Staying in a hotel is always a treat, whether you’re travelling or enjoying a staycation weekend away from home.
We expect a lot from hotels — exquisite and prompt service, great food, a varied range of amenities, beautiful interiors, and the list goes on.
What we sometimes forget is that hotels expect something from us, too — to be good guests.
Good manners and adhering to good guest etiquette can go a long way in making your stay smooth and pleasant.
Don’t steal from the hotel
This is one unspoken rule that, well, needs to said out loud. While it’s fun to stuff your toiletry kit with hotel freebies, let’s be clear on what you can take from the hotel and what they consider stealing.
Bathroom toiletries – Most hotels provide guests with travel-sized or daily-sized portions of soaps, shampoos, lotions, toothpaste and a disposable toothbrush. Housecleaning staff usually replenish toiletry items that guests use up daily. At the end of your stay, it’s perfectly acceptable to take toiletries not used up. However, if any toiletries are not travel-sized but stored in hotel dispensers, it is not acceptable to steal the dispensers.
Laundry bags, slippers and hangers – If the hotel slippers provided are disposable, feel free to take them. Hotels often provide laundry bags for guests to send their dirty clothes for washing while at the hotel, but try to leave them behind especially if they are reusable. Hangers, too, must remain at the hotel. Some hotels even have the hangers permanently attached to the closet rods so that guests don’t run off with them.
Bathrobes, towels and linens – No, you cannot take the fluffy bathrobe hanging in the hotel closet, and you definitely cannot take any of the towels or linens either. If you really take a shine to the bathrobe, you can call the front desk and inquire if perchance it might be for sale. Some establishments will allow you to purchase their bathrobes, but towels and linens are usually not for sale. (I once stayed in a hotel in Vietnam that had price tags on everything — and I mean everything, from the furniture to the light fixtures!).
Everything else is just common sense. If the hotel has provided you with a pen and pad for writing on the desk, you may take that with you, but please don’t make off with the hairdryer in the bathroom or any of the appliances or fixtures in the room!
Do be a good neighbour
Just because you’re in a hotel and not at home doesn’t mean you don’t have any neighbours. It’s easy to forget that there could be someone staying in the rooms above or below yours.
Keep the volume to a minimum — televisions, music, partying, etc. — and try to tread lightly not to disturb others. While you may have checked into a hotel for pleasure, someone else might be on a business trip and may have to get up very early for work.
Don’t go too wild on the buffet
One of the best things about hotel stays is, you guessed it — the buffet breakfast! Hotels that offer this want you to enjoy their food, eat and be merry, but please practice good buffet etiquette.
Use the proper serving utensils provided and please don’t touch the food with your bare hands. I once saw a fellow hotel guest “check” each of the croissants in the breakfast buffet by squeezing every single one of them until they decided on one (which presumably had the perfect softness or consistency? Who knows?). I avoided the bread section after that.
Don’t get more food than you can eat. Getting eye-hungry (but everything looks so good!) and piling your plate with food is exciting, but it’s wasteful if you cannot finish your portions. Start with little portions of food and build up from there. You can always go back for more — just think of it as “exercise” between platefuls!
Report complaints properly
If something is not to your satisfaction or if anything goes wrong with your stay, report it calmly (as calm as you can manage) to the front desk. You’re more likely to get a better response to your feedback or complaint if your delivery is respectful.
There’s no need to shout, berate or insult anyone who is working in the hotel, even if they’ve made a mistake. While it’s also easy to take to social media for a good old rant, telling the hotel staff about your concern as soon as possible will give them a chance to deal with the problem swiftly.
Hotels appreciate honest reviews. If you find their service lacking, give them feedback so they can better their service (and there’s no need for expletives or bad language).
Don’t be a slob
Hotels hate nothing more than a slob of a guest who has no regard for cleanliness or respect for those who clean up after them. Yes, housekeeping is there for a reason, but be mindful of the state in which you leave the room.
Trash cans are there for a reason, so please use them, as leaving litter lying around the room shows disrespect. Make sure you clean up after yourself as much as you can; for example, put dirty towels together in a pile on the ground and don’t forget to flush toilets and do not leave sinks clogged. If a tap or the flush is not working or if you’ve accidentally spilled something on the carpet or bed, inform the front desk so the cleaners know what to expect.
Also, if you’ve had a wild night or a bit of a party in the room, have the decency to put things rights before making someone else clean up your mess. Ultimately, it’s all about treating people and things with respect.
Be a good guest and enjoy your stay! /TISG
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