Daily Life

Hello? Housekeeping! The WEIRDEST hotel questions you'd ever ask ANSWERED

Dead bodies, bed bugs and how to snatch up a super-cheap room, included...

By Ellie McDonald
Ever tried to pinch a towel from a fancy hotel? Or wondered what went down in your hotel bedroom just days before you checked in?
In an Ask Me Anything thread on social news-aggregation site Reddit, one ex-hotel staffer who had worked in the hotel industry for almost 10 years let everyone on Reddit/the internet ask him anything/everything they wanted to know about hotel life.
From the nastiest things he's ever seen to the most bizarre item a customer had left behind, as you'll see, Redditors held NOTHING back…

1. What has been your weirdest experience?

Honestly after a while nothing you see or hear feels weird. Off the top off my head:
  • A guy returning to the reception to collect his penis pump that accommodation staff had collected.
  • A guy stabbing another dude in front of the golf clubhouse.
  • Traveller weddings were probably the weirdest thing to witness in all honesty.

2. Any dead bodies?

In the hotel I worked in? One, but he had a heart attack. There was another hotel nearby that had a high-suicide rate in bedrooms.

3. How often did the hotel get bed bugs, and how was it handled?

Very rare. It gets reported a lot, then a special company are called in to test if there is bed bugs. I worked in fairly well established hotels so it was never really an issue.

4. Do hotels really care if you steal the towels?

Regarding the towels, not really. If a hotel doesn't have an in-house laundry room, the towels are rented so you are roughly stealing something worth less than dollar. It all adds up but these things are built into hotel room prices.
It's pretty impossible to prove if someone stole one or not, never came across someone who cared enough to investigate.

5. What are some trade secrets you can let us in on?

  • If you have an issue, the nicer you are the more you will get back/be looked after.
  • You can easily haggle on the room rates.
  • If you have a food issue and there is nothing wrong with the dish, the person you complained to is going to get yelled at by the chef.
  • Most waiters and waitresses will probably automatically dislike you if you're a vegan.
  • If you leave a negative online review somewhere, never list a worker's name. Most people feel down when they read a negative review about themselves and hotels always read the negative reviews at management meetings.

6. What was the nastiest experience you had?

Walking into a room covered in blood and vomit.

7. What is the best way to get an upgrade?

You can either be super nice and say it is a special occasion, or be a pain in the ass.
If a pain in the ass needed to be upgraded, I'd choose a room with either poor wifi or where something happened that week in the room, like smoking in a room when the guest specified a non-smoking room, or a room where the TV or phone is broken (it is worth it when the guest comes back down 3-5 floors really pissed!).

8. Is there anything that we, as guests, think is really clean but in fact gets rarely or never cleaned?

Probably your dishes and cutlery, and, depending on the establishment, cups and glassware. If you want to tell how much attention to detail hotels cleaning staff do, check the top of picture frames for dust.