Download a Sample Letter of a Complaint about Hotels

People who are going to stay at a hotel would normally expect adequate boarding and lodging. But frequently they encounter a number of problems which inhibit their ability to enjoy the hotel stay. Should they bother submitting a complaint to the hotel management? Yes, for sure! Why? There are two convincing reasons.

First, visitors who complain with justice may get a full or partial refund, additional free hotel stay, gift cards, or other compensation. Second, a reasonable complaint about hotel is a good way to raise awareness about the situation. Quality assurance for hotels is of the highest importance.

Therefore, hotel management is drawn to know about visitors’ experience. According to the industry group, 91% of unhappy visitors choose another hotel or even hotel chain. Only 4% of dissatisfied customers complain. 96% leave without any communication. And of 96% who leave, 91% will never come back again.

How to Complain about a hotel stay in a proper way

So, hotel complaints can serve as a basis for improvement of service and customer loyalty. Below you will find the list of the most frequent complaints in the hospitality industry (according to reviews in travel category that we collect):

  • Bad state of room cleanliness;
  • Poor Internet quality or no (free) Wi-Fi;
  • Poor room amenities;
  • Poor food quality;
  • Bad view;
  • Noise;
  • Bedroom smell;
  • Bad room service;
  • Bad comfort and convenience.

These are the basic reasons making visitors feel frustrated about their hotel stay and give sufficient grounds for complaints. One question still remains undetermined – how to complain about the hotel in a proper way. We’ll try to answer it in detail.

What are the most common hotel complaints?

Complain to Hotel Staff Representatives

Step 1.

Address the person at the front desk. Do not forget to deal with any issue immediately. There is no sense to leave it for later or wait for checking out to complain. Keep your emotions under control and explain to the front clerk why you are so dissatisfied. Allow him or her suggesting a possible solution. You should also tell him/her, what will bring you satisfaction or what you expect from them.

For example, you want to change the room, get some kind of compensation or have something fixed in your room. Do not call to the reception, talk to a person at the front desk face to face. Any problem should be explained clearly and intelligibly. In most cases, a complaint is resolved right away.

Step 2.

Address the manager on duty to repeat a complaint. If you notice that a person at the front desk can’t, doesn’t want, or just is unwilling to resolve your issue, repeat the problem to the manager on duty. Dealing with customer complaints and comments as well as addressing problems and troubleshooting are common managerial duties.

Therefore, a hotel manager has a decision-making authority and can handle serious complaints. Don’t hurl insults or blame the whole hotel staff since this practice will produce an unfortunate result. Share your thoughts on the problem and ask for assistance.

Step 3.

Address the general manager. In case you have a good reason to escalate your complaint, ask for the general manager’s contacts. It is a direct duty of the general manager to communicate with customers when appropriate and address customer complaints as well as find solutions to the problems.

Concentrate on the core of the problem and your requirements. Take an unbiased look at the situation. Your requirements should be realistic, consistent, and clear. Customer loyalty begins with good service and friendly demeanor. Therefore, the general manager will do his or her best to resolve a complaint as soon as possible.

NB: A complaint can be rejected as well. Document all conversations with hotel staff representatives, and write down contacts and names of persons whom you have made any agreements with. Pictures snapped with your smartphone are also good proof for cases when a problem is not settled within agreed timescales. In case you need to escalate the issue, download the sample letter of a complaint about hotels below and move on.

Complain to Corporate Office

Step 4.

If you fail to arrive at a consensus with hotel staff representatives, you can complain about hotel stay to the corporate office. Send an e-mail, a hotel complaint letter, or call to their customer service department. You can also use a new free recorded call feature launched by

It allows customers placing free reordered phone calls to service departments of companies before making public complaints. Using this tool you can speak live with company representatives and keep from leaving a negative feedback online. This option is really convenient for those customers who want to have their issues resolved.

Complain to Booking Agency

Step 5.

