Ever since I was a child, I’ve associated hotels—especially the 5-star ones—with relaxation, comfort, and elegance, which I believe are the very adjectives these beautiful skyscrapers want to exude. So when I became a hotelier myself and spent nine years of my working life in several of these sophisticated bunkers, I was surprised to uncover a handful of clandestine truths behind those wonderful facades.
Here are seven secrets that are not-so-well-kept by the industry:
Many hotel stuff look clean, but...
As nice and fancy as your favorite luxury hotel may seem, some amenities do not get tidied up well, much less sanitized. From dining utensils to bed duvet covers, the cleanliness of these things is far from being 99.9 percent germ-free. Heck, the carinderia across your house might even have cleaner spoons.
So even if your expensive suite looks spotless, check thoroughly. A friend once slept on a bed with a ball of pubic hair (definitely not his) underneath the comforter. I also suggest that you sterilize the utensils in hot water before using them. Oh, and did I mention used condoms?
Free room upgrades every day
Most of the time, this happens upon checking in either very early when rooms are not yet ready, or very late when the hotel is already full. Normally, establishments overbook their cheapest rooms, therefore giving lucky guests a chance to stay in higher categories. Just be grateful when you get upgraded by the front desk agent. A tip or two won’t hurt.
Leftover food goes to the bin
Though not really a big secret, some people are still surprised to know that in many hotels, the scraps that buffet-eaters have left behind gets dumped. Yeah, we feel you. You’re not the only one asking, “Why don’t they just give it to me? I have more than enough space in my fridge!”
They know your affairs
Hoteliers know the time she went up to and out of your room, what she was wearing in those separate instances, and (ugh) how many condoms you used. They might even know her name and where she’s from. And no, don’t you ever think they wouldn’t have guessed that she’s NOT the one you said “I do” to. But they’ll keep their mouths shut, don’t worry.
Hotel staff may take their revenge in ways you haven’t imagined
If you have a friend or relative working in a hotel, chances are they’ve already told you to be nice to hotel staff. You may have heard stories of restaurant attendants spitting on customer’s noodles. But what about housekeeping people dipping your toothbrush in the toilet bowl? Next time you forget your anger management lessons, at least remember to think about this before you rant on that hapless guy in front of you.
Hotels are not exempted from ghost stories
Like hospitals and churches, rumors of ghost sightings linger around hotels and are passed on by one generation of hotel staff to another. Even new establishments have their own. While most of these are just unconfirmed reports, some instances are difficult to ignore like when a guest checks out in the middle of the night, crying her eyes out because she’s seen one in her room.
And remember what I told you about staff getting back at you? If you’ve been a jerk, the desk clerks know exactly which rooms to put you in while giving you the most sarcastic smile and telling you to “Enjoy your stay.”
You won’t know if a person already died in your room
Guests dying in hotel rooms whether by suicide, murder or illness, are fairly common in the industry. But if you think your favorite hotel has not experienced it yet since you haven’t heard of any rumors, think again. Deaths in hotels have always had the media blackout treatment because it is very damaging to the image of the institution and may affect sales. The news is very much concealed that, sometimes, the staff themselves are not even aware. Creepy, isn’t it?