Question: What are the top things that come up in terms of hotel etiquette?
Answer: "How do I deal with other guests doing something that is bothering me?" is, by far, the most common type of question.
That "something" might be playing loud music late at night in a hotel with thin walls, smoking in a nonsmoking hotel, letting kids play in the adults-only pool or saving lounge chairs all day.
The answer is usually the same: Does the hotel have a policy in place about it? If so, ask a staff member to enforce it. They can handle the chair-savers, the parents of the rowdy kids, etc. If there is no policy, but something is bothering you to the extent that it’s affecting your enjoyment of your stay, talk to the manager and ask what can be done. The manager can’t magically make the walls thicker, but he or she could call the late-night-music aficionados and ask them to turn the volume down, move you to another room, etc.
The other question I get a lot is whether you should tip housekeeping daily or at the end of your stay. Either is acceptable, but I think you will get better service if you tip daily. Plus, the person who services your room may change each day. You want to make sure the tip is distributed evenly.
Q: What does "beach black tie" mean on a wedding invitation? The wedding is being held on a beach at a resort. Are you supposed to combine elements of beach attire and formalwear?
A: I think it means the bride and groom like messing with their guests’ minds. You don’t modify "black tie." It’s either black tie or it’s not. And mixing beach attire with formalwear sounds like pure sartorial disaster. Horrible visions of gentlemen clad in tuxedos and bright yellow water sandals are running through my head.
But I digress. The message I think the bride and groom are trying to convey here is: "Dress up, even though we’ll be on the beach. We don’t want a bunch of people looking like slobs in our wedding photos. But we’re warning you: The wedding is on the sand, so leave the 4-inch heels at home."
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.