to see it and ask for the key if they can't leave their desk. If they are snippy about that, they would have been snippy about everything and I would make a mental note. I am paying them after all.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Christina, Thank you for expanding on exactly what I'm concerned about. The hotels we're staying at are not high end, but as nocinonut pointed out, I don't want to be the unlucky person who isn't savy enough to ask first about seeing the room. I am beginning to think that the advice to simply take the key and see the room is a great idea. Any other experiences with this practice? Although I guess if they don't have anything, they don't, but it's so true that I'm the one paying so they should be accommodating.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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I live in Europe and we regularly ask to see the room before checking in.
It is no big deal. Standard practice in Europe. Not just for expensive hotels.

Its like trying on clothing before purchasing it.

Usually the front desk will call an assistant or similar to take you to the room. Leave your luggage at the front desk.
Don't feel strange about it - its done all the time.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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I will always check-in first, after all I have no other alternatives booked!

Let me provide a recent example. At Hotel Grande Bretagne, I was initially shown to an Acropolis view room, however, the bathroom wasn't large enough, and there was only one double wardrobe. They showed me a suite, but i felt it was too dark for my tastes, so I settled on a large Acropolis view room with a decent sized bathroom.

However, if an hotel is fully booked then you might be stuck with your room, but if it is what you've paid for, you have very little standing. However, if you have paid for a feature that isn't present then you are entitled to financial compensation.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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We have never done it. We have only had to ask for a room change once. I do some research before booking the hotel and if I find that certain rooms are smaller, noisier or whatever, we ask NOT to be booked in those rooms when we make the reservation. It puts the front desk on notice that we know something about the hotel.
On our most recent trip, we stayed at the Hotel de Bourbon in Bourges at a deeply discounted Accor favorite guest rate. We were given the keys to room 218 on check in. The room was pretty small and had no way to hook up our computer. We were ready to live with it due to the cheap rate, but 5 minutes after we got into the room, the front desk manager came up and apologized for a check-in mistake...as Favorite Guests we were supposed to be upgraded into a much larger double (with dataport). He helped us move all our stuff.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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I'm impressed with that service, BTilke!

I'm also afraid to ask. Luckily, so far I've gotten a room that seemed at least as nice or nicer than the (usually cheap) prices I pay for them.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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I always ask to see the room first. I've never had anyone seem offended or put out by it. The hard part, of course, is saying "I don't like this room". Unless it is really unacceptable I don't say anything. Kind of makes the whole process pointless, doesn't it?
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with asking to see a room before you accept it...this is not an "unexpected" behavior in hotels nor should it be frowned upon...if it were it makes one wonder about the quality of the establishment in the first place.

I have done it..not always..but have done sone when I felt inclined to do so.

Would you buy a car sight unseen? Do you look at merchandise before you pay for it? Do you evaluate a service before paying for it? Hotel rooms aren't any different.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Hmmm... it is common practice in Mexico, I hadn't thought to do it in Europe. Then again I stay at a little nicer (more expensive) hotels in Europe.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 12:32 PM
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For me the analogy between buying a car or any other significant merchandise and viewing a hotel room prior to checking in or making any payment arrangement is apples vs oranges.
I very often have to commit to paying for a service before I experience it: most restaurants, non-refundable deposits in a number of situations, seeing a film or play, etc.
I may be more or less dissatisfied, but I still have to pay.

Anyone is welcome to check whatever hotel room they like, if they like. But let's not blanketly say that hotel rooms aren't any different from the above.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Queenie seems to have it right. We lived overseas and during that time I was told that in Europe it is expected and is customery. I don't ALWAYS do it, but you can kind of get a feeling when checking in,,,and in Europe the front desk people should not be offended. Some requests can be made from the desk like "not close to the elevator", "what side of the hotel is it on", or "away from the ice machine (which in Europe is no problem because there usually isn't any).>) You are the "payee" and often the hotels are not "cookie cutter rooms' like in USA.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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In small hotels,B&Bs, pensions, I've had the desk person show me the room, of their own accord, before I checked in. Although this has only happened when I haven't booked ahead. I think it's rather a lovely thing to do. It shows that the owner/manager wants you to be comfortable in their establishment. This has happened in France, Italy, England, Scotland, Switzerland & Austria.

There were only 1 or 2 times when didn't see the room first that I asked for a different room.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Hi T,

The difference between an old, small hotel and a Holiday Inn is that each room is different.

It is not insulting to ask to see the room.
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