GENERAL HOTEL INFO (Things you may want to know)
For holiday visits of three weeks or less, you will not be spending much time in your hotel room as there are so many things to do and places to go. Unless your hotel has cooking facilities, you will only use your room for showers and crashing at night, with an occasional siesta in between.
RESERVATIONS If you are phoning from home to make a reservation, make sure you can speak Spanish as most hotel personnel speak little or no English. Be aware that during busy times of the year you may loose your room reservation, especially if you are late checking in. (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush). If you make your reservation by fax and get them to fax back a confirmation, this usually firms it up somewhat although some are reluctant to do this. If they take credit cards, then this will normally confirm your reservation. Some people have lost room reservations even though they pre-booked. Always have a few other hotels in mind, just in case. Some budget hotels do not even take reservations.
PAYING BY CREDIT CARD When paying in person it is common practice for larger hotels and car rental agencies to take an imprint of your credit card and get you to sign a blank slip. Do not be concerned as this is a common practice in Mexico. Some hotels and business add a credit card surcharge of up to 6%. Be sure to ask! Try to pay in pesos with cash. Never let your credit card out of your sight. Make sure it is imprinted in your presence. Don't let anyone take it into a another room or behind the counter out of view where it could be swiped more than once. This is true anywhere, not just in Mexico.
PRICES During Mexican holidays and long weekends there can be a large influx of people to the coast, filling all available hotel rooms. To hotel owners this is their prime season. They know that their hotels are going to be full anyway, so they usually raise the room rates (often double or triple). The main tourist season is only about six months long, so they have to maximize their income whenever possible. If you want to save money, try not to visit during national, religious or school holidays. Christmas, New Years, Semanta Santa and Carnival are the busiest.
HINTS & TIPS Drinking Water - buy a one liter water bottle at a grocery store (la Tienda), then re-fill it any time during the day from the 20 liter carboys at your hotel. This will save you money and keep your drinking water safe. In budget hotels in Mexico toilet paper is not flushed down the toilet but is normally put into the wastepaper basket. Their sewage systems are not setup to handle paper. Use outside showers or footbaths to wash off beach sand before you shower in your hotel room. This saves you the inconvenience of a plumbing blockage and repair problems for the hotel.
HOTEL SECURITY Always unpack your bags and arrange your things so that you will know at a glance if anything disappears. Always lock your bags so thieves cannot use them to load up items to easily carry them from your room. Lock all windows and doors upon exiting and while you are in the room.
Never leave anything of value - money, plane tickets, travelers checks, tourist card, credit cards, or extra room keys in the room when you leave. Report any suspicious movement or activity to the front desk. Have your valuables put into the hotel's safe or room security box if available.