You can also complain about hotel service, staff, or accommodations to an agency, firm, or online services (like TripAdvisor,, Expedia etc.) who booked a hotel room for you. Talk to a customer service representative and describe the situation in detail. Provide compelling evidence, for instance, pictures, contacts of hotel managers, transactions and receipts. Booking agencies deal with complaints and can make things happen.

Complain to Regulatory Bodies

Step 6.

You can file a hotel complaint to police or health departments if it refers to health and safety issues. Based on your complaint the appropriate regulatory body can initiate an inspection. It is a real opportunity to have all the demands stated in your complaint satisfied.

Share your Experience

Step 7.

Nowadays there are many web resources, where you can leave your feedback about a particular hotel (for example, TripAdvisor or Yelp). The more posts you make, the better result you will get. Large hotel chains have a good track record, and feedback is of the utmost importance for them.

According to the group TripAdvisor, 48 % of travelers usually or always read reviews before booking a hotel, and 41% of respondents who would cancel the booking because of a TripAdvisor reviews. Moreover, 32% of travelers are likely to book a hotel that won a TripAdvisor award. So, the satisfactory resolution to the situation is the main priority of the whole hospitality industry.

Travelers always read reviews before booking a hotel

Here we would like to give some examples of common hotel complaints posted on the TripAdvisor official web resource.

“Spontaneous NYC weekend and being a Platinum member in their Gold Passport program and the good reviews booked this hotel.

- AMAZING weekend with my best friend
- Great location
- clean and updated room
- friendly and helpful housekeeping staff
- friendly and accommodating bartender in the lobby

- Treated very rude at check in
- Phones in room not working at check in
- At check in struggled with oversized suitcase and other bag when simply entering hotel and no one offering to open the heavy doors - this was consistent every time returning to hotel.....service like a hostel not a Hyatt
- Front desk staff made no attempt at recognizing us including no eye contact
- Bell-staff were even more elusive
- Small room and not at all representative of the photos on the website when booking
- Inquired about of inaccuracy of room and in short was told I was mistaken and while very sorry could do nothing.....have a nice day......dismissive
- The young man who was checking room keys to enter the elevator area was very tacky
- The terrace of the rooftop bar is very nice but drink service not offered. The seating area at the rooftop bar was minimal and waited to be served and never happened. Prices toooooo high.”  More here.

This is a common example of a hotel review. A user stated both pros and cons. He/She also mentioned a name of the hotel. Such a structured review is very convenient for readers since most of them are looking for clear and accurate information.

“When booking this hotel, there was no mention that construction was underway. Checked in & asked for a quite room - needed to get rest - nothing said to us. We got to our room & all we heard was jackhammers. Returned to lobby & requested another room & was told we were getting an upgraded room, which was more money, but they would waive the charge. Believe me, it wasn't an upgraded room.

Could still hear the construction, albeit not as bad. We had a porch that you couldn't see over - just a concrete wall, the beds were not comfortable, and the hotel staff snippy. What a way to treat a long standing Marriott reward member. There are options for hotels around LAX & honesty about construction would have been nice. No more Marriott stays for us for a very long time.” More here.

This is a common example of negative feedback. A user described all things he was dissatisfied with. It is better to attach pictures to your review so other consumers could see it.

“Within the span of two days I was moved around to three rooms. Our room was so gross and the bathroom was covered in pubic hair. After calling they said they would send the cleaning manager to fix it while we were at dinner and we came back to the same room. The person I talked to on the phone was so rude and made us sleep in that nasty room which ruined our whole trip.

We packed our things and switched rooms the next day and came back after a long day at the park to a worse room than the previous one, even though they assured us they would send someone to check it before we even got to the room. After speaking to a very rude lady saying she could not do anything about it, so we went to the lobby and spoke to the manager. He promised us refunds for both nights and a set of tickets for our next visit.

