Updated: Feb 22, 2020
As we all know, there are some odd guests visiting hotels.
I thought it would be fun to brake them down in 10 different stereo-types based on my own experience. Let me know in the comments below whether you recognize these kind of guests or if you recognize yourself in them which maybe is even worse ;P.
Lets kick this list of with one of my personal favourites :
1. The hangovers
Like a hangover you always feel the headage the day after , right? Well, this a bit similar to the type of person I want to talk about. This guests normally stays for a longer time in the hotel. They are acting like everything is fine, but at the moment he/she is checking out, the bomb explodes.
They start complaining, naming everything that was bad during their stay, very catagorized if I may add. From the sheets to the bathroom, finishing it off with the technical issues in the room all acting like they have a facking engineer's degree.
If you notice this kind of behavior, don't copy it. Just say your prayers and let them be. They most likely have a very imperfect life what they are trying to fix during their so called ''perfect getaway''. Let me be straight up with you. We are all human, we are simply not perfect. So, don't expect the stay to be, because if you go in, with the mindset that everything has to be perfect. Then you will always encounter some form of dissapointment.
2. The families
This type of guest often comes to a hotel to get away from the daily routine. We have the mother at home, overstressed, because of her annoying playful children who she of course loves to pieces, but on a daily basis bring her terror and despare.
The full time working dad who even while the're on holiday is still continueing to check his email on a regular basis. Trying literally everthing to not be a part of the family and it's responsabillity. Like for real, he walks out of the lobby 24/7 for business calls, stays in the washroom for 15 minutes and only acts upon staff telling him that their kid just broke a super delicate vase. Of course this a very extreme example, but you get the point.
These guests are actually really simple to please. The only thing you have to do is somehow keep the kids busy. Then the parents will love you. So, if you have some kind of animation team, or special deals involving activities these families will be a piece of cake.
Now the thing is if you are lacking the solution named above. These people can be a pain in the ass. The children are constantly crying, provoking the mother to unleash her inner rage, which she has been saving up since the day she had the first one and the day when she was diagnosed with the second. You got to have a moral shield of a god to parry that force I'll tell you that. Often requesting a higher power ''the manager'' this furious mama will cool off, but only if her requirements are met.
If they manage to do so, they'll even leave you a great review, they 're reasonable people. If not, you're probably cursing at tripadvisor for providing the customer with that many characters for a review.
3. The plunderers.
I am not even sure if these people come for their pleasure when visiting a hotel. This type of guest comes to an hotel, with the intention to complain. Trying to get stuff for free. Even if your housekeeper had cleaned that room to the best of her abillity, they will find things that look fishy. They hunt in couples, they are professionals. They know were to look.
A couple of examples: The inner side of the toilet seat. Often a place people forget when cleaning the toilets. Even if you cleaned it 15 min ago if you strike passed it with a piece of paper it will always be slightly yellow, very smart.
Moving on to the pillows. Every big hotel has a lot of pillows. A normal pillow cost around 40$ and that's for the cheaper ones. If you have to get 2 + (2 pillows extra in the closet) you have to get 4 pillows per room. Times, say you have 50 rooms. That costs 8000$.
Quite an investment if you have to replace the old pillows. right? That is why loads of hotels keep them for a longer time. What happens with pillows that are used frequently for a long time you ask?. They will turn yellow. So, what this type of guest would do is, they will pull the sheets of the pillow and make pictures of the yellow color, requesting a refund or a discount on their stay. Make sure to always have clean pillows in your hotel.
Most of the people don't act this so if you have a couple spare ones, then whenever you have people like this you can just change their pillows and they won't have anything to complain about.
Last example. They are like super scanners. the ''current location'' feature of google maps seems rigged compared to their accuracy. Regardless of how well you deal with the things they throw at you. They will still leave a bad review, don't take it personal. This is where your excellent service will stand out. If you make sure your performance is consistent then people like this won't even be taken serious by other people when looking into the reviews. It's like dislikes on youtube The video has 10 million views has been liked 356 000 times and has 1000 dislikes. There will always be a smudge of negativity. It's up to you to see the bigger picture.
4. Kinder garden students (not literally speaking)
This seems a bit like I am belittling these people, but to be honest I think I am not. You seriously doubt that they've learned how to read in elementary school. At our hotel we have very clear signs that will tell you exactly where to go or what the place is for. Very clear concept, right?
Nevertheless, these people seem to completely turn off their common sense and ask the receptionist where to go or what the use for certain accommodations. Nothing is more frustrating then people asking for the obvious things. Use your brain.
