Red Flags that have me contacting hotel management

Red flags for a hotel room

If you travel long enough and often enough you are going to have a bad hotel experience. Most of the time issues will be a simple fix, but there are things that have to be escalated immediately. Here are a few things that would have me contacting hotel management.

Any odor other than clean – Your room should always smell clean.  If there is an unpleasant odor,  just ask to change rooms. The staff should accommodate you if there is any way possible. 

Items left by prior guests– If I found it, the cleaning staff should have found it as well.  This usually prompts me to look a little closer and make sure there aren’t other major oversites in the room.  

Items missing from the room – Most of the time it is obvious the room is clean but maybe their supply cart was running low but that isn’t always the case.  I want clean, unused items.  If in doub,. ask for new consumables like towels and soaps. 

What to do if its really bad 

Whenever we check in to a new hotel, cruise, or rental, I use this 9 step process to make sure the room is up to the hotel standard.  I don’t like wasting precious vacation time figuring out too late there are issues that need to be attended to.  I rarely need amendments to our rooms but when I do need to reach out to management. Most of the time the needs are small, more towels, more toilet paper, or a broken amenity. But sometimes what you find is more than a small problem. 

If you find yourself in a situation where the room isn’t up to standard, call the front desk, Clearly state what the problem is, and let them know whether they need to fix something in the room or if you need a new room. 

But sometimes it is just really bad like drug paraphernalia, dirty clothes, unchanged sheets, leftover trash, or food.  One time, we were even given room keys to a room where a prior guest was passed out (or dead, we really weren’t sure) on the bed in our supposed room.  

These major issues must be fixed and we do not recommend you stay in a room where these issues are present.  

These are obvious organizational level issues not just an overlooked rogue sock.  Someone did a poor job or the management does not have a good grip on the property.  

But what are you supposed to do? What is the process for dealing with a hotel brand for a major oversight such as these?

First things first: Access what the problem is.  Does the room have an odor? Are there left over articles from prior guests?  Are there left over guests?  Is there a water leak? Or broken fixtures?

Now, make sure you and those with you are safe.  Obviously if there is drug paraphernalia in the room,  you would want to get your family and your gear out of the room ASAP.  If it’s a lesser offence you may want to handle the issue from the hotel room.  

Take a photo with your phone if possible and promptly contact the hotel’s management.  You may be able to use the room’s phone or go straight back to the front desk for a new room assignment.  If there isn’t an available room, you may need to wait for your room to be amended. Let’s face it, when you travel as a homeschool family the hotel may not be flush with rooms that will work for your brood.  Honestly, I have been lucky though.  We mostly travel in the shoulder (lower demand) seasons and availability hasn’t been a problem when we have needed to change rooms.  But all the hotels have been prompt in helping us amend problems and working with us to get our accommodations right. 

Once a solution has been met at the hotel level, I usually also contact the national chain as well.  I want to make sure these major issues are recognized at the local level and higher up.  Major oversights are a sign there are employee issues and ineffective management.  Give the chain an overview of what happened and how the hotel met your needs. 

Don’t let a poorly run hotel ruin your vacation. Get a solution in the works and go enjoy your much deserved time away.

A Wife, Mother, horseback riding, RV-ing, travel enthusiast always looking for the next adventure. As the Matriarch of a homeschooling family of four we keep our suitcases packed and our atlas handy. Join us on our adventures.