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Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Stay

A recent survey finds more Americans satisfied with their hotel stays than in previous years, but some issues remain for guests.
A recent survey from JD Power and Associates finds Americans are pretty happy with their hotel stays - registering the study's highest level of overall satisfaction in seven years.

"Breakfast, Wi-Fi, and, you know, clean and comfortable."
"I like a homey environment, kind of like a welcoming staff, not cold."

Still, there are areas where guests can feel a stay has fallen short.
"One of the major pet peeves you'll find is if there's a long line at reception, if people are left around waiting, that's still a big problem for people," says Leigh Crandall, managing editor of Jetsetter, an online travel community.   "Also a lack of internet access is one of the biggest complaints that travelers have."

Crandall says a less-than-stellar experience can be avoided before bags are packed, with some online legwork - or a phone call.

"You can call up the hotel and make them do a lot of the work for you," says Crandall.  "If you're worried or concerned about certain things that you need as a traveler like free wi-fi, like special needs, go ahead and give them a ring. It's their job to help sell you on their hotel being the right fit."

The JD Power survey also found interaction with hotel staff can lead to a more satisfying experience. Guests are encouraged to speak up and not just with complaints.

And if a property leaves a positive impression, consider joining their loyalty program for added perks during the next stay.

(Karin Caifa for CNN's Consumer Watch)

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