Download a Sample Letter of Complaint about the Hotel

Customer experiences will naturally vary in hotels. But regardless of how much you’re paying, hotel customer service should range from adequate to acceptable. However, that isn’t always the case. When hotel issues become a problem on an overnight stay, you should voice your concerns.. 

Why do customers complain about hotels? The short answer is that those who make hotel complaints want to find resolution. Hotels appreciate knowing about consumer issues as well so that they can improve the experience for you and future guests. 

According to a recent survey, 48% of visitors will leave a review after a bad experience at a hotel, while 40% will do so after a positive stay. Hotels know this and want to work hard to solve your issues. Leaving hotel reviews online is one option, but there are several other steps you can take before resorting to the Internet. 

Key Insights

  • Complaining about issues during your stay, may incentivize the hotel to resolve issues immediately and improve your stay.
  • You have several options to complain about hotels and seek assistance in your issue resolution. You can communicate with front desk staff or a manager on duty, contact the corporate office and your booking agent. 
  • If you choose to complain by email after your stay, be sure you have all of the relevant dates, times, locations, and names of individuals involved in your bad hotel stay. 

Most Common Hotel Complaints

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 hotels and resorts category that we collect).

There are currently more than 2,000 companies that have been reviewed on We have analyzed and singled out the most common hotel complaints from those reviews. They include: 

  • 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.

top hotel complaints

Complain to Hotel Staff Representatives

Your first stop for hotel complaints should be with the hotel staff and management. 

Seek assistance from the front desk staff

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 them to suggest a possible solution. You should also tell them, 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 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.

Contact the manager on duty

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 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.

Contact the regional manager or alternate senior executive

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

A complaint to the front desk or individual hotel management 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. 

If you fail to arrive at a consensus with hotel staff representatives, you can complain about hotel stay to the corporate office. Send an email, a hotel complaint letter, or call to their customer service department. To find the necessary contact information, search the hotel’s website or look for the contacts for the necessary hotel on the customer service page on

For some companies listed on the site, customers may be able to use a paid feature to “Skip the Hold”. With this service, our representative will handle the automated phone call features and pass the call to the customer once contact with a human has been established.

Reaching Out to the Booking Agency

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.

hotel services ratings

Share Your Concerns Publicly

If you have still not received an appropriate response – and even if you have – you can share your concerns about a particular hotel publicly through review sites or on social media. This may generate action on the part of the hotel. But in all cases, when you write customer reviews, you will certainly let other consumers know what to expect at the hotel in question.

For example, in review #5844997 one customer shared their experience about staying at an InTown Suites:

She said it was an upgrade, but it was not. There were holes everywhere; the front door was really bad, as if someone was trying to break in.

 Even after telling “the manager to move us,” the hotel did not. Now the customer warns that they are “ready to contact my lawyer and I will call the Channel 13 news.”

Contact Consumer Experts

There are many consumer experts ready to help you. These experts can offer additional insight when troubles arise, especially if they have experience in the industry in question. They may provide information about how to proceed with your hotel complaints. 

There are also online consumer communities like the PissedConsumer Club, where you can look for advice from experts, support from fellow consumers, and find helpful information. 

Get in Touch With Regulatory Bodies

You can file a hotel complaint to police or health departments if it refers to health and safety issues. There are also state consumer protection offices that may assist customers with safety or financial concerns following a bad hotel stay. The specific organizations that may be helpful will vary by state but may include health departments, and the Office of the Attorney General in your state. 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.

Making the Most of Your Hotel Experience

Hotels want to hear your feedback as a consumer. Knowing how to file a complaint against a hotel is important, but it's just as important to advocate for yourself during your stay. Hopefully, you can share concerns with the hotel so that they can make it right immediately. Still, if not, follow the steps provided above to find ways to resolve your issue. 

Don't be afraid to voice your concerns. Complain to the hotel, management, online community, and regulatory bodies, but also be sure to share your experience with other would-be customers. Have a bad hotel experience? Why not leave a review


Legal disclaimers:

  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.
  2. All or some image copyright belongs to the original owner(s). No copyright infringement intended.

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Kareem Collins #15882
Pioneer motel is the nasty motel I ever been in they need a inspection bad no hot water or nothing it's local in lansing illinois