5 Things You Do That Annoy Hotel Staff — and How to Avoid Them

Avoid these mistakes and become the best guest ever.

Hotel employee bringing in luggage on cart

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As travelers, we should be able to enjoy our hotel stays to the fullest. That means cozying up in the oversized robes, relaxing in the soaking tubs, digging into the mini bar, and heck, even jumping on the beds a little. But we should take things too far, either. You may have read the horror stories of rock stars wrecking hotel rooms and people stealing items before checkout.

But what else do guests do that get on hotel staffers' very last nerve? Here are five things that annoy hotel employees so you can avoid them and remain a pleasant guest.

Not Letting Hotel Staff Know Your Needs Before Checking In

"In order to be the best guest you can be, it's helpful to hotel staff when you plan ahead, instead of leaving things to the last minute," said Andreas Spove, general manager of reStays Ottawa, a luxury hotel in Canada. "When last-minute plans occur, the hotel staff is there to help, but planning ahead and letting your concierge know in advance things related to early check-in, checkout, or fridge-filling needs will help them serve you even better, and decrease stress on both ends." 

George Cook, director of guest services at Deer Path Inn, agreed, adding that it's especially important to let staffers know if you're visiting for a special occasion. 

"Share your special event or occasion with the front desk team ahead of your arrival, if possible. Not only does this help staff from across the property prepare to celebrate with you, but it could also snag you an upgrade to your room or other extras during your stay," said Cook. "And if you plan to return again for the same celebration (birthday, anniversary, etc.), make sure to mention it to the front desk team so they can be prepared to welcome you in the future." As a bonus, Cook said, if you really liked your stay, send along a "thank you" note or email, which will likely be logged in your guest profile so future employees can see you're the best guest ever. 

Not Sharing Your Concerns in Real Time 

Spove had one more excellent piece of advice on how to be a spectacular guest: Share your concerns in real time, rather than saving it for a review after your stay.

"Guests will sometimes not vocalize their concerns or feedback until the end review, after the staff no longer has the chance to fix whatever issues have occurred," said Spove. "If there are any concerns during your stay, communicating them right away can help the hotel staff in delivering on our mission to exceed expectations." Don't be afraid to call down to the front desk if something feels amiss. Odds are the staff will fix the problem ASAP. 

Using the Wrong Towels 

If you wear makeup, or get particularly dirty after an adventure, Stephen Fofanoff, general manager at Domaine Madeleine in Port Angeles, Washington, shared that it's important you use the right towels to make the staff's lives a little easier. 

"[Use] the provided makeup removers and makeup towels. Guests who use the white towels to remove makeup permanently damage those towels, which increases the cost of staying at our inn for every guest — luxury white towels are the highest cost items to replace when stained, and the smallest stains require replacement," said Fofanoff. This, he added, is why hotels provide black makeup towels and, if guests are lucky, "plenty of free aloe-infused, chemical-free, compostable makeup removing wipes."  

Taking Out Your Aggression on Staff

It's important to remember, even during the most frustrating moments, hotel staffers are likely doing everything they can to ensure you have the best stay possible. And that's why the staff from Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn in Bethany Beach, Delaware, want to remind everyone to try and keep their cool when interacting with employees. 

"It's disheartening when guests get upset with the front desk when they find out the 'request' they made ahead of arrival (connecting rooms, floor preference, view upgrades, early check-in, etc.) was not possible," the hotel staff shared. "We do everything we can to accommodate a myriad of requests from hundreds of families daily. When we can't accommodate a specific request, please know that we've tried our best to make it happen."

Arriving Before Check-in Time and Expecting Your Room to Be Ready 

Finally, hotel solutions strategist Colleen Carswell wanted to remind everyone that just because you want to check in early doesn't mean it's always possible, and that's not a hotel staffer's fault.  

"Guests will often arrive prior to check-in time and expect to get into their rooms. This is way more common than one might think," said Carswell. "I saw this a lot with guests who were attending a big gala, wedding, evening reception, and the like. Guests think that because they have an important event to get ready for, their room should be available for them to check in early, especially if they put in a request."

However, as Carswell noted, "That's not how it works. The check-in time is what it is for a reason. Guests should never assume they will be able to arrive and check in earlier than the published time, unless they have paid for an early check-in." 

Carswell explained, there are a variety of factors at play when it comes to early check-in, including switching housekeeping schedules, room type availability, a potentially short-staffed hotel, and more, so please remain calm if you can't get in as early as you'd hoped. 

She added, "And as far as the 'I put a request in when I made the reservation' comments, a request is just that — a request — not a guarantee."

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