11 Things That Totally Annoy Housekeeping Staff – And What to Do Instead

If you’ve stayed at a hotel or resort recently, you won’t be surprised to find out that housekeeping staff are some of the hardest-working employees in the service industry. From keeping your room pristine to mastering the art of towel origami (seriously, how cool is that?), these professionals go above and beyond to make sure that you feel right at home.

While it’s technically their job to keep the space clean, there are a few little things hotel guests do that can make this more difficult. From making certain tasks take longer to adding additional items to their to-do list, some guests just feel like a full-time job.

If you don’t want to be that guest, then this list of the worst pet peeves was made just for you. So let’s dive in: here are the top 11 things that annoy housekeeping staff!

When Guests Are Demanding

Professional friendly receptionist team greeting guests
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

As a child, you probably heard this age-old phrase a million times: “You can’t always get what you want.” As an adult, you’ll find that the adage applies even more.

One of the most annoying things you can do at a hotel is go around making demands of the staff. Whether you’re asking for special treatment or insisting that your requests be taken care of before others, you’ll end up getting on everyone’s nerves.

What to do instead: When necessary, make clear, concise requests—and be realistic! Know that while they may not get to you right away, they’ll do their best to accommodate your request promptly.

When Guests Try To Hide Their Mess

hotel maid cleaning room
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

We know, we know. Making a mess in a hotel room can lead to some unwanted consequences, such as fees, room changes, and subtle judgment from other guests. For that reason, you may want to save face and keep this little accident to yourself, right?

No way! Letting a mess sit can make matters worse, increasing the stench or allowing a stain to set into the fabric. Naturally, it will take housekeeping staff longer to clean up the mess, which could alter their schedule for the remainder of the day/shift.

What to do instead: In this situation, the best thing you can do is come clean (pun intended!). The staff may be a little miffed, but in the long run, they’ll be thankful that they could take care of the mess sooner rather than later.

When Guests Crowd the Lobby

People relaxing at a hotel lobby
Photo Credit: Midjourney.

Hotel lobbies generally serve a couple of purposes for guests: checking in, checking out, and waiting for assistance. Since there are guests constantly moving through the space with suitcases, questions, and other miscellaneous items, staff must keep this area well-maintained.

While the lobby may seem like a welcoming place to hang out, large crowds can make it difficult for housekeeping to do their job. As they weave in and out, trying not to interrupt any conversations, they can miss spills, stains, or pieces of trash that they may have seen otherwise.

What to do instead: Head down to the lobby if you’re waiting for a ride, or if you have a question for the hotel concierge. If you plan to hang out with friends for a while, it may make more sense to take them up to your room or chill out on the patio.

When Guests Request a (Crazy) Early Check-In

Hotel staff talking to guests in lobby
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

So you left early to beat traffic, and ended up at your hotel way earlier than you expected? While this may seem like an opportunity to get in early, most hotels are firm on their check-in time, and for good reason.

When guests demand an early check-in, this generally means that the housekeeping staff must immediately shift gears. Instead of taking the time to clean each room with care, they have to rush to clean yours, potentially lowering quality control in the process.

What to do instead: Enjoy the sights! If you find yourself running early, take some time to explore the city or grab a quick bite to eat before your check-in. Many hotels will hold your luggage in the meantime, so you can drop your bags and set out for an adventure while housekeeping finishes your room.

When Guests Clog the Toilet

Alright, it’s about to get personal. You probably understand the basics of this one, but there are a couple of things that most guests don’t consider.

The main thing to remember here is that guests should properly dispose of their personal items using the trash can. Hygiene products, baby wipes, etc. must be thrown away—yes, even if the package says that they’re “flushable.”

What to do instead: When in doubt, throw it out. Rather than guessing which items can be flushed, make sure that any questionable products stay far away from the toilet. This is one situation in which it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

When Guests Have a Bad Attitude

Young asian woman talking to personnel at hotel
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Approaching housekeeping staff with an angry or disrespectful attitude won’t get you very far.

Most of the time, housekeeping has very little power over what their duties are and/or when to fulfill them. this means that no matter how much you yell or belittle them, it won’t change the outcome; if anything, the staff will be less likely to go the extra mile for you in the future.

What to do instead: Make your requests known in a calm, even voice. Understand that the housekeeping staff are doing their best, and trust that you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar (i.e., you’re more likely to get what you want by being sweet).

When Guests Make Ridiculous Demands

During your stay, you may run into some frustrating situations, inconveniences, and unbelievably bad luck; in certain situations, you may even call on the staff for assistance. It’s important to remember that while housekeeping may seem like miracle workers, some things are way out of their job description.

Naturally, some guests tend to make unreasonable requests, like complaining about a speck of dust on the windowsill or asking for heated towels twice a day. In these cases, housekeeping staff have to find a way to respond to these complaints without insulting the guests.

What to do instead: Rather than going to housekeeping with every minor inconvenience, you can try to solve smaller issues on your own. If you’re unsure of whether your housekeeper can help with a specific issue, ask them respectfully; worst-case scenario, they may be able to offer a helpful tip!

When Guests Don’t Tip

guest gives tips to hotel staff
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Depending on where the hotel is located, this one may be a little controversial, but I think we can all agree on one thing. Housekeeping staff have to deal with some of the most difficult, unpleasant tasks of any hotel employee.

For this reason, we think it’s worthwhile to show a little appreciation for top-notch service. When guests don’t tip, however, it can come off as ungrateful, arrogant, and downright rude.

What to do instead: If you’re not sure how much to tip, we would recommend doing some research on the local customs before your stay. While different countries may have varied cultural expectations, it’s important to make sure that you treat the housekeeping staff with the respect that they deserve.

When Guests Try to Abuse Special Memberships

Young husband and wife relax together after spa
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

As traveling has become more and more popular over the last few years, many hotel chains have rolled out loyalty programs. While this can provide a variety of benefits for most guests, it can open up a whole new world of entitlement for others.

All too often, guests will use their special membership as an excuse to behave poorly, requesting special treatment and rule-bending in their favor. While memberships can come with some impressive perks, this never includes constant attention and obedience from staff.

What to do instead: Find out exactly what your hotel membership includes upon signing up. If you can’t determine which promotions, discounts, and gifts are available to you, kindly ask a staff member to review the membership details with you.

When Guests Let Their Kids Run Amuck

Two kid boys having a healthy breakfast at a hotel
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

In general, housekeeping staff are used to seeing families out and about in the hotel. After all, family-friendly hotels and resorts are made for parents and children to enjoy a wonderful vacation together.

What gets on their nerves, however, is when certain parents seem to have no care for their children’s behavior. These parents allow their children to run rampant through the hotel, spilling drinks and food, coloring on walls, and even damaging property in some cases.

What to do instead: Keep a close eye on your kiddos, making sure that they clean up after themselves whenever possible. No one expects kids to be perfect, but it’s helpful to share with them how to be more careful in public and shared spaces.

When Guests Accuse Housekeeping Staff of Stealing

Unfortunately, this is a complaint that housekeeping staff have been facing for decades. The moment an item goes missing, many guests’ first instinct is to blame the housekeeper, making a serious accusation to the hotel manager.

In reality, it’s unlikely for a housekeeper to risk losing their job for a small trinket from your hotel room. After all, they’re typically on a time crunch to get rooms cleaned, and most likely didn’t even have the time to look through your room for something of value.

What to do instead: Search your room thoroughly before approaching hotel staff; once, twice, or even three times, and be sure to scour the entire room. If you still can’t find it, leave the staff and management with a description of the missing item, as well as your address; when/if it turns up, they can get it back to you as quickly as possible.

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