08/05/2013 08:44 am ET Updated Oct 05, 2013

8 Things Hotels Won't Tell You (But You Need To Know)

Like any business, hotels have their secrets. And after spending more than 20 years working in and improving struggling hotels, I've learned them all -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

I know what to look for when you're booking, and what should be a red flag. I know which rating systems to trust, whether they're agency stars or customer reviews, and how much weight to give to each. I know what level of service to expect, which amenities should be included and which factors contribute to an excellent hotel experience.

Now, just like I do on Travel Channel's 'Hotel Impossible' each week, I'm sharing my expertise with you. Here are my top eight tips for booking and traveling like an insider, and saving money in the process.

Got your own time-tested tips for getting the best service at the best price? Share them in the comments below. And don't forget to check out the third season of "Hotel Impossible," premiering August 12 on the Travel Channel.

8 Things Hotels Won’t Tell You

Follow Travel Channel on Twitter, @travelchannel.