Hotel staff have to deal with a lot; cooking and cleaning, maintaining a positive image of the business, and the worst part; guests. Sometimes, the guests can be delights to have. Unfortunately, that does not always happen.
Hotel workers on Reddit share their nightmare guest stories. Content has been edited for clarity.
“I Was Totally Creeped Out”
“The first hotel I worked at was on a college campus, so we were commonly booked out with guests arriving to watch football games. Of course, these guests are never just here to watch a football game, they’re also here to tailgate and go to bars. Some people would start tailgating as early as seven in the morning, so they were constantly drinking all day. It doesn’t help that in our city there were many bars directly on campus, which were about a five-minute walk from a hotel. So many guests checked in already hammered on football nights.
A lady and what I assumed to be her husband come to check in at night. I assume the lady is in her late 30s or early 40s, I guess I could have known from checking her ID but I don’t normally pay attention to the age when I’m checking guest’s IDs. So I’m checking her in, and she proceeds to tell me that I look handsome and so I blush then say thank you. Then she proceeds to tell me that ‘I can sleep in her bed tonight’ after which I blush even harder and awkwardly and uncomfortably laugh. Mind you, this was with what I assume to be her husband standing right next to her.
Then she proceeds to ask me if I’m specifically 17 years old, to which I respond ‘No, I’m 23 years old’ and I proceed to be totally creeped out and confused.
Then the guest left me alone after that and I didn’t hear back from her.”
“I got called an inappropriate name at work I’ll be honest, it’s the first time in my 21 years of life that it was said with such hate and to my face.
I’ve had it said behind my back once before, but when I turned around and said ‘Excuse me, what did you say?’ the guy shut his vomit-hole.
When this happened, I was so taken aback. Our hotel has a policy that requires people checking in to provide their credit card and picture ID. When Mr. H came up to me, he told me he didn’t have his card, but asked if we could charge to the one that was on file. (We only do that for the highest tier of our loyalty program. He was the bottom tier.)
Me: ‘Sorry, I would need to have the card to I can swipe it.’
Mr.H: ‘Well if my girlfriend comes and gives you her card, can you just charge the one that’s on file?’
Me: ‘No, I’m sorry it doesn’t work that way.’
He goes away and gets on his phone, so I continue to play Freecell on my computer because it’s the only game that isn’t blocked (and it’s awesome). He comes up again maybe half an hour later with his girlfriend to check in.
Mr.H: ‘So I called them and they charged my card for the room and they said all I had to do was show my ID.’
I assume by ‘Them’ he meant Schmilton, so I check the reservation. Instead of ‘Guarantee by Credit Card’ his reservation noted ‘Full-Prepayment’ which solved half of his problem and caused all of mine. See, even if the room is prepaid we still need a credit card for incidentals (room service, phone, etc;).
Me: ‘Okay it looks like the room has been paid for, I’ll just need a credit card for incidentals.’
Mr. H: ‘Did you not listen to me? I already paid for the room, they told me all I needed to do was show my ID.’
Me: ‘I agree that the room was paid for, but I still need a card for incidental charges.’
Mr. H: ‘Listen to what I’m saying. I don’t have a credit card on me, is there a manager here I can speak to?’
Me: ‘I’m the only one here to assist you at the moment, and that doesn’t change the fact that our hotel’s policy is to collect a credit card upon check in.’
Mr. H: ‘So what do you want me to do?’
Me (at this point, I’m shaking from frustration): ‘I want you to come back with either a credit card or cash to leave as a deposit.’
Mr. H: ‘Forget you!’
At this point, he picks up his bags and storms out with his ugly girlfriend in tow.
Me: ‘Have a great night!’
It was the only come-back I could think of at the time. I honestly wanted to incite him to come back because then I would get the pleasure of calling the police to walk him off property and issue a no-trespass warrant. Alas, I could not.”
“Not That Beautiful To See”
“When I started working alone (you were with someone more experienced when you start, to learn how to do stuff), I had to knock to see if the customers were gone. Mostly, they were gone, or preparing. I knocked at this door, and a unclothed man answered at the door. Not the exibitionnist way, but the ‘unaware-that-nothing-is-on’ way. He asked several questions about check out and the area. It was hard not to see down here and keep my ‘customer service’ mindset. It reeked of drinking and mari, so much I sprayed a ton of febreeze when he closed the door (emptied half the can I think). Later, when he was gone, the room was completely trashed: drinks poured on the bed (had to change everything which sucks), cig butts everywhere, even in the lamps, and the tip he left (I don’t know if it was a tip or he simply forgot) was scattered all over the ground. Took me about an hour and a half to clean up and restore the room.
