How to Approach a Hotel if Your Room Isn’t Satisfactory


Travel is stressful, and nothing can make a trip more miserable than a bad hotel room. Whether your problem is a dirty room or a bad view, it’s the front desk’s job to resolve the issue. You are their guest, and it’s important to the hotel that you have a comfortable stay. If your room isn’t satisfactory, there are a few basic things you can do to increase your chances of having the problem solved. Here’s how to approach a hotel if you have issues.

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Be As Specific as Possible

Walking up to the front desk and saying that you don’t like your room isn’t going to help. The staff at the front desk doesn’t know what you like. Guests complain about almost everything, so you need to set yourself apart.

If your room isn’t clean, mention which areas are a problem and when you first noticed it. If you don’t like the location, explain why. Is it the noise from the pool that’s bothering you, or did you not receive the view you requested?

It might seem redundant to give so many details, but the more information you give the staff, the better they can help you.


Have Reasonable Expectations

Hotel staff can’t magically make everything appear. There may not be a room with a perfect view. Fixing the TV might take time.

Demanding freebies is probably unreasonable unless something is really wrong. The hotel has a business to run, and they can’t give away free nights or drinks at the bar for every guest who complains.

There are industry insider tips on how to get free perks that come in handy when trying to get problems resolved. Knowing these isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get something for free, but it’s worth a shot.

It’s also unreasonable to expect that a hotel is going to drop everything for you because you have a premium membership. Every client is valuable to them, and all guests should receive the same level of service.


Follow Up

It’s not a guarantee that whoever’s working at the desk in the evening knows about your problem from the morning. Generally, hotel staff are good at communicating issues with each other, but this doesn’t always happen.

If something hasn’t been resolved, remind the staff as soon as possible. If you aren’t happy with the outcome, explain why and what you would have preferred.

Even if the issue has been resolved, it’s always nice to let the staff know that you’re pleased with their work. It makes them more likely to remember you. Hotel staff work hard, so they appreciate it when a guest is thankful.


Write Everything Down

Having even insignificant details in writing can be helpful down the line. Note the names of who’s helping you so that you can give them kudos later or, if you need to, complain.

Hotel Engine offers great insights in this article on ways to stay organized while traveling. The main benefit of keeping notes is that you won’t have to waste time trying to remember the details later.

A good record comes in handy if you’re a business traveler or if you’ve booked your stay through a third party. The more information you provide, the better.


Contact Management

Walking up to the front desk and asking to talk to the manager immediately isn’t going to be helpful. It’s only going to aggravate the hotel staff.

Receptionists have the power to help you. The freebies receptionists can offer differ from hotel to hotel, but it is usually within their power to give you a free night or give you a discount.

If you have problems with the staff or aren’t getting what you want, ask to speak to the manager. They should be able to resolve the problem, and if things keep going wrong, take things to the corporate level.

If things reach this level, the same rules as before still apply. Be specific as possible with your complaints, keep your expectations reasonable, and make sure to follow up on the problem.



Whatever your problem is, you should be able to get it resolved. Otherwise, you’ll need to see about switching hotels, and that’s the last thing you want to do on a vacation. Thankfully, these simple things on how to approach a hotel can help you increase your chances of a pleasant stay.

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