What do people get up to in hotels?! I recently discovered the accommodation industry here in Australia has a shared database, called Guests Behaving Badly, where hotels can warn each other about guests who have trashed rooms, threatened staff or done other things worthy of a sit on the naughty step.
I don’t know if such databases exist in other countries as well, but the fact that the concept has even been developed says that an awful lot of people don’t know how to keep their thoughts/mess/fetishes/body parts to themselves.
One of the best stories I’ve heard is about a man who coated an entire hotel room – walls, furniture, everything – in Vaseline, but I’ve never been able to ascertain if it’s a true story or urban myth.
To find out what else hotel guests get up to, I asked around some friends who work in the hotel game. I didn’t find many stories worthy of entry into the ‘don’t let them in the door’ database, but there were a few interesting tales…
* The rooms division manager at the Novotel St Kilda in Melbourne thought something was amiss when she assisted a couple who were checking out laden with boxes and luggage after only a one-night stay. A quick check of their room found nothing missing, but the truth was revealed when the hotel received a phone call from the police later in the day – they had pulled over the couple for bad driving and found the car laden with good stolen from the hotel’s housekeeping store rooms. Among the stolen goods were towels, linen, hundreds of tea and coffee sachets, rolls of toilet paper, stationery and even a portable heater (check out the photo, unbelievable).
* A hotel guest booked to stay at a beachfront hotel and then complained that the sound of the ocean was keeping him awake at night. Another guest requested an ocean-view room then complained that the view was only of the ocean!
* A single male guest left behind what one would assume would be too embarrassing to retrieve – a vibrator – but came back the next day and boldly asked for it at reception.
* A guest started running a bath, complete with a whole bottle of bubble bath, then went back into the bedroom and feel into a deep sleep…. cleaner not happy!
* A group of high school leavers from an exclusive private school found out the hard way that hotels have cameras in stairwells… mums and dads not happy!
And here are a few tales from the annual Novotel Survey, which always makes for amusing reading:
* A guest wanted pumpkin soup… but without the pumpkin. Another wanted spaghetti marinara… without the seafood. Another wanted a cheese platter… (you guessed it) without the cheese. Another guest wanted to know if they could have their buffet breakfast at dinner time, because they wanted to sleep in, and yet another asked if she could have one of each dish on the buffet delivered to her room so she could see what she’d like. Yeah, right!
* A group holding a meeting for survivors of alien abductions wanted new locks put on the meeting room doors – to keep the aliens out, of course.
* A naked guest walked straight out the front of the hotel onto the street – the unfortunate sleepwalker was quietly returned to his room. In another hotel, a cleaner opened a cupboard to find a man sleeping on one of the shelves – his friends had checked out after an all-night party and left him behind.
* A hotel concierge in Perth was asked to obtain a goat, 100 candles and a book of witchcraft. Another guest asked for a banana and some sticky tape. Another – they swear this is true – wanted an elephant delivered to the hotel.
I take my hat off to all those people who deal with crazy hotel guests day after day, and do it with a smile on their face. I wouldn’t last a day.
Copyright Jane E. Fraser