Also, a couple of strangers left their room with the toilet blocked with toilet paper and poop. They stayed for four days, and asked for no room cleaning. Four days of poop and toilet paper is not that beautiful to see. They could just have asked the janitor to unplug but they left this mess for us to clean.
I tried to unblock the toilet with the help of the janitor, and we ended making a inondation, with three centimeters of toilet water everywhere in the room with bits of toilet paper and disgusting chocolate. Water damage, bad odors so the room had to be renovated completely.”
“Two Can Play This Game”
“Our pool closes overnight, all the gates are locked. That rarely stops people, they’ll just jump over, but still, take a hint.
This one man, probably late 40’s I caught in the pool after hours. I told him it was closed, and said he had to get out. He argued with me, I told him again, no, get out. When he finally did get out I saw he was unclothed. Okay, that’s not okay. Get dressed, get back in your room, and I’ll let this slide. It was obvious this man had too much to drink.
So he gets out, I return to the desk, and a minute later he comes to the desk, fully clothed, and says he wants to complain about a rude employee who told him he had to get out of the pool.
I responded ‘Sir, that was me, and I was not rude, and rest assured I saw you unclothed in our pool which is an evictable offense, but just go back to your room, sleep off your drunkenness, and I’ll let this slide for tonight.’
He was in house for a couple of days, but I told him that he’s out by check-out, I wasn’t going to evict him now, but he’ll be out in the morning.
I did leave a note for the front desk morning staff he was to be out. I thought that solved the problem.
Next time I took my rounds again, low and behold Mr. Unclothed Guy is even more hammered, and again in our pool unclothed.
Okay, being nice doesn’t work, two can play this game.
I evicted him right then and there. The police came to facilitate the eviction, and he was still unclothed and hammered in the pool when they got there. Good, now there’s witnesses to this.
As a side, the pool does face some of the rooms off their balconies. Why I didn’t get any overnight complaints from any guests, I don’t know, but either no one saw it from their room, or, no one said anything. It’s good, though, that no one else (especially a child) saw anything because he could have been facing not just indecency violations, but other offenses if a kid did see.
Just creepy, and he’s not allowed back, and I don’t ever want to deal with him again.”
“My Chin Almost Hit The Floor”
“I recently dealt with an extremely demanding and fussy Expedia ‘VIP.’
On his first day alone, he complained about no less than three times, made one of our café girls cry and then lied to a local restaurant about how our staff assured him they would stay open so he could get dinner (after we’d called the restaurant in question to confirm they were closed already).
On the next morning I dealt with him again, and it was unpleasant to say in the least, he demanded to speak to the general manager, and then refused to speak to anyone else apart from repeatedly asking when the general manager would be available.
Some background, our general manager is new to the property. He’s only been with us a month tops at this point so I was kinda hesitant on how to handle him regarding this as our previous general manager had zero backbone and would have rolled over for this kind of guest.
So I went and spoke to my new general manager who took me seriously, and said he would go and speak to the guest.
I didn’t really pay it anymore attention because I had stuff to do and got semi busy with check-outs but after about 20 minutes my general manager came back over. I was kinda prepared to hear some nonsense about ‘keeping our guests happy’ but no. My general manager drops this bombshell, ‘told him that clearly we aren’t the hotel for him and it would be a good idea for him to check out.’
I swear my chin almost hit the floor! Frankly my co-workers and I were pretty taken back that our general manager stood up for us and gave a nasty guest the boot! It certainly gave us all a nice boost and made us feel genuinely respected by upper management for a change.”
“Get Back To Your Rooms!”
“I have been working in the hotel field for almost four years now (The first two years I was in college, the past two I blame on the economy).
While working at my first hotel we underwent construction. We knew months in advance, and would tell anyone who made reservations we would be undergoing construction and the pool would be closed during their stay. I’m working the afternoon shift one of those days during construction. We have signs posted all over the entrance doors notifying customers we are under construction. I thought these were somewhat pointless, as the moment you enter the building you walk through a three foot wide tunnel of plastic while a jackhammer (no joke) tears up the lobby floor.
There are also signs posted at the desk, saying the pool is closed and we’re under construction. We also verbally tell all check ins that we’re under construction and the pool is closed and have them sign a document saying they were told of this.
Towards the end of my shift, around 9pm, this grandpa comes up to me asking where they can get pool towels. I apologize and say that I am sorry but the pool is not open due to the construction.
