The Getaway
Hotel Etiquette Tips to Take on Your Travels

A hotel room may be the place you hang your hat for a night or a week, but it’s also someone’s job site. These days, travelers expect quite a bit from their hotel experience, and as competitive as the hospitality industry is, hotels often try their utmost to deliver outstanding service so that we’ll leave them a positive review and choose to stay there again. As guests, we can acknowledge their efforts and the efforts of staff who are entrusted to care for our rooms by demonstrating our gracious manners. Rely on these etiquette tips when staying at a hotel.


01 Minimize Your Messes

Trashed hotel room

As a matter of course, hotel staff will visit your room to maintain its cleanliness. They’ll vacuum and change sheets. They’ll remove rubbish from bins and provide other cleaning services as needed, but it’s not appropriate for guests to create big messes and expect the staff to deal with it. They may have to deal with it, but it’s a demonstration of poor manners on the part of the guest--and it happens more than you might think. It’s simply good hotel etiquette to pick up your spilled popcorn, to place your pop or beer cans in a wastebasket, or to flush the toilet.


02 Treat Furnishings with Care

Morning fight

Many hotels strive to furnish their rooms sumptuously with high-quality materials designed to make guests feel special. While hotels understand that replacing damaged furnishings simply goes with the territory of their business, it’s terrible manners to damage the furniture or other aspects of the room. If you’re staying at a hotel and entertaining others in your hotel room, be sure to encourage your guests to respect the hotel’s furnishings and decor.


03 Towels

Unrecognizable housekeeper holding towels at a hotel

Fresh towels are a simple hotel luxury, but it’s not a luxurious task for hotel employees to have to retrieve wet towels and washcloths from all over the hotel room. To be courteous to hotel cleaners, try to keep used towels in one area, preferably the bathroom. Keep used washcloths bundled in the towels so that cleaners don’t have to handle them. These small courtesies will make you a favorite with hotel staff, so if you need extra towels, they’ll be more amenable to delivering them quickly.


04 Dress Appropriately

Mature man having breakfast in hotel room

Hotels may want you to feel at home, but they don’t want you to feel so at home that you answer the door for room service in your underwear or walk through the lobby in your thong bikini. Typically, appropriate dress means just covering up in places where you’re likely to encounter other guests or staff. If you’re in your room and hotel staff needs to enter to switch the towels or restock the fridge, be sure to at least wear a bathrobe.


05 Respect Public Spaces

Family Checking In At Hotel Reception Desk

It’s incredibly commonplace for hotel guests to walk boisterously through halls or allow their kids to run through the lobby. To demonstrate proper etiquette, take care to keep your voices down when walking to your hotel room. Other guests may be trying to nap or may be on an important business call. Ensuring the children adhere to these unspoken rules, too, will teach them to be good hotel guests as well.


06 Give Hotel Staff a Chance

Hotel staff members wait on a wide array of guests. It may happen that a waiter forgets to serve you your poolside drink, or the kitchen staff omits one of the items you ordered. Rather than take your grievance to the hotel manager, try to resolve your complaint with the individual in question. In most cases, they’ll appreciate that you brought the problem to their attention rather than their employer’s. Many mistakes are unintentional, so it’s good etiquette to give the hotel staff the benefit of the doubt. If problems continue or worsen, you might then escalate the matter to the appropriate staff member.


07 Your Neighbors Are Paying Customers Too

Couple is watching comedy film on TV in the bed

Dance party at 2 AM? Many vacationers want to enjoy themselves the way they want to around the clock, but it’s not good hotel etiquette to disturb other guests, particularly in the middle of the night. Hotel walls that separate rooms are notoriously thin. Turning up the volume of the television or listening to loud music are likely to prompt a knock on the door from your neighbor or hotel staff. Before putting them in the uncomfortable position of having to police your bad manners, be sure to consider the clock and other customers when letting your hair down in your hotel room.


08 It's Not All Free Stuff

It’s long been a tradition for guests to leave with the complimentary soaps and shampoos from their hotel bathrooms. These small bottles are still a feature of many hotels, and guests needn’t feel squeamish about taking them. After all, the staff isn’t going to give a half-used container to another guest. On the other hand, it’s not appropriate to take other items like closet hangers, tv remotes, light bulbs, and towels. Hotels do not regard these items as complimentary. In fact, if you take the remote or radio alarm clock, you could face an additional charge.


09 Be Eco-Friendly

Hotels have energy bills too--and they can be immense. The average cost of energy for a single hotel room is nearly $2,200 per year. That amounts to tremendous costs for large hotels and a tremendous amount of consumed energy. If you aren’t using the television, be sure to turn it off and always turn it off when leaving your room. Similarly, turn off lights and other electronic items just as you would at home to help conserve energy.


10 Don't Forget to Tip

Collection basket filled with money

It’s a matter of good etiquette to tip hotel staff such as housekeeping employees, servers, and other hotel attendants who provide you with personalized service. Since housekeeping staff may be rotated, it’s a good policy to leave a daily tip rather than a weekly one to ensure that each staffer is tipped for their good service. Most etiquette experts suggest tipping at least $1 per person and up to $5 per person in high-end hotels.


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