Hotel etiquette & secrets nobody at the hotel will tell you

I used to work at a hotel as a housekeeper literally lifting eleven to thirteen mattresses a day by myself as a teenager. It was such hard work and you have less than 7 minutes to clean a room, so every motion has to be doing something.

brown wooden bed frame with white mattress
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Here is whom to be extra kind to, who to tip and what not to touch in your hotel room. I worked at a decent hotel too. People also asked why I wasn’t the concierge, because I’m young, was the only one who spoke English and look healthy. 

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Just a little background. The difference between a 4 star hotel vs. a 5 star hotel is that a 4 star has everything you need and seems and feels more upscale. But a 5 star hotel – nothing compares.

They expect you to ask them for things and there are certain rules to meet 5 star requirements that are really high maintenance.

For example, they expect you to ask them to male postcards, so they will have stamps ready and you hand it to the concierge to mail it. They also usually mail it as soon as possible.

woman in bathrobe sitting on bed
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

They also have to have fresh flowers out everyday. They will have gym clothes ready for you if you didn’t bring any including shoes. They will do your laundry and pick it up by your door. There’s so much more. 

Isadore Sharpe who was the founder of the Four Seasons Hotel – one of the top hotels in the world known for its spectacular service – in an interview was asked why his hotels were so excellent. He said it’s because they treated the staff just as they would treat the guests.

Feeding them properly, making them feel comfortable at work, and this is what made their environment extraordinary and want to help their guests.

modern style bedroom
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Here are things to remember when on holiday at a hotel:

  1. Be charming to staff with a touch of formality. Don’t be inappropriate, don’t ask too many questions. Don’t overtly flirt. Pretend you’re talking with one of your coworkers. Be friendly and formal. 
  2. Dress appropriately in public areas. Don’t roam the halls in a dressing gown or spa robe or even swimsuit. Wear a cover up, then at the pool reveal your swimming costume, but keep it to the pool area. Even if you are still planning to swim and want a snack at the bar or restaurant by the pool, wear your coverup. 
  3. Never leave the room excessively messy. Still be a civilised lady or gentleman. 
  4. No bare feet, bare backs or football shirts. Bare backs are okay if ladies are dressed in black or white tie for the evening. 
  5. Remember what you’ve drunk from the mini bar. Be honest. 
  6. Call reception if running late when checking out. Communication is best, because they will always give you grace if you communicate well and kindly.
  7. Don’t use the glasses offered to you in the hotel room. At the restaurant is fine. Opt for bottled water in the hotel room.
  8. Don’t use the top sheet or brown blanket. Use the actual sheets. These are rarely washed and shoved on the cart that touches the floor and dragged. 
  9. Don’t walk barefoot or lie on the hotel room floor. Don’t do it. Don’t ask questions. 
  10. Be kind to the staff. 
  11. If you want something, ask something kindly from the concierge – do not demand it. They are someone you want to be especially nice too, because they can be extremely helpful. If you’re abroad, they can hold the key to the quality of your stay. 
  12. Don’t be rude to your housekeeper or demand things from them explaining a long story about who is staying and why the room wasn’t prepared to have 6 toilet papers because you have 6 females to one hotel room with one bed. Housekeepers don’t see how many guests are staying unless they are cleaning up after people who have already been staying there for a while. 
woman sitting on white sofa
Photo by jimmy teoh on Pexels.com

This post is sponsored by Dixon Etiquette. Join The Finishing School for the ultimate guide to all things etiquette and social graces you can access anywhere and everywhere.

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Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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