No matter how much time you spend planning your vacation, you can’t account for other travelers. You’ve probably encountered somebody obnoxious at airport security, and we’ve all seen annoying guests at Disney. And you can’t miss the etiquette-less travelers boarding your flight or the rude hotel guests checking in ahead of you. In fact, no matter how nice the hotel, you’ll encounter plenty of people you wish you didn’t have to deal with.
Read on to learn from insiders — hotel staff and frequent travelers alike — about which types of hotel guests they hate the most. Of course, nobody wants to be that guest who annoys the hotel staff and fellow travelers, either. So make sure you aren’t guilty of any of these hotel faux pas yourself!
1. The parents who can’t be bothered to watch their kids
According to Expedia’s latest hotel etiquette study, there’s no hotel guest more universally reviled than the parents who let their children run wild. “Inattentive parents” top survey respondents’ lists of the most annoying hotel guests.
Sure, some adults are grouches who would prefer to never see a child when they take a vacation. But most people are tolerant — up to a point. Children having a good time at the pool as their parents watch closely? No problem. Kids tearing around the halls, breaking china in the dining room, or toppling chairs in the lobby with no guardian in sight? Not so much.
Next: These people get way too loud.
2. The hotel guests who makes a ton of noise in the hall
Children often get a little rambunctious, especially on vacation. But Expedia learned that “hallway hellraisers” always make the list of the hotel guests that everybody hates to encounter. Some of these hotel guests might be children. (After all, some kids do run up and down hallways, knocking on doors and playing loud games.)
But we have a feeling that the worst offenders in this category are actually adults. Nobody wants to hear one of their neighbors making a drunken return to the hotel just an hour or two before dawn. Similarly, you probably won’t make a lot of friends among the other hotel guests if you have a screaming match with your spouse right outside their doors.
Next: These hotel guests should probably go to a bar instead.
3. The people who throw a raucous party in their room
Hotel staff and fellow travelers alike hate encountering hotel guests who see fit to throw a wild party in their room. We’re willing to bet that nobody minds if you have a couple of friends stop by your room for drinks. But most of us would draw the line pretty shortly after that.
Having tons of people hang out in a single room? Playing loud music? Carting cases of beer up the hotel elevator? Most hotel guests would be pretty upset to get stuck in a room next to these party animals. After all, it’s a hotel room, not a dorm room.
Next: These travelers are always whining.
4. The hotel guests who can’t stop complaining
Sometimes, hotel guests at even the swankiest properties encounter something that’s fair to complain about. But hotel staff and frequent travelers alike hate encountering guests who complain about every little thing. Were there not enough towels in the bathroom? Does the elevator smell strange? Is the air conditioner dusty? Was it tough to find a table by the window at the hotel bar or restaurant?
You’ll likely hear all of those complaints — and more — from hotel guests who are never satisfied. It can get aggravating to get stuck behind those people at the check-in desk. Just keep in mind that it’s probably a lot worse for the hotel staff.
Next: These hotel guests have unrealistic expectations.
5. The first-time travelers with fairy tale expectations
Eric Ridenour, who has spent more than 10 years working for hotels, told The Cheat Sheet that one of the most annoying hotel guests is the person who’s never been on a real vacation before — and thus has sky-high expectations of every aspect of the hotel experience.
“They are bossy and demanding,” Ridenour explains. “They do things like referring to you as ‘the help’, they think room service should come on silver platters, and generally have a Hollywood idea of what a destination hotel should be like.” Needless to say, real hotels don’t always match those expectations.
Next: These travelers may not even like each other.
6. The couple who insists on arguing throughout their entire stay
Most reasonable people try not to argue with their partner on vacation. But according to Expedia’s survey, travelers often encounter “bickerers” who just won’t stop arguing. (Even when everybody around them wishes they’d just close their mouths!)
Perhaps they spend their breakfast arguing over which museums to visit. They might pass the elevator ride by criticizing each other’s choices of footwear or cocktails. And when they’re waiting in the lobby for their car or their shuttle to arrive, they’ll definitely bicker about which sights to see and which attractions they should skip.
Next: This couple is committing one of the oldest faux pas in the book.
7. The couple who’s getting it on — and making a racket
On the other hand, not every annoying couple you see at a hotel is arguing nonstop. In fact, another type of hotel guest — or hotel guests, as the case may be — that many travelers hate to encounter is doing just the opposite of fighting. The “loudly amorous guests,” as Expedia deems them, are annoying for everybody else.
This couple is obviously annoying if you get stuck in the room next door. But they’re also cause for embarrassment even if you’re staying on the same floor — and have to hear them going at it every time you walk past their door. Just like a couple showing too much affection in public, there’s not a lot you can do — except cover your ears and walk by as quickly as you can.