He glares at me for a second, and says that the only reason they stayed with us is because they wanted to take their granddaughter swimming. I apologized again and informed him that several notices were posted and that he did sign the form. He glares some more and walks away.
About five minutes later he comes, back carrying what looks to be a 2 year old child. He points to me and says to his granddaughter ‘See her? She’s the reason you can’t go swimming tonight.’
He glares at me again as she begins to tear up and her lip begins to quiver. I just watch, mouth agape, as they walk away. The little girl didn’t take her eyes off me as they went down the hallway.
A few months later, at the same hotel, we are having a few traveling hockey teams stay with us. It was my first (but unfortunately not my last) experience with the awfulness that is child hockey teams. There were about three teams total staying with us, and they filled up about 50 rooms (out of the 102 the hotel had) and we were sold out that weekend.
As soon as I saw the first greyhound bus pull up, I cringed because I was the only employee in the entire hotel. The first people off the bus are the kids that just spent an entire day on the bus eating candy and soda. Then the parents stumbled off, they spent the entire day drinking on the bus and brought their coolers into the lobby to continue the party. After the 30 minutes it took to check them in, the kids scattered, spotted the pool, asked their parents if they could go swimming and then ran away (presumably to get out their swim trunks, but it may have been to go get high on speed for all I know).
I yell to the parents in the lobby that all children must have a parent guardian in the pool with them. They took this to mean, send the one sober-ish parent to the pool to watch 30 kids.The camera I have behind the desk is pointed directly at the kids and I can see them running and jumping in, a direct violation of the posted rules. I seize this golden opportunity to kick them out of the pool and head down there. The parent there, argues that he kept a solid eye on the kids and that not one of them jumped in. I pointed out that his drink was also not allowed in the pool area as food and beverage are prohibited. As I’m ‘discussing’ this with him, other parents (alerted by one of the kids) come in saying they’ll keep an eye on them.
Outnumbered and needing to get back to the desk, I tell them if I see one more violation on camera the pool is getting locked down. As soon as I get back to the desk I see the kids at it again, the parents drinking, and not doing anything. I march back down there, announce that the pool is now closed and they need to vacate immediately. The parents try to argue their way out of it saying they’ve been watching the kids and didn’t see anything, etc., etc. It’s then that the idiot of the kids decides to jump in while I’m there and the parents begrudgingly agree to leave. I lock the pool, thinking I’ve won one battle, I can manage to make it another five hours until my shift ends. How naive I was. I spend the rest of the night trolling the hallways with my mean face on, sending kids who were playing mini-stick hockey in the hallways fleeing into their rooms. The parents have decided they are on vacation and are getting obnoxiously hammered in the lobby (and I worked in a college town, the frat parties were quieter) or going down the street to the casino.
At one point, I approach the parents informing them that if I find the kids playing hockey in the hallways or rooms again I will kick the team out without refund. They then asked me if I had any board games they could play.
When I said no they said, ‘Well how the heck are we supposed to entertain our kids if you don’t have an arcade or any games for them to play?’
I was about to tell him off when out of the corner of my eye I see kids running outside in the parking lot. It’s winter, about 25 degrees, and there’s ice everywhere and none of the kids are wearing anything more than shirts and pants. We had a big snowfall recently and I knew the kids were running for the giant pile of snow at the end of the plowed lot.
I bolt outside and spot at least five kids on top of the 12 foot high snow pile playing king of the mountain. I ran over yelling ‘Get the heck off that mountain!’ and they scattered.
A parent had followed and slurred at me ‘Don’t talk to our kids that way!’
To which I replied, ‘Then act like a parent, I’m not a babysitter!’ and went back inside.
I informed the parents there if all the kids were not in rooms in five minutes, I was calling the police to haul them all off. The parents grumbled but the kids disappeared. At least for a bit. I heard the distinctive sounds of children running on the floor above me and literally sprinted out of the office and up the stairs, taking three at a time. I burst into the hallway and spotted a group of kids playing tag in the hallway.
I (out of breath) yelled ‘Get in your rooms!’
One of the brats replied that their mom told them to leave the room so she could watch TV. I snarled ‘Get in your rooms now!’ and they scattered.
I calmly walked to the end of the hall and went down the stairs. I was hanging out in the bottom of the stairwell to catch my breath and slow my pulse when I heard the 2nd floor door open.
I over head an adult female say to a group of kids ‘She’s not in charge of you, you do what I say, and I say you are allowed to play in the hall.’
