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08/19/14

Booking flee: Why new isn't always good with hotels

When you hear the word "new," you immediately think of something positive.
Anything new must be good, right?
Well, not always. New cars are nice. New homes tend to be less problematic than old ones. Newborns might be a lot of work but they're a welcomed bundle of joy for moms and dads.
But what about hotels? Is new always better?
In some instances, you can answer affirmatively when you talk about one aspect of a hotel that is paramount: cleanliness. In that respect, a new hotel is the way to go, particularly when you start thinking about others that might have everything from questionable sheets to bathrooms that could use more than just a little work.

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While that part of the new hotels is sought after by guests of all shapes and sizes, you must also prepare yourself for the not so great characteristics of hotels that are brand new. One of the most glaring negatives of a new hotel is customer service, which at least rivals cleanliness in what you're most interested in having upon booking your stay.
Newer hotels have more than just a few hiccups as a good portion of them tend to open prematurely with not all the staff trained properly. The front desk attendant might not know how to ring up a bag of pretzels, and that so called free continental breakfast that was supposed to start at 6:30 in the morning was nowhere to be found at that time. The next morning might not be that much better, either.
What else is there to watch out for?
Really what plagues hotels that are fresh out of the gate are failing to fine tune the little things, like making sure your card to get into your room actually works or having staff that isn't exactly helpful to the guests. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have staff that knows the area and doesn't look dumbfounded when you ask them a great restaurant to eat?
As much as that sounds like the mundane or unimportant, consumers and would be return customers pay close attention to that perhaps more than anything else as part of their stay. Informed, knowledgeable staff make the stay smoother, something that crisp sheets and pillow cases might not be able to soothe quite as much.
That's not to suggest that all things clean and tidy aren't important when it comes to hotels but you ultimately expect most four or five star hotels to be on top of their game in that regard. But when the staff is anything but game for good service, that's a problem you simply can't shake.

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