MIAMI (CBS4) – “Before you give me your key, can you tell me how close my room is to the construction?” asked CBS News Travel expert Peter Greenberg.

It’s his Hotel Secret #1:

Ask “How close your room is to any construction?”

It’s a question Laura Vrooman wishes she’d asked before her Hawaiian vacation. “It was just a major construction site. They were re-doing part of the time share resort that we stay at. So it was just pretty loud and not a pretty view either.”

“Once I checked in and they gave me my room they told me construction was going on. They said don’t worry. It was between certain hours. That wasn’t true. It was loud. So I did request a room change,” said Debbie Ianniello, who also had a construction problem.

According to Peter, “Every hotel in one form or another is either renovating or restorating. They’ve either closed off a whole wing or whole floor and if you don’t ask that question you’ll be given the keys to jackhammer suite.”

Debbie also isn’t a fan of weak hotel showers.

“It drizzles out so you realize there must be a problem you think within the hotel. I wouldn’t stay there again. You complain. You call down. They say, “Unfortunately, that’s the way it is,” explained Ianniello.

Not so. Hotel secret #2:

Ask for a room on a floor with a booster pump.

“Booster pumps. What are those? Well very few hotels can maintain consistently good water pressure on all their floors, so, on different floors they put a booster pump. You turn you shower faucet on, and you’ve got a fire hose going. If I want great water pressure in my room.. .that’s what’s going to get it for you,” said Greenberg.

Hotel secret #3:

Check rates on-line, then call the hotel directly.

“I’d have to ask to probably get the good information that’s necessary,” said Elizabeth Peterson.

She’s right. The best deal may not be on the Internet.

“If the Schmidlapp wedding just canceled,” explained Greenberg, “and sixty rooms suddenly come, that’s not going to show up on a website, that’s not going to show up on their 800 number. They dump the rooms when you call and you have a much better deal than you’ll ever find on the website.”

Peter said a phone conversation goes a long way. “It might even get you and upgrade because you were nice to someone who was on the phone and they were nice to you and you actually said, thank you…ooooh bingo…upgrade!”

One other tip from Greenberg: in case of fire, firefighters can only do ladder rescues as high as the 8th floor. That’s something to consider before choosing the room on the 45th floor.


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