1. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Booking into a motel

    Discussion in 'Research' started by OurJud, Aug 23, 2015.

    Just looking for a few pointers.

    The motel in my scene is on the outskirts of town, cheap with an air of 'no questions asked' about it. This gives me a bit of freedom, but I still want to make it authentic.

    What would be required when booking a room? Proof of IDs? Signatures? Payment up front?

    Price per night?

    Also, what is the term for a room with two single beds? Over here in the UK it's 'twin', but what is it in the States?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In the US it's called a "double". Here in the US, even in little rinkie-dink, dusty motels in the middle of nowhere they tend to ask for your license plate number. Not 100% sure why, but they do. Payment up front is also pretty customary for smaller joints.
     
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  3. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great. Thanks.

    Is there a name for the rack of holes where they keep the keys? Over here they're pigeon holes.
     
  4. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Yep, and usually even theplaces that don't require a payment up front make you leave your credit card info at the least. Getting hard to pay cash for a room nowadays. At least anywhere I have been. Most places want to be able to recoup any damages or stolen items (towels, light bulbs, batteries, etc).
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I call them pigeonholes as well.
     
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  6. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    From my personal experience they are hanging on peg boards if they even have keys. Everyone else seems to be going to the disposable access cards. Though that probably won't be the issue for a run down type of place.
     
  7. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    Any place I would stay will need a credit card number and maybe a look at your drivers license, but the seedier motels will gladly accept cash and no questions asked.
     
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  8. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's the answer I was hoping for.

    I also forgot to mention this is near-future, so especially like the access cards idea.
     
  9. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    Wow, I have never been to a hotel that had real keys. It's always been the little plastic, slidey things that'll de-activate if you put them next to your cell phone. I need to travel more...

    I've worked housekeeping at one hotel, and the front desk at two different hotels in America. They were all chains. One of the hotels was mediocre. The other one was considered upscale, so maybe none of my information is valid for a seedy motel. I think if it's really seedy you could probably get away with doing it however you wanted.

    I'll give you my experience anyway. At the last hotel I worked, I much preferred if people payed with credit cards. It was faster and easier. If people paid cash, I had to take an extra one hundred dollar deposit and stick it under the cash register. They'd get it back in the morning after someone had inspected their room to ensure they hadn't destroyed it. I never had an issue where I couldn't give them their deposit back.

    We called our rooms kings, doubles, and suites. We had one of each that was handicap accessible. Those were the hardest to sell. People who aren't handicapped hate it when you put them in a handicap room, but sometimes we were sold out and that's all we had left. "I'm so sorry that your doors are automatic and there's an extra chair in the tub. Oh, the humanity!" People are crazy.

    If you wanted an extra bed, called a rollaway, put into your room it was an extra five dollars. We also could put cribs in rooms. I can't remember how much those cost. They might have been free, actually, or maybe just five dollars. Both hotels I worked at allowed pets, but it was an extra ten dollars if you had a pet. That was a pain too because people who have allergies do not want to be put in a room that at one time had a pet in it. I had to do a lot of re-assuring that we deep cleaned the room afterwards, which wasn't entirely true. We washed the blankets afterwards, that was about the only thing we did differently. Oh, and in case you didn't already know, most hotels only wash the sheets after every person's stay. The blankets get washed about once a month. Yes, hotels are gross, even the upscale ones.

    I never looked at driver's licenses unless it said on the back of the credit card "See I.D." A lot of times the person who reserved the room wasn't the same person paying or staying in it anyway. I did change the name in the computer to the name of whoever was staying in it/paid for it.

    When someone reserved a room I had to get their address and phone number. When they checked in, we also had them sign a piece of paper saying that we were a non-smoking facility and if they were caught smoking in their room they'd have to pay about a bazillion dollars. It was more like a threat, not something I ever saw reinforced. I mean, how do you even reinforce that? Most people were surprised that we made them sign that, so I don't think it's a common practice, and a seedy motel definitely wouldn't care if you smoked.

    If they had a reservation, things went a lot faster. We pre-made the keys for the reservations earlier in the day. So it was basically "What's your last name? I need to swipe your credit card. Here are your keys. Your room is on such and such floor. Sign this paper saying you won't smoke. Breakfast starts at this time. Have a nice stay." I wasn't allowed to say their room number out loud. I had to point to it on the paper sleeve of their keys.

    If they didn't have a reservation I had to get their address and phone number and all the crap I would have taken over the phone if they made a reservation. We call people without reservations walk-ins.

    People's initial questions were usually, "Where is the elevator? Where is the pool? Is the breakfast free? Where is a good place to eat in town? When is checkout? Can I get a late checkout?" We were allowed to give late checkouts, but only by an hour. At most hotels check-in time is at three and check-out time is at eleven or noon.

    If you want the best deal on a room do it over the internet. Some people thought they could get a cheap room if I checked them in at three in the morning, but that wasn't usually the case. I had very little power over the prices that were set for me. The best I could do is give them a discount if they had a government job such as a police officer, and if I were to give that discount I was supposed to check their government I.D. There was also a triple A discount.

    Room prices did change though, depending on the season and on what was happening in town. The summer season is really busy. Prices are high. After Christmas is the dead season. Prices are low. I'm not sure how much a seedy motel would cost. I just looked up the rate for a crappy motel in my town, and it was $69. I actually expected it to be less than that, but it is summer.

    Not sure what else I can tell you other than don't work in the hotel industry. Ha ha.
     
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  10. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, BookLover. That's more than enough to get the scene finished.

    Thanks to all.
     
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