Aug 1, 2020 - 8:58 PM
in reply to Arno
My first suggestion is to learn at least a few local words, e.g., hello, good morning, good evening, etc., although this suggestion is of course not limited to hotel stays. We've only been to Switzerland twice, and despite the patience of the front desk staff, my attempts to properly pronounce Gruezi in Luzern usually resulted in a polite but bemused smile. But I tried. I look forward to further practice on our next trip.
I second the recommendation on being quiet in the morning and evening. No one wants to hear what people three tables away did yesterday or are planning to do today, especially first thing in the morning.
On our second trip, we did leave a tip for two members of the restaurant staff. My wife and I both fell ill for one day each, over a span of three days. When our servers discovered this after inquiring why one of us was having breakfast alone on those days, they prepared a special breakfast tray for the missing spouse, complete with special teas that certainly improved our mood and perhaps helped our recovery. Most places we've stayed wouldn't have noticed or cared that one half of a couple was missing, let alone prepare a "breakfast in bed" tray. That warranted a tip for each of them.
I gave one tip directly to the intended recipient, the other I left with the front desk manager since the second intended recipient was off on the day we left.
The hotels where we stayed had a jar or bowl of small Swiss chocolate bars for the guest to sample. I admit having a sweet tooth, and took advantage of the offerings every day, but in moderation. When I mentioned my appreciation for the seemingly endless supply of those bite-sized delicacies, one front desk manager told me a story of a tour group guide, who on his way out the door for departure to their next destination, and after verifying that the small samples were in fact free to hotel guests, dumped the entire jar into his shoulder bag before jumping on the waiting tour group bus. Don't be "that guy."