8 Things You Should Never Do at a Hotel, Experts Warn
Common courtesy will make for a better stay—for you and other guests.
Hotels strive to make your stay as welcoming and as comfortable as possible. But at the end of the day, a hotel is not your home: You're sharing the space with other guests and staff members, which means you really shouldn't act however you want. Having common courtesy just makes for a better experience, both for you and for those around you. To make sure we're all on the same page, we consulted etiquette experts to find out what proper hotel manners look like. Read on to discover eight things they say you should never do at a hotel.
Don't wait to tip housekeeping at the end of your stay.
Tipping is a must when you're staying somewhere where others are picking up after you. But when you tip at a hotel is also important, according to Jodi RR Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting.
"Don't wait to tip housekeeping only at the end of your stay," she advises.
As Smith explains, the housekeepers who have been cleaning and restocking your room may not be working on the last day of your stay—so they might not get any of the money you've left for them.
"Instead, tip per day," Smith suggests. "Leave the cash on the unmade bed near the pillow so that it is clear it is a tip."
Don't monopolize common areas.
While you're typically just booking a room, many hotels offer different amenities for guests to use. Just remember that these are spaces you are sharing with other guests.
"Don't monopolize common areas," 23-year certified etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts warns. "If there are limited phone cords in the lobby, don't charge for hours. And if you're at the gym, stay on the machine for 30 minutes max, unless you're alone."
Don't use your cell phone in those spaces either.
When in those common areas, it's also important to remember that not everyone wants to hear your phone conversation.
August Abbott, an etiquette expert working with JustAnswer, says, "Never be on your cell phone in the elevator, the bar, or the restaurant."
Don't presume the rooms are soundproof.
While it's crucial to make sure you're considering your behavior and noise levels in hotel common areas, that doesn't mean you should go wild once you're in your own room.
"Don't presume the rooms are soundproof," Smith notes. "Even some fancy hotels do not have enough sound damping between rooms."
Grotts says this is also one of her hotel etiquette musts.
"Keep noise to a minimum. Not only when you are in your room, but when you open and close the door," she says. "This can be very loud for the person on either side of you."
Don't put room service trays outside without notifying staff.
Treating yourself to room service is one of the great hotel luxuries—but do you know the proper etiquette for it? As Smith tells Best Life, it's common practice to put your tray outside your room door once you've finished your meal. But you should never do so without notifying staff.
"You must call the room service staff so that they know it is there and can come collect it before it sits out all night," Smith explains.
Don't mess with electronics for future guests.
When on vacation, some prank-loving hotel guests like to play a joke on those staying in the same room after them by messing with the TV or the alarm clock. But even seemingly harmless pranks can have real consequences, Abbott warns.
"It's not funny, and you aren't there to see what happens anyway when you leave the electronics amped to the max, the alarm set to 3 a.m., or anything else that isn't taking into consideration what the next guest might be experiencing," she cautions.
Don't leave a giant mess.
Sure, hotels have housekeeping for a reason, but putting extra stress on them by being a slob is just bad etiquette, according to Grotts.
"I get it: You're paying $1000 a night at a luxury hotel, but that doesn't mean you have to leave the place in shambles," she says, noting that you might even get charged extra if you do.
But whether you're staying at a five-star luxury resort or a basic motel, it's important to "always leave a place better than you found it," Grotts advises. "You can do this without emptying the garbage or changing the sheets yourself."
Don't forget to be kind to all employees.
Respect should be paid to everyone working in the hotel.
"Use your manners with the housekeeping, front desk staff, concierges, and anyone else attending to your daily needs," Grotts advises.
That also means you should "never be rude to any level of help" at a hotel, Abbott adds.
"How would you like someone coming in cranky and out of sorts at you whether it's at your job or anywhere else? You have the power to change someone's day," she says. "What will you do?"
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