How to Research Your Hotel Room

Essential questions to ask before you book

Booking a resort? Don't hand over your credit-card number until someone answers these queries.

Ask: When did you last renovate—and are you planning to during our stay?

Why you want to know: You don't want jackhammering outside or cranes blocking your mountain vista. The flip side: A property not freshened for years might be shabby.

Ask: What's included and what's extra?

Why you want to know: Miscellaneous charges can include sports fees (like snorkel rentals), parking, energy surcharges, and those lovely $15-a-day "resort fees." Don't forget taxes—they can add up.

Ask: What amenities can we expect?

Why you want to know: Robes, a hair dryer, an alarm clock, and an iron will probably be provided.

Ask: What's the gym like?

Why you want to know: Some hotels plop a treadmill, a boom box, and a few dumbbells in a room and call it a day. Then there are sprawling fitness temples with peppy trainers, gleaming machines, and classes galore. Another thing to keep in mind: Your resort may charge you a daily gym fee.

Ask: What exactly will my view look like?

Why you want to know: Deciphering hotel code can be tough. "Ocean view" may mean a pretty panorama or a game of peek-a-boo with the sea; "oceanfront," on the other hand, assures in-your-face waves. "Garden view?" You might see a cluster of palm trees—or an old maintenance shed.

Ask: Where will our digs be located?

Why you want to know: If your hotel takes requests, ask for a bed on an upper level—preferably far from the road or noisy ice machines. Corner rooms on high floors are often larger and offer multiple views. To increase the odds of being able to switch suites if you're unhappy, check in early.

Ask: What exactly does "central" mean?

Why you want to know: If you plan to walk or cab it to sights or restaurants, make sure your definition of "close by" matches the hotel's.

Ask: Do you offer any honeymoon perks?

Why you want to know: Fun freebies might include bubbly and fruit upon arrival or even a bump up to a suite. Ask the staff at check-in, too.

Ask: Do you have room service?

Why you want to know: If the answer is no, request that a minifridge be placed in your room.

Honeymoon Ideas
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