The 10 worst habits of Irish hotel guests

Clicking fingers, stealing food – hotel staff reveal the behaviour they find most annoying

We all love staying in hotels and look forward to the luxury of freshly made beds, lashings of hot water, food on demand and lazing about with nothing to do but amuse ourselves. However, not everyone is happy to sit back and enjoy the stay. If standards are below what a hotel has promised, that is one thing. However, some guests like nothing better than to complain at the front desk – or fire off a barbed message on social media, not to mention posting a few choice words on TripAdvisor.

But what of their own behaviour? We asked hotel staff around the country about what they find most annoying about the behaviour of guests. This is what they told us:

Clicking fingers
You would think clicking fingers at staff in hotels was a thing of the past, but not so. It still happens regularly and mostly in the high-star rating hotels, according to staff at one five-star hotel. It must be something about paying more than €300 per night that makes people feel entitled.

Damaging sheets and towels with hair dye and/or fake tan or leaving souvenirs of personal hygiene
Hotel staff like to see a high level of personal hygiene but not when it results in personal detritus, such as toe-nail clippings on the carpet or in the bath. According to one hotelier who runs a Dublin four-star hotel, they will make a "silent charge" on customer's credit card for excessively dirty rooms, ruined sheets, and smoking. "No one ever complains. They usually have a good idea of why."


Taking food from the breakfast buffet

“It’s breakfast only, not lunch and dinner,” so said a frustrated hotelier who despairs when he sees people stuffing their bags with food from the breakfast buffet. You may think you are secretly hiding a picnic in your handbag or backpack, but they see you. You are nearly as bad as the guest who heaps their plate from the buffet and hardly eats anything or the guest who brings their own food and drink and leaves the rubbish behind.

The very-hard-to-please guest
Overly fussy guests are the bane of the room service staff – you remove the half-drunk bottle of water from the bedside table and they complain. You leave it by the bedside and you get accused of not cleaning the room properly, how can you win?

Going commando in the corridors

Overall, the most annoying guests are the drunk ones, say hoteliers, especially in the early hours when things can get very messy. Chatting up the bar staff is not funny.

Urinating in lifts is not funny, singing in the corridors is not funny, nor is walking around the hotel naked. Apparently naked men in hotel corridors are not unusual – you can see them any weekend in any hotel having locked themselves out while looking for the bathroom. The countless couples trying to get intimate in public places they think are private, such as the fire escape, are also a nuisance.

Smoking in the rooms
Smoking in rooms is not on. Most hotel rooms have smoke alarms and there is every chance you will set it off. "We have found condoms wrapped around fire alarms to stop them detecting smoke, and not just cigarette smoke," said one long-time Kerry hotelier.

Checking in too early and looking to check out late
A pet hate of reception are the people who turn up way too early looking to check in to their rooms – didn't they notice the 2pm check-in time when they were booking? These guests more often than not are the last to check out as well. Some people are "trying to turn an overnight into a two-day event", said one hotelier.

Looking for free accommodation

Hotels attract their fair share of scammers, it seems – the people who look on a stay in a hotel as a way to get free accommodation or meals. In one hotel, a woman said her child found a used condom under the sofa bed in the room. The hotel was horrified and offered her a complimentary stay at another date. She booked to return and on the day the head housekeeper and the manager checked the room. They pulled out all the furniture and checked inside and outside everything. The woman arrived and not long after checking in she came to reception with an injection pen and said the child had found it in the room. They knew then it was a scam, and the woman was asked to leave or pay for her stay. She agreed to pay.

Leaving embarrassing items behind
Lost property is a wonderland of discarded items. Sex toys feature, as do clothes, odd shoes, alcohol and underwear. What about the man who left his prosthetic leg in his room? At the hotel in question, no one saw him leaving and he never returned.

Professional complainers
TripAdvisor is used as a stick to beat hoteliers. "In no other industry can someone go online and slander people. Hotels seem to be fair game. It is unfair and unjust and not right," said a hotel manager in the west of Ireland. "I have had staff very upset by personal comments made by guests."

So the next time you stay in a hotel, remember that real people are looking after you, making your bed, cleaning up after you, preparing meals and are part of your life during your hotel stay, no matter how brief.