Winnie Murugi
Winnie Murugi
Health and Beauty Expert

Planning a hotel stay? Being aware of common issues can help you avoid bad hotel experiences.

According to TripAdvisor's research, 81% of people always or often read reviews before booking a hotel. They provide consumer insights into the quality of customer service and amenities in different locations. As such, reviews may help customers avoid common consumer issues when staying at a hotel.

This article will discuss the top hotel complaints revealed in customer reviews left on

Key Insights

  • There are over 90,000 hotels in the US, with an average occupancy rate of just under 65%.
  • The most common hotel complaints include issues with maintenance, cleanliness, bugs and insects in rooms, noise, inaccurate descriptions of amenities, and rude staff. 
  • To avoid issues with a hotel stay, confirm information about the hotel before booking, read online reviews, and request to inspect the room before you check in. 

Top Hotel Complaints 

Hotel problems may vary from dirty and poorly maintained rooms to false advertisements of amenities. Below is an overview of the most common hotel complaints.
Top Hotel Complaints

Cleanliness issues 

When customers book a hotel stay, they expect the room they are checked into to be clean and tidy. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as evidenced by multiple customer complaints on the PissedConsumer platform.

Dirty rooms, unclean bathrooms, unkempt rooms, foul smells, dirty linen, and other cleanliness issues are among the most common hotel complaints.

For example, in review #5508196, the customer narrated their bad hotel experience at the Oyo Rooms, calling the room "absolutely disgusting":

No pillowcases, no towels, dirty bed linens… refrigerator was dirty, blood or what appeared to be blood on wall, carpet was very dirty.

Room maintenance issues 

Room maintenance issues are also rampant. They vary from minor inconveniences to significant problems that can ruin a stay. Travelers often complain about leaking faucets, broken or malfunctioning heating or cooling systems, non-functional lights, broken furniture, and ventilation issues.

In one of Studio 6 reviews, the visitor explained that they encountered multiple issues due to poor room maintenance. During their hotel stay, the bathroom ceiling started leaking, and they had to use towels to soak up the water. The AC unit was also not working, making the room cold. In addition, cooktop burner dials had no markings, among other issues:

Our room developed a water leak in the bathroom ceiling that continuously streamed water for 5+ days and nights…the AC unit wasn't heating the room and it was freezing in there…

An issue of the “worst possible room ever” is described in one of the Wyndham Hotels And Resorts reviews. The travelers were awakened by pouring water coming out of the ceiling, causing significant flooding and damage to their personal belongings:

…pouring water coming out of the ceiling first in the bathroom area, but it was extreme, and then it started in the dressing area also, this lasted over a half hour…all of my makeup and a pair of my Lucchese boots were ruined.

Inaccurate descriptions of amenities

Some hotels are notorious for creating a false impression of their facilities to attract clients. Such hotels misrepresent room features and the quality of customer experience in their marketing photos and descriptions, resulting in customers being disappointed when they book their hotel stay.

In a Holiday Inn Express Hotels review, the customer narrated their bad hotel experience and recommended that the hotel ensure that the advertised amenities are functional at booking:

First dissapointment we were notified at check in that the pool and spa were closed for renovation…3rd disappointed moment is when we were told parking was being charged at 10 dollars per day. All this should have been disclosed at booking. 

Microtel Inn Hotel reviews

Bugs and insects

Several hotel reviews indicate that some customers encounter bugs and insects in their rooms. Bedbugs are a particularly notorious issue and often cause guests itchy bites and, in some cases, may cause severe allergic reactions. 

There have also been reported cases of flies, ants, and cockroaