Halt these hotel habits

Avoid these rude habits that bother both hotel employees and other guests.

Wearing your bathrobe out and about

There is a time and a place to wear your bathrobe, and it’s not at the hotel restaurant. According to Pedro Richardson, who worked in the hotel industry for 12 years as a waiter, receptionist and manager, recommends guests keep the robe for the spa or pool areas. “I understand they feel more comfortable and at home, but when you are staying in a top luxury hotel, it just doesn’t go with the environment,” Richardson says. In one of the hotels where Richardson worked, a top UK CEO actually would go to the restaurant in his bathrobe, a big “no-no,” according to Richardson.

Demanding a room early

The only way to really guarantee an early check-in is by booking the room for the night before your arrival, according to Richardson. Otherwise, don’t demand access to your room before the regular check-in time. “As a rule of thumb, if the room is ready we will give them early access,” Richardson says. “But this is not always possible due to high occupancy the previous night.” Odo Ovrevik, co-owner of the Rosewood Country Inn, says not to get upset with staff if your room isn’t ready early. “There is no way we could get the room ready in no time,” Ovrevik says.

Snapping your fingers at staff

Don’t snap your fingers at hotel staff to get their attention. This is rude, embarrassing behaviour and just plain bad manners, according to Richardson.

Turning the hallway into your personal space

Hotel guests need to be respectful of noise control, especially in halls. This common area is not a playground for your kids or a spot to speak loudly, according to Angela Rice, the co-founder of Boutique Travel Advisors. “Children will release their energy by running and occasionally screaming down hallways of hotels, especially if mum and dad are not watching,” Rice says. “Parents are often too preoccupied to recognise how this routine impacts other guests.” Emilie Dulles, who has more than 29 years of experience in traditional etiquette, adds that hotel guests sometimes forget to be on their best behaviour. They should act as if they ambassadors to their family instead of taking advantage of being away from home and acting so rudely, Dulles says.

Using things you don’t need

It’s easy to forget or be lax about conserving energy while travelling, but you can still do your part without lots of effort. Although hotel guests don’t receive a specific utility bill, you should turn off lights and the TV when you leave the room. And be mindful of conserving water to support our environment, Rice adds. “In becoming eco-friendlier, some hotels are rewarding guests by offering loyalty rewards for turning down daily towel, bedding and even cleaning services,” Rice says. So, if you don’t need it, whether that’s a service or a light, don’t waste it. Rice also says to take the half-used bathroom toiletries with you since what remains goes directly in the trash.

Crowding the check-in area

Some hotel guests interact with others at the receptionist area to be friendly. This might not be the most appropriate time to try and make friends. “Like being in an ATM machine, many people prefer privacy when they are checking in and out of hotels,” Rice says. “So, remember to respect the privacy of others.”


Reserving more than you need is similar to using up services or energy that aren’t necessary. All of these things are a bit rude and inconsiderate. Another example is guests reserving more poolside seating than what’s truly essential for their party, especially when travelling during peak season when there is limited space, according to Rice. “If you are going to be in and out of the water, maybe recognise you don’t need a chaise lounge for every person and that loungers and chairs can be used interchangeably by those in your party,” Rice says.

Talking like a sailor

The lobby, lounge, restaurant and pool areas are spaces you share, not your home. Speaking loudly or using foul language either on the phone or with another person is amongst the rudest habits of hotel guests, according to Dulles. “We should all be cognisant of other people within earshot inside hotels and not allow the volume or content of our conversations to announce our presence as we move through hotels,” Dulles says. Instead, keep your conversations discreet and polite to ensure that you blend in elegantly and keep the mood in common areas delightful for everyone.

Trashing your room

One of the perks of staying at a hotel is not having to make your bed. The cleaning service, however, is no excuse to leave your room in complete disarray, according to Dulles. “Housekeeping is there to tidy things and make a pleasant arrangement of your room, not pick up after you or spend hours folding strewn clothes just so they can vacuum or dust,” Dulles says. As a rule of thumb, keep your clothes in the closet or on a chair, put your toiletries in your personal bag and leave enough space for walking around your room without the risk of tripping over bags or laundry.

Overdoing it on the cocktails

Having too many drinks sometimes leads to a lack of self-awareness and composure that translates to a rude habit, especially when you’re at the hotel pool or bar. “Make no mistake, drunkenness is rudeness,” Dulles says. “Disorderly and drunken behaviour is rude towards the other guests and also the hotel staff as it can make them feel uncomfortable and even unsafe.” Make sure you drink water between cocktails and call it quits when you recognise you have too many drinks. As Dulles says, there’s no need to recreate The Hangover during your hotel stay. Knowing when to quit is one of the habits polite people have in common.

Ignoring policies

Being a rude hotel guest sometimes comes down to ignoring policies. Ovrevik says that people don’t pay enough attention to the fine print. “It can be on our website, it can be in our emails, it can be all over the place,” Ovrevik says. “They are still going to not follow instructions.” This disregard for the rules is a habit that’s rude to the hotel staff, as well as other visitors since policies like no pets or parking rules, are in place for a reason.