It has been a month later and we only received half refunds which is not what he told us. I would not expect this from any hotel, much less a disney hotel. The whole experience has been awful and Disney should be ashamed. This was my third trip this year, and over my 15th in my life and they have now lost a loyal customer.” Read here.

Again, it would be a more insightful description with some pictures. The hotel promised to make a refund but failed to stand by it. Unfortunately, sometimes complaints in a hotel do not produce the desired result, and you’ll have to contact higher management.

Download a Sample Letter of a Complaint about Hotels

Find below some more reviews from

“Went down to Texas for my daughter to say goodbye to her boyfriend before his deployment.Not happy at all with any part of my stay at the Holiday Inn.

1. Room was dirty. Dead bugs on the floor, very stained carpet and it wasn't vacuumed. Dirt and debris on A/C unit in room. Shelve in bathroom that towels were on was so dusty I could write clean me in it.

2. Hot tub broken but no sign indicating this. Seeing they had a hot tub, went to the store and bought a suit. Stepped into an ice cold hot tub. when I asked about it was told its been broken for a while.

3. Breakfast for one. Although I checked in with 3 guests to the room - they provide breakfast for one person.

4. No manager. There is no manager to talk to. Finally two days after my stay got in touch with the area manager - who was very unhelpful and did not want to do anything but give me 1000 points for my inconvenience...”

In this review (#1011819), all problems are stated step by step. It’s a good idea since readers could grasp the required information easily.

“I stayed at the Budget Inn in Pinellas Park, Florida off Hwy 19 N from Thursday, 9/22 until Monday, 9/25. I've never stayed in such a rat hole! I stayed in room 104. In addition, my room was never cleaned from the day I checked it nor throughout the weekend. I had to go to the front office to get bath towels which I was given kitchen towels! And no clean towels afterwards.

Oh the bottom metal bed frame stuck out easily to trip over. I could not close the bathroom door due to it'd been warped. There was a lot of "activity" going on on the grounds after dark. I noticed women standing outside their motel room.

The night before I left I got in little after 9 from seeing my ill mother all day and as I was unlocking my door a car with some men pulled up by the curb and the driver said to me, "Hey beautiful what you up too!" I didn't look back nor reply to him I hurriedly went in the room and bolted the door. I've stayed at numerous motels in the past and never encountered such filtiness nor uneasiness about my safety…”

An author stated the address of the hotel, its name, room number, and stay time. Such data are also very useful for readers who are looking for information on a specified hotel.

“Motel 6… the people next door woke me up at 2 am, couldn't get back to sleep until 5 am, then housekeeping banged on my door at 8:40 am and walked in, when checkout is at 11am.then they banged on the door again at 9am, knowing i was in the room.when i went down to the lobby, the housekeeping lady didn't even have shoes on - ahe was in her filthy socks. disgusting !

no wonder this place is so filthy ! horrible experience - never again !i'm checking out now, but no one is at the front desk, and i want my money back. i got ahold of someone at the front desk, and instead of giving me a refund, he charged me again !he then tried to refund me double the amount for the room, but i called my bank, and only the charges have posted, no refund.that place is awful !”

Here a visitor asked for a refund but didn’t get it (review #1041854). He/She stayed dissatisfied with the Motel 6 hotel service, staff, and amenities. Certainly, everybody may let the cards fall where they may, but why?! You have a lot of options to stand up for your rights.

The World Wide Web is a powerful tool in the hands of customers. They have a great opportunity to share their experience both positive and negative. Nowadays more and more people prefer reading complaints before booking a hotel. Yes! Customer complaints are of greater interest.

No wonder, they are more valuable for the audience. Certainly, it is interesting to look through some positive feedback. But, remember, bad emotions have more impact than good ones. So, posting complaints you kill two birds with one stone. One the one hand, you provide readers with accurate and up-to-date information. And on the other, hotel management definitely wants to hear you, since your complaint is a true incentive to husbandry improvement.

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  1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.
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