TODAY

TODAY   |  May 06, 2013

Tips, red flags when staying at hotels

Anthony Melchiorri of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” has helpful advice about booking hotels for your summer travel. He says to book directly with the hotel and watch out for extra resort fees that many hotels charge.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> you know the saying, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. when you book a hotel online. the photos may make it look like the ritz, but it may look like the bates hotel when you get there?

>> the host and executive producer of travel channel 's " hotel impossible" has all you need to know .

>> welcome back. it's happened to all of us, you get to a hotel room , you think it's going to be a certain way, you walk in --

>> and it's nothing like you expected.

>> i've had it happen to me a couple of times. not too far from here, i walked in about six, seven years ago, i went to a hotel . apparently the room was under construction, no one told the front desk . i walk in, there's no window, there's not even a frame. you walk in and it's like sixth avenue, ten feet tall, big picture window. what do you do?

>> i think you would call the front desk .

>> i check into another hotel and call the general manager. i said, there's no window. and he said, are you hur?

>> i said yes, i went to open it and it was already opened.

>> what about other problems, you walk in, it smells funny. bad bed. what should you do if you walk into a room and it's not something like a construction problem, but an everyday problem.

>> you go to the front desk . you want to bring your smile to the front desk you want to tell them simply, it smells funky. there's something in m bed that has eight legs. and people are gng to take care of you, typically.

>> you don't call down, you go down.

>> if you call down, they're going to put you on hold. the front desk , they're very busy. you go down, you look them in the eye, you square off and say, i have a problem, would you please fix it. if they don't fix it you ask for the supervisor. if they don't fix it, you ask for the general manager.

>> then your vacation is over and you spend all your time fighting with the people at the hotel .

>> first thing you make sure you know what you want. what price you're going to pay, what area of the city you want to stay in and what level of service you want. when you do go online, you book, you're not disappointed. you're not easily pushed to a cheaper room or a more expensive room.

>> do you go right to the hotel 's website? a lot of those places have, you know ones you can get on a bunch of different hotels.

>> you have third party travel agents . you typically go on the hotel 's website. that's where you get the best deals. if you want to change at the last minute they're more flexible. if you go on the third party travel agents , they're not as flexible. so, also online on the hotel 's website is usually the most inexpensive rate.

>> should you call the hotel before you even get there, just to ask like what's up?

>> 100%. if you have 100, 200-room hotel manager, he won't know everyone. if you make a phone call to speak to the general manager.

>> before you show up?

>> i've never done that ever before.

>> why?

>> because you let them know, hey, i'm coming, you know what i do, i always ask for a request, they know i'm coming. i ask for, a nonsmoking room or a high floor or a corner room.

>> in other words, to confirm what you've already agreed to.

>> and they've attached that someone called them. so they're going to take extra care. what i do is i usually give them special attention, because they know i'm coming.

>> you're the guy in hotels.

>> so i did the same thing.

>> that's how he became the guy.

>> all right. great to see you.