Work the Room

How to get the best ac­com­mo­da­tions at a re­sort ( and how to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion when you don’t)

Sport Diver - - Dive Briefs - BY T RAVIS MARSHALL

We all want the best

room pos­si­ble at the re­sort when we take a dive va­ca­tion, along with the best price. And it can be frus­trat­ing when your friends al­ways seem to snag bet­ter deals. To help you get a great ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence on your next dive trip, we’ve put to­gether six tips for book­ing the best room in your price range — and what to do when things go wrong.

Know What You Want

Ev­ery­one has his or her own def­i­ni­tion of what makes the best room. Hard­core divers may pre­fer a ground­floor room steps from the dock, and fam­i­lies may want ad­join­ing rooms, or cou­ples a top-floor room with an ocean view and a pri­vate Jacuzzi tub. Spend some time re­search­ing the room op­tions at your pre­ferred ho­tels so you know what to ask for or book.

Book Di­rectly

Call­ing the ho­tel or re­sort di­rectly is the best way to get the room and ameni­ties you want. Not only can the book­ing agent give you rec­om­men­da­tions based on your needs, but they also have the power to of­fer up­grades or ex­tra perks that just aren’t avail­able when book­ing through a third party on­line. Not to men­tion book­ing through a dis­count web­site prac­ti­cally guar­an­tees a room that’s priced at the bot­tom rung of your bud­get, as pri­or­ity is of­ten given to re­turn cus­tomers or those book­ing di­rectly.

Ask the Right Ques­tions

When book­ing your room, ask pointed ques­tions to get the best ex­pe­ri­ence. For ex­am­ple, ask­ing if the ho­tel has re­cently been ren­o­vated could let you know that rooms on a par­tic­u­lar span of floors are newly out­fit­ted with up­scale ameni­ties. If you’re a non­smoker, make sure to tell the clerk, and ask whether the en­tire floor is ded­i­cated to non­smok­ing rooms. Or you may men­tion that you’re a light sleeper and learn that the ground­floor beach­front rooms are within earshot of the early beach-side aer­o­bics class.

Com­plain Po­litely

If you get to your room and some­thing isn’t right, talk to the front desk right away. Re­mem­ber, the per­son man­ning the desk didn’t per­son­ally cause the prob­lem, but he or she usu­ally has the power to fix it. So be friendly but firm. The best ap­proach is to clearly state the prob­lem and pro­pose a solution that would make you happy. And be sure to ask for the clerk’s name — ac­count­abil­ity does won­ders for get­ting things done.

It Never Hurts to Ask

From Wi-fi ac­cess to drinks and meals, there any many small ameni­ties that ho­tel staff has the power to dis­count or give to guests at no charge. Some­times sim­ply ask­ing for a dis­count on these ser­vices is enough to get one, but you never know un­less you try. Some ser­vices are of­fered at dis­counted rates at the time of book­ing, such as adding on a break­fast op­tion.

Be Vo­cal about the Good Things

Be sure to let ho­tel staff know when they do things right, rather than sim­ply com­plain when they go wrong. Give a gen­er­ous tip to the bell­hop, speak with the man­ager to ex­plain how the concierge went out of his or her way to help, or sim­ply chat with the bar­tender. If you’re friendly and com­pli­men­tary about the things you love, the staff will of­ten go out of its way to make it even bet­ter.

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