Some people get upgraded to fancy suites in the hotel; others get sentenced to rooms near the elevator. If you want to avoid the worst rooms, heed these reservation tips from a hotel front desk supervisor.
Photo by Alan Light
In an interview with The Points Guy, this is what the interviewer said about who gets assigned the worst rooms:
Its a 50/50 toss up between bookings taken by 3rd party reservations systems like Expedia, or it could just be assigned at random using the hotel's auto-assign program each morning. It also depends on the agent who checks you in. Sometimes they try to get rid of bad rooms first, while others (like me) try to use up good rooms first.
So, basically, call the hotel directly to reserve your room. Also:
I would try to call in the morning of the arrival date and ask for your preferred bed configuration, and to be assigned a quiet room away from elevators and any mechanical rooms. Non-adjoining rooms can also be quieter, as there's less soundproofing between the doors that connect adjacent rooms. Once the front desk agrees to assign you the room you want, request that they place a "do not move" note in your reservation. That way, only a manager can move you from that room.
Another tip is to simply join the hotel's loyalty program in advance. Even though you will have no points, stay credit or elite status, just joining the program indicates that you are a potential repeat customer, and the front desk staff will be less likely to assign you an inferior room.
So, join the hotel loyalty program, call the hotel instead of booking with a third-party, ask for a non-adjoining room in a quiet area, and ask for that "do not move" note on your reservation.
More insider-y information in the Q&A below.
The Inside Scoop on Hotel Stays from a Front Desk Supervisor [The Points Guy]