Next: These people seem to lack some common sense.
8. The hotel guests who seem a little short on common sense
Every once in a while, a hotel guest causes a commotion by doing something a little ridiculous. Janice Fitzgerald, who runs the By the Side of the Road Inn and Cottages in Harrisonburg, Virginia, told The Cheat Sheet a pretty entertaining anecdote about one such guest. A guest staying in of the inn’s cottages — a stone and masonry structure with a foundation laid in 1789 and a second story added in 1840 — wanted some fresh air.
“There are six windows in the cottage; only one had an A/C unit,” Fitzgerald explains. “Guess which window our guest chose to open to get fresh air? The unit fell out and crashed to the ground two stories below.” She adds, “On a comical note, he then ran over to the Manor House to obtain assistance. He was clad only in his hot pink, shiny underwear. Quite the sight for other guests in residence!”
Next: These hotel guests might think it’s spring break.
9. The people throwing a pool party
Everybody wants to enjoy the pool. But for many hotel guests, that means taking a quiet dip — not finding themselves in the middle of a wild pool party. According to Expedia, many travelers hate staying at the same hotel as “poolside partiers.”
These people may cart a cooler full of beer out to the pool (despite hotel regulations). They might take up the whole pool with their inner tubes and floats. Maybe they keep doing cannonballs and splashing everybody trying to enjoy some pool time. Whatever the specifics, there’s no quicker way to ruin an afternoon at the pool than to run into an entire family of “poolside partiers.”
Next: These people embarrass everyone around them.
10. The couple getting way too hands-on in the hot tub
Another type of universally hated hotel guest? The “hot tub canoodlers,” according to Expedia. Whatever your opinion on hot tubs (plenty of people think they’re relaxing, while others argue that they’re unhygienic) you’ll definitely be grossed out by this couple.
Nobody likes sitting uncomfortably close to a couple as they get a little too frisky. If only it wasn’t rude to suggest that they head back to their room!
Next: These hotel guests get very demanding about their diet.
11. The guest who turns up their nose at every food option
Whether you’re staying at a budget motel or you’ve shelled out for an upscale boutique hotel, you’ll definitely overheat at least a few hotel guests who are upset about the food. Pam and Larry Willis, who own The Gables Wine Country Inn in Santa Rosa, California, told The Cheat Sheet that many guests get pretty demanding.
“I’m hyper-sensitive to gluten,” one guest might claim — before they eat three cookies prepared with standard flour. The Willises have also encountered plenty of guests “who claim to have no food issues until you place a dish in front of them and get, ‘Oh, I don’t eat that.'”
Next: This guest probably needs to be cut off.
12. The businessman knocking back too many drinks at the bar
Expedia also learned that travelers want to steer clear of the hotel guests termed “business bar boozers.” We don’t blame these guests for ordering a drink or two, especially if their employer is picking up the tab. But some people order way too many drinks and can’t handle their liquor.
You may be able to spot a “business bar boozer” because he’s sitting alone at the bar. But sometimes, it’s even worse when there’s more than one! Put several in the same room, and they might drunkenly (and loudly) talk business while ordering drink, after drink, after drink. That’s a good look on pretty much nobody!
Next: This traveler might want to brush up on his manners.
13. The guy who hits on the waitresses, the hotel staff, and other guests
Similarly, nobody likes encountering the hotel guest who thinks he’s entitled to attention from the hotel’s waitresses, the female bartenders, the women working at the front desk, or any female guests who happen to be in his vicinity. In fact, chief among the things you should never ask a hotel employee is a question like, “Do you want to get a drink with me?”
Travelers who are constantly on the road might not think twice before flirting with the front desk staff. But it’s against hotel policies for employees to fraternize with guests. And even if this guy thinks the attention is flattering, many women would disagree.
Next: This hotel guest might just be lonely.
14. The person who wants to start a conversation with you in the elevator
When most hotel guests get on an elevator, they just want to get to their floor in peace. But Expedia found that one kind of person — the “elevator chatterbox” — just won’t let that happen. Perhaps they want to talk about where they’re going or ask you where you’re headed.
But whether they’re making small talk about the weather or going on a diatribe about their politics, you pretty much never want to get stuck in an elevator with this guest. Even the most diplomatic person will find themselves in an awkward conversation when an “elevator chatterbox” is involved. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)
Next: This hotel guest just doesn’t want to be happy.
15. The guest who’s just angry at the world
Pam and Larry Willis of The Gables Wine Country Inn also told The Cheat Sheet that they occasionally encounter travelers who seem determined not to have a good time — and who want to find fault with everything.
These hotel guests “show up already pissed off at the world, and nothing is ever going to make them happy,” the Willises explain. “So you get a crummy review that nitpicks everything you could imagine.”
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