5. People that still think the earth is flat, people still refering to things that happened in the stone age. (the elderly)
I know technology is going super quick and that you are not raised with all the new technological influences. Still, if there are signs in how to do it, then why do you ask me what the password is of a OPEN wifi network.
At the front desk I added these sentences to my standard check in routine: You have to put the keycard you receive, in the holder you find in your room. This provides the room with electricity. This means when you pull it out that the air conditioning (which for obvious reasons also needs electricity to function) also doesn't work. Then why do I get on a daily basis people asking me why their room is so hot ''I swear I put the airco on when I left'', ''For some reason the tv is not working'', ''I think it is broken and also the remote isn't working. Can you check that please?''
These are the kinds of moments I just want to sit in a corner and start crying. If you want to do us a pleasure. Could you please read the signs, try to figure it out on your own. I know you are all very independent people. You can do it!
Come in as a group. Wow what a surprise....really? Yeah, I know right, truly mindblowing. Without any further or do. These groups come in a pack. They expect them to be the center of your attention and that they can all check in immediatly. If you've prepared for this, you can defenitely do this. You ask them to stand in line and if they could tell you their names. You hand them the roomkey and within minutes 40 people are checked in. Great feeling.
This is the ideal scenario, when they arrive at the time they told you. Often, this is not the situation. They arrive, like super early instead of 3 p.m. ''Hi, yeah sorry ,but we had a change of heart. We would like to go cycling in the morning. Are the rooms ready yet? ''Mam it is 9 a.m. Check out is at eleven what do you think?
You are in rush hour of your check out and then spontaniously a group appears. This is when you difine yourself between a legend or a standard individual. If you can manage to multi task yourself through that moment. Communicating with housekeeping to check whether you can provide all the people of the group with a room, while you are checking all the other rooms out. Then, you are a beast! Huge amount of respect.
In the end. I think every receptionist would rather have two large groups then a constant flow of guests, because besides check out and check in there are quite some administrive things you need to do. If the people keep coming you have to do this all at the last second of your shift. It is much more relaxing if you do the two groups after eachother.
This is the check- in procedure. We haven't even talked about the behavior you often see. At the start the leader of the pack discusses with our sales department what and how they would like everything to go. Up front all the details have been discussed. Everything that is in their package, all chosen by the people themselves. Then why is it very too often that they start requesting things that are not part of their ''package''. They expect this ''extra service'' or whatever they are requesting to be free of charge and if you don't provide them with the thing they want they will leave a bad review and say you don't show flexibility.
Example: Like most hotels, our boardrooms or meeting roams are included with a coffee table. You get some coffee, thee an water. Very standard. The coffee is basic filtercoffee. So don't expect it to be any more then filtercoffee. Our machine is a bit weird since the amount of coffee you need to put in is more then what the machine originally says. So, If you don't put more in it the machine will make sea through coffee, which of course looks like bad coffee.
I made the coffee ( with the righ values). Everyone of the group likes it, everyone but one woman. ''This coffee is terrible'' ''Well it aint a cappuccino no. It is filtercoffee''. ''I want coffee from the barista machine''. You see. The thing is with special treatment, once other people get air of that, they want that treatment too. Almost instantly after I gave the coffee. ''Yeah, I don't like the coffee either''. I had to give a full round of coffee from the barista machine without them paying for it. Make sure to make clear arrangements beforehand. This will save you money afterwards.
7. The businessman
Won't complain if you can deliver a reasonable accommadition. Wifi is important. They will sit in the lobby drink a couple of coffees and do their work. They have certain expectations. They have money, so they normally stay in good hotels, with valet parking.
This particular situation was funny, when I worked in Obertauern, Austria, in a 4 star hotel. A guest, clearly business kind a guy came to the front desk. He stretched out his arm and handed me his car keys. ''Could you park that for me will ya. And while you're at it, could you drive to the nearest tankstation and fill her up?'' The guy handed me some cash for the gas and wanted to walk away. When I interrupted him.
''You do know that we don't have a valet parking service?''
''Yeah, we don't''
The man, clearly disturbed.
''Where is the closest gasstation?''
''It's 25 minutes away, sir.''
''You sure you can't do that for me? I'll tip you well''
I checked with my supervisor. ''No you are not doing that.''
''I am sorry sir, I can't''
''Well, that's dissapointing.'' he stamped his feet like a petulant schoolgirl and walked away.
You can't please everybody, but you can try to do so, to the best of your abillity. Don't take it personal and carry on.
Those were my 7 stereotypes of guests in hotels. If you'd like me to do a B&B version comment in the comments below. Do you recognize these stereotypes then share it with your friends.
I wish you all a great christmas time.
With kind regards,
The left handed writer