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The Top 10 Most Common Hotel Room Complaints

It was John Lydgate that once said, "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And never has a truer word been spoken, particularly when broaching the subject of hotel rooms. There is no hotel in the world that can boast a comments book free of complaints. Even the most exclusive of establishments get it wrong occasionally, or at least they do in the eyes of their guests. When paying for a hotel room, people expect it to be up to their standards; if this is not the case then they will not be afraid to voice their opinions to anyone that is listening. However, while some complaints can be considered ‘picky’, there are many that are common enough for guests to bond over – here are 10 of them.

Outdated Decor

Few things in life can dampen the mood like outdated decor in a hotel room. Pink floral curtains and matching duvets, chestnut sideboards, CRT (big back) TVs, and artex ceilings should all be nowhere near a modern hotel.

Weak Showers

A shower is an as-standard feature in the majority of hotel rooms these days; one that works properly, however, is not. Fluffy bathrobes may be all well and good but weak water pressure in the shower is enough to have guests confronting hotel receptionists in nothing but their Egyptian cotton towels.

Poor Maintenance

A lack of maintenance in a hotel room is simply unacceptable. Peeling wallpaper, broken TV remotes, light bulbs not working, and jammed windows are all things that do not sit well with guests.

Poor Heating/Air Conditioning

One of the hardest things to get right for hoteliers. Rooms are either too hot or too cold and finding the middle ground is virtually impossible. And the fact that guests cannot adjust AC settings to suit their preferences definitely does not help the situation.


No one wants to stay in a smelly hotel room and issues with damp, mould, smoke and, according to, cat smells, are too much for many guests to put up with.

Uncomfortable Bed

The one thing above all else that you want to do in a hotel room is sleep and uncomfortable beds is not going to help you do this. Some people like soft mattresses while others prefer firm, so you have to have some sympathy for hoteliers in trying to cater to all needs. Sags and dents in mattresses, however, are unacceptable.


Whether you are staying at a seven-star hotel in Dubai or a cheap B&B in Blackpool, a clean room is the least you expect – no dust, no dirt, no hairs in the shower, and definitely no stains on the bedspreads!

Lack of Free Wi-Fi

A clear sign of the changing times. A recent study has shown that the average holidaymaker spends at least an hour a day of their downtime going online and having to pay to do so is a major source of frustration. A survey of 2000 hotel guests by Thistle Hotels revealed that 38 per cent of them were unhappy at the fact that they had to pay for Wi-Fi. Over half of all guests surveyed (51 per cent) said that free Wi-Fi is crucial to their enjoyment.

Rude Employees

Good manners do not cost a thing – a phrase, it seems, many hotel receptionists are unfamiliar with. Sixty-nine per cent of people surveyed by Thistle Hotels said that rudeness was their number one gripe with hotels.


The number one complaint of hotel guests in 19 of 20 cities, according to a study by ReviewPro. Noise drives us all crazy; however, market research firm JD Power says that only half of the cases are reported to hotel management at the time. Many guests decide to tough it out during the night and complain in the morning, but "that doesn’t give the hotel a lot of opportunity to recover on that problem,” says JD Power’s Jessica McGregor. So next time hotel noise is driving you crazy, march on down to reception and air your grievances!


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