Right then she stepped off the stairs, turned, and saw me standing there, hand clasped demurely in front of me, smiling as sugary sweetly as possible at her. She turned pale, shut her mouth, and walked silently right past me with the kids. I followed them to the lobby, still smiling. They walked right over to the elevator and went back up to their rooms.
I stood outside the elevator and as it was closing said in my most sincere voice ‘Have a good night!’
The best part?
I was working the morning shift the next day and when the parents came to complain my manager told them they were never allowed to stay in our hotel again and she would be notifying the rest of the hotels in the city of their behavior and good luck next year finding a room for the tournament.”
“A Special Snowflake”
“One time I was on the phone to a lady wanting to make a reservation, and the lobby was super busy with guests trying to check in. There were like three other front desk assistants on duty and this guy came up to me and started abusing me because he didn’t want to wait any longer. He said he should come first because he’s a special snowflake.
Lo and behold, he was bottom tier and a fooking.com guest. Go away. Lady didn’t end up booking because she got the impression all our guests were rude like that. Thanks guy, you just cost me a sale.”
“She Had It Coming”
“Now there was this one day, where we had a young lady made a reservation, let’s call her SB for ‘stupid brat’. She was an employee but for another hotel under the same brand in another town. Because she was an employee, she was able to book the room under her employee discount. When it comes to an employee making a reservation in another hotel, they have to be the one to check in and check out. All employees are also representing the hotel they work for, so if they act like they have no common sense or like complete imbeciles, the manager of that hotel can have their discount revoked. They can also call their personal manager and complain and let them know they are no longer welcome to stay in their hotel.
Everything was fine in the beginning, we checked her in, and made a copy of her ID to let my manager know that the reservation matched with the ID. Afterwards she left with her family, which included her grandma, and some little kids. They went out to the for a bit and left go pick up some food. They came back to the hotel with the food, and went to their room. About five minutes later, she calls the front desk to let me know that her fridge was not working. Unfortunately, I did not have a housekeeper at the time to go up and look at it or a maintenance person. I apologized and told her I could go up and get her drinks and put them in the kitchen fridge and she can call when she wants them, and she agreed. Half an hour later, she calls for me to go and bring her drinks.
With a bad attitude, she demanded ‘I had some pizza and sandwiches, and I left the garbage outside my room for you to come and pick up’
What the heck? I thought. Is this woman for real?
She knows just how displeasing it looks, having a whole bunch of garbage in the hallways and having guests walk by it looks wrong and dirty. I brought up her drinks and picked up her trash and I could hear her grandma get loud and obnoxious but I ignored her. Later in the day, those little kids kept coming down to the coffee area making hot chocolate and leaving it an absolute pigsty, it was so frustrating. She called requesting a 2:00 o’clock checkout. Usually, the average check out time is 12:00 P.M. but we can extend till 1:30 P.M. with no charge, and that is exactly what my manager gave her 1:30 P.M. She was lucky she got that, since we want all the rooms clean before the new guests arrive at check in which is 3:00 p.m.. Her reservation was only for one day, so the next day she was suppose to check-out. However, it was another woman that was checking out. I let my manager know all of things that have been taking place, I was shocked when she said “oh, we’ll just let it slide”. All that changed the next week when we saw her evaluation, we take evaluations very seriously and for that month our scores have been low and this evaluation did not help our case.
As soon as my manager saw that evaluation, she rang up the SB’s manager to notify her of her behavior and that she was no longer welcome to our hotel, her manager said ‘Oh, she said she was quitting anyway,’ so I did not get the satisfaction of her paying for the consequences.
But, about a month later I’m looking in the system for today’s guest and see her name with the employee discount. She actually called our hotel to let us know that she was not going to be the one to check in. I knew there was a huge Joker face smirk on my face once I heard her say that.
I told her ‘Sorry ma’am but according to corporate policy you have to be the one to check in in order for your employee rate to be honored, so as of now you’ll be charged the regular rate,’ and she had a fit and hung up.
I told my manager and she dialed her number as if her life depended on it. My manager told SB that she was going to cancel her reservation because she no longer worked for the hotel, SB quickly stated that she made the reservation while she was still employed with her hotel, but at the end it did not matter since you have to be an employee presently in order for your discount to work. SB had another fit and requested to speak to a manager, my manager told her that she was a manager and that her reservation was cancelled and she was no longer welcome to stay at this hotel. SB started crying, saying how she made plans and that people were driving from their towns two and a half hours away to hang out with her on her birthday and she couldn’t afford to pay for a regular stay at a hotel.
