What Are Some Common Misconceptions & Myths When It Comes to Hotels?

Written by: John Esbenshade

Hotels myths are many – some come and go, some are sprouting even more with the advances in technology and increased use of Internet, and some are here to stay regardless of the times and travel trends.

Here are some popular myths and misconceptions regarding hotels:

Myth #1: When a hotel shows that they’re sold out online, it means they don’t have any rooms left

This is almost always not true. Many hotels close their on-line reservation channels prior to actually selling out, so they don’t oversell the hotel. The best thing to do is to call the hotel directly – you may very well find they have the room you are looking for!

Myth #2: I can get better rates going through one of the Online Travel Agents (OTA’s), such as Expedia or Travelocity than going through the hotel itself

False. The fact is that most hotels offer rates equal to or better than an OTA, especially when packaging a room with things like meals, area tickets, etc. And, just as many OTA’s advertise “Best Rate Guarantee”, hotels also offer this same feature. This guarantees you that if you make your reservation directly with the hotel, you will not only get the best rate but also the most current room inventory available, something the OTA’s cannot guarantee.

Myth #3: If I wait to book my room, the rates will be less than if I reserve further out from my arrival date

Again, this is mostly not the case. Many times rates are better when you reserve your room further out from your arrival than if you wait in hopes to catch that last minute deal. In addition, waiting may also prevent you from getting the room type you desire and, even worse, the property may actually fill completely forcing you to find an alternative, a less desirable hotel. The advice is not to wait – reserve your room as soon as you know you want to travel. Also, most hotels allow cancellations up to 48 hours in advance of your arrival, so if you see a better deal at the same hotel you can always rebook under the new conditions.

Myth #4: All of my identity and credit card information is stored on the hotel’s electronic room key card

A popular myth, now widely disproved. Most hotel cards are encoded with info of the room you booked and the dates you’re staying in that room. Some cards do have an internal guest number and an indicator that you have a credit card on file to authorize purchases to your room. For that reason, always beware where you leave and where you discard your key card, so as not to have someone with a criminal mind find it before you checkout and use it to make hotel purchases before it’s deactivated.

Myth #5: If I tell the hotel that we are on our honeymoon, or it’s some kind of a special occasion, I can expect an automatic upgrade

This is another myth. The fact is, there is and always be someone who is celebrating something special. While most hotels will try to enhance any special occasion reservation, it’s also a fact that some people will say anything to get an upgrade, even when it’s not really their honeymoon, for instance. If there is a room to upgrade to and very little chance that the hotel will be able to fill it with a paying guest, the front desk may work with you – but there is no such thing as an automatic upgrade. Our friendly staff will certainly want to help make your stay at the Fulton Steamboat Inn as wonderful as possible; still, it’s always best to arrange it in advance. If it’s your wedding night or honeymoon, be sure to tell the hotel at time of reservation; while there is no guarantee, we will try to give you an upgrade if it is available (verify).

Photo Credit: Cat Morley

We always recommend booking directly with the hotel, instead of using third party sites. Look for this option on our site, and make sure to take advantage of the specials and promotions we have right now.

Ready to explore beautiful Lancaster County, its beautiful towns and countryside, and a wide array of local attractions and festivals? For your next trip or for a weekend getaway, we invite you to choose a Lancaster PA lodging that will make your visit even more special – contact us today to book your “steamboat fare” at Fulton Steamboat Inn, the most unique hotel in the area.