Sometimes I feel like I live on the road. Running from event to event, enjoying the buzz of being in new places and feeling the occasional sting of a travel experience gone bad. Fortunately, I always know I can count on a great hotel to make everything better. And it’s all because of dedicated hoteliers ensuring that every stay is a great stay.
I also try to interact with and observe the other guests staying at the hotel. Well, sometimes look with astonishment is more like it. Mouth agape, amazed at the state of the human condition. Why? These are the guests that are slightly askew, a little odd, or simply think the rules don’t apply.
We all love to hate them. Here, then, are some of the archetypes I regularly see on the road. (This is a companion piece to my hit: "5 types of families you see at the hotel breakfast bar.")
The Never Happy Complainer
This person is pissed. But don’t worry, it’s not you. There is something seriously wrong with this individual’s life, and for some reason it’s the hotel’s fault. You know the type: Something small goes wrong and no matter what you try to do it’s never good enough.
A simple complaint—"the water in the shower wasn’t hot enough—turns into a sad display where apologies are met with more anger. A simple apology isn’t good enough. Repeated apologies and asking how you can make the situation better doesn’t work. And sometimes a comp night doesn’t seem to placate the crazy. This person is hell bent as poisoning your soul and making you feel as awful as they do.
The Party People
At full-service hotels and casino resorts in particular, I see these folks ready to party. But not the type of partying that makes you money at the bar. Nope, these folks orchestrate their own party by bringing in massively sized coolers jam-packed with more beer and other forms of booze than anyone can possibly drink. With no shame, or respect for the hotel, they’ll mount a mission more complex than Normandy to bring in drinking supplies so they can save a few bucks and not buy your alcohol. And, of course, they leave the guestroom festooned with their remnants of cocktailing gone bad.
The 20 People, 1 Room, No Problem
Yes, they know the room has a single king-sized bed and a small chair in the corner. But that didn’t stop them from reserving a room for one or two people, and then stealthily sneaking in many, many more. It’s a giant pain as they overstuff the room and expect you not to notice; especially after they just asked you for a dozen extra pillows and blankets and a roll-away cot. Then, of course, they all swarm the breakfast bar the next day and clean it out reminiscent of the locust swarm feeding frenzy in The Good Earth. They paid $89 for the room and ate $100 worth of cinnamon rolls.
The I’ll Just Sit Here Person
Are they staying at the hotel or not? Who knows because they simply sit in the lobby for many, many hours. No, they’re not getting any work done. Just hanging out mostly staring into space waiting for something, or someone. But you’ll never know as your shift is over long before they ever move a muscle.
So what is your least favorite type of hotel guest? I’d love to hear some of the funny stuff you’ve observed in your hotel. Email me at [email protected] or on Twitter and Instagram @TravelingGlenn and share your stories.
Glenn Haussman is editor-at-large for HOTEL MANAGEMENT. His views expressed are not necessarily those of HOTEL MANAGEMENT, its parent company Questex Media Group, and/or its subsidiaries.