My manager said ‘Sorry but there is nothing we can do,’ and she hung up after that.
She quickly called the hotel corporate number to notify all nearby hotels that SB was not an employee and should not be given that discount, in case she was going to make a reservation with them.
I was surprised, her being a hotel worker she knows exactly the kind of things we deal with on a daily basis, and she acted like a total brat. I am so glad I was there to see it all go down because she had it coming.”
“I Was Shaking From Being Mad”
“I was working my graveyard shift as I always do, almost midnight. Around 11pm, a room calls me to complain about a room above them – apparently there’s a whole lotta stomping and running and people just plain being loud. The curfew or whatnot here during wintertime is 11pm, so they were supposed to be quiet in the room above.
I go there and sure enough I can hear children screaming and running around and people talking loudly – they seemed tipsy as well. I knock on the door and the kids open the door (who, mind you, I think shouldn’t even be awake at this point because they’re like five and younger and it’s really cold outside). I tell the room that I’ve received a complaint and it’s curfew and they have to try and tone it down a bit now. They tell me okay and that’s that.
Until an hour and a half later, this man comes to the reception with a child(maybe his?), smelling of adult drinks and starts yelling at me, the child is crying.
HM – Hammered man
Me – me
HM: ‘Why would you do this? Why would you come and tell us that our family was loud?’
Me: ‘Sir, you were being a bit too loud for the room below you and your children were running around therefore not letting them sleep. They have not called me back since so it’s all fine now.’
HM: ‘Well why don’t you put families with children on the first floor?’
Me: ‘Because you wanted your rooms to be close together and the rooms on the first floor are all booked out at the moment.’
HM: ‘My wife has run away now, we got into a huge dispute over this!’
Me: ‘I am sorry to hear that, but you need to be considerate of other guests as you are in this hotel with other people.’
HM: ‘We came here to relax and enjoy our time off and now you and that room ruined it for us.’
Me: ‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean that you can be inconsiderate of other guests and be loud after curfew, you need to respect the laws as well.’
HM: ‘Well, the room below me was loud too, what if I tell you that?’
Me: ‘The room below you is asleep already, sir.’
HM: ‘I am going to need some compensation from you.’
Me: ‘I do not have authority to give you any money. You need to contact the sales department for any refunds or anything regarding compensation.’
HM: ‘What if I leave tonight and don’t email the sales department, I don’t want to email them.’
Me: ‘Then you will not receive any compensation nor any money back if you leave. I suggest you go back to your room.’
There was some back and forth arguing with this guy. Guy gets mad at me and leaves. I was left at the reception, shaking from being mad at this guy. Messaged my boss telling her not to give this guy any compensation and explaining the situation.
She said I was right, life’s good, I win.”
“They Shut Their Brains Off”
“I work three to eleven, and one day was just a weird day. It started when some Greek guests checked in. They said they were here for their anniversary. The husband immediately says asks what we’re going to do for them. I’m standing there blindsided, and a bit offended that it’s my responsibility to stroke their ego. Whatever. The boss was standing right there. She wrote a note, and we’re probably going to do a gift card and bottle of something for them. Anyways, they come back down about two hours later asking for dinner recommendations. I frown slightly because I never eat out, and that’s my least favorite question. The wife immediately grabs the managers card. Great. Next, a construction group that’s been staying at the hotel. One of their guys broke his phone screen, and I spent an hour playing technician trying to help him get data transferred to the new phone. The last thing that happened that sort of ticked me off was when a guest calls down from his room angry about the Wifi. I immediately try to assist him, getting his laptop set up to the internet so he can watch a movie, and he doesn’t let me get more than five words in.
He swears up and down, then says ‘Forget this’ and hangs up.
When I first started in hotel, within two weeks I’d had my first call to the police over a guest threatening to use their weapon on another guest. That hammered (gunless) guest was easier to interact with than the people I dealt with last night. It really irritates me how peoples kid mode turns on as soon as they walk into a hotel. No logic, no reasoning, they just shut their brains off when they walk through those doors. Can the guests look for their own dinner recommendations? Yeah! They’re 80. They’ve eaten at more restaurants in more countries on this planet than I have. They’ve got smartphones, but no, they’re lazy and entitled.
Construction guy won’t listen when I say, ‘Your screen is broken, and this isn’t going to be an easy fix, you’ll need a technician’ and Wifi guy won’t calm down long enough to let me fix his problem.
Anyways, I get home and go to bed. The whole night, I’m dreaming about those same guests, and this time they’re coming behind the counter! It’s time for a drink.”