The hotel industry is full of tiny little secrets that they don’t want you to know about when you come to stay overnight while traveling. They might not have literal skeletons in their closets, but the metaphorical ones can barely fit! We’re talking about insider knowledge about how often the duvets and covers on the beds get cleaned, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Of course, there are some positive secrets as well, and ex-hotel employee Janessa Richard spilled the beans in a series of fun and candid TikTok videos. Keep in mind, though, Janessa noted that this is her personal experience working at just one hotel and we really shouldn’t assume that all hotels function this way. (Though most are sure to have their own shady secrets that nobody should know about.)
Check out some of Janessa’s best insights below, upvote the ones that you found useful and entertaining, and let us know what hotel secrets you’ve uncovered if you’ve ever worked in the industry, dear Pandas.
Image credits: janessarichard
We are legally not allowed to say your room number out loud, which is why we will usually write it on an envelope, pass it to you and tell you "this is your room number".
If you are very nice and we like you, we can upgrade you to a better room or a suite at no extra cost, if there's any available.
Different hotel brands have different policies when it comes to upgrading their guests. The hotel I worked at didn't really care, as long as we had the availability we were allowed to.
I did have some guests who asked for free upgrades, if they were nice I'd give it to them, if they weren't I'd lie and tell them we didn't have any suites available.
California mom Janessa focuses on videos about hotels, as well as her motherhood journey. She has over 53k followers on TikTok and appears to highly value honesty both in her content and in how she engages with her fandom.
Running a hotel well isn’t as easy as washing the sheets between every customer and smiling at everybody all day long. In a previous interview, Dr. Gabor Forgacs from Ryerson University told Bored Panda about some other aspects of maintaining quality at hotels and how hoteliers can ensure that their businesses prosper.
Dr. Forgacs noted that the main reason why guests return to hotels is simple: they had good memories of staying there. “Not necessarily a gold plated doorknob or the extra skirt hangers in the closet; best memories are created through interaction with people. If service excellence exceeds expectations, guests always remember that,” he told Bored Panda earlier.
If your breakfast is included in your stay but you're leaving before breakfast start time, you can always ask the staff if they can make a little "to-go" bag with a few items in it.
Most hotels do not wash their duvets/comforters in between guests. They wash them maybe once a year which is really freaking gross.
So, the first thing you wanna do when you walk into your room - don't go lay down on your bed, take the duvet off!
Meanwhile, struggling businesses need to reinvent themselves and up their standards. But none of that can happen without some honest appraisal of where the hotel stands at the moment. “Languishing hotels need to take an honest look at themselves to understand the reasons why they can't create special memories,” he explained.
Almost every standard room that you book comes with a water bottle and drinking glasses. I would not recommend drinking from those glasses as most of the time they're not changed in between guests as long as they look "clean".
We ALWAYS recommend booking through the hotel directly. If you book through a 3rd party, your room and room type are not actually guaranteed.
“Service culture is not built overnight; the way you hire, you train, and conduct yourself is crucial. Mistakes are made all the time; how you recover and show genuine care would make a difference,” Dr. Forgacs said.
Never EVER walk barefoot on the carpets. They are unbelievingly gross. They get vacuumed between guests but are rarely ever washed and deep cleaned.
There are a lot of shady things that happen in hotels. We once had an "escort company" rent out a room and bring men in. We had to call the cops, things got crazy.
An extra ounce of care for your customers goes a long way. The more you genuinely care about them, the more likely they are to return. “Following up is a secret weapon. Comping, offering a discount or an upgrade for a mishap is what a typical hotel would do. The better ones will always follow up with the guest and on top of a remedy, tell their plan how the mistake will be prevented from happening again,” he said.
Some hotels have a "100% satisfaction guarantee" policy, which means if you find even one little thing that you're not satisfied with, and bring it up to the manager, they might be able to compensate your entire stay.