7 Most Annoying Hotel Guests — and How to Avoid Being That Person

Here’s what not to do if you want to be the best hotel guest, according to an etiquette expert.

To adults walking into hotel room with luggage

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If there’s any time a person’s true colors are revealed, it’s while traveling. Exploring a new place — while fun and exciting — can also be a catalyst for bad behavior. No matter how stressed (or relaxed) you get, though, there’s no excuse to throw manners and a sense of decency to the wind, especially if you’re interacting with other people.

This rule of thumb extends throughout your entire trip, from airport security to hotel stays. As a hotel guest, you’re coming into contact with fellow travelers and those working to ensure your stay is as comfortable, relaxing, and seamless as possible. While most people understand the importance of properly conducting themselves in this setting — five-star or otherwise — others don’t. And if you’ve ever been around a traveler who falls in the latter category, you know this type of behavior is a surefire way of becoming one of the more troublesome guests at a hotel

To find out who, exactly, makes that list, Travel + Leisure spoke to Myka Meier, etiquette expert and founder of The Plaza hotel's Finishing Program. Here are the seven most annoying people at hotels — and what you can do to avoid being one of them.

The Ill-mannered Guest

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that being rude or disrespectful is one of the biggest faux pas a hotel guest can make. Yes, you may be on vacation, but that doesn’t mean manners should be forgotten. "Hospitality is a hard industry and being in a service-oriented job can be very difficult... These people are usually working long hours on nights and weekends. From the server at the pool or restaurant to the hotel manager, it's so important to be kind and respectful," explains Meier. 

This applies to both your words and actions. Basic manners, like saying "please" and "thank you," is appreciated, and "snapping, clapping, or waving [aggressively] to get service attention," is frowned upon, she adds.

A good attitude and general self-awareness should also be granted to fellow guests. Disrespect toward other lodgers, according to Meier, includes "taking up pool chairs [you’re] not using," "letting [your] children go into adult-only areas," and slowing down the check-in and checkout process. "If you're being helped, but your issue isn’t resolved yet, move aside and let others check in or out," she says. 

The Guest With a Lack of Patience

Perhaps the most simple rule to follow is "be patient with the concierge or front desk staff." You may be in a rush, but being snappy won’t help you get anywhere or do something faster. "Sometimes, people think the concierge has a magic wand, but they should know the nicer and more polite they are to staff, the more staff are happy to help," says Meier.

The Guest Without Gratitude

If you’re traveling in a country where tipping is customary, make sure to have cash on hand before arriving at the hotel. Tipping, explains Meier, shows "gratitude for great service." "The longer you stay, the more you should tip," she says. "Tipping one time at the end of your stay is absolutely fine to do."

The Messy Guest 

"Leaving the room in a horrible state [upon] checkout" is a quick way to annoy those working at the hotel, according to Meier. "Do a light tidy before you leave,” she says. "Leave soiled towels hanging on hooks or…in nice neat piles in the bathroom, not on the carpet, where they could leave a wet stain."

If you’ve ordered room service, avoid leaving the tray outside in the hall (unless the hotel has told you otherwise). Meier says, "It’s messy and smelly for other guests, as well as a trip hazard. Instead, call room service when you're done and tell them you're ready to have your tray picked up."

The Underdressed Guest 

There’s a time and place to wear a robe or bathing suit. You’re probably on vacation, after all. But a hotel lobby is not on that list. "Walking around the common areas, like a nice hotel foyer or restaurant, underdressed" is another major guest faux pas, according to Meier. If you know you’re going to be swimming or spending time at the spa while on property, pack a cover-up or breezy button-down you can easily throw on before heading into the common spaces. 

The Noisy Guest

There’s another particular kind of guest who causes hotel disruption, perhaps without even realizing it: the person "not being considerate of noise in rooms or noise in shared hotel spaces or balconies." If you find yourself "using loud devices without [headphones] in communal areas," you should rethink your actions, says Meier. Other guests, as well as those working within the hotel, will greatly appreciate it. 

The Guest With Sticky Hands

Finally, if you don’t want to be an annoying hotel guest, don’t take what isn’t yours. "I don’t see this, but [I] often hear from my hotel clients of people stealing things like bathrobes, decor, or even salt and pepper shakers from the restaurants," says Meier. You wouldn’t steal something while staying in a friend or family member’s home, so don’t do it at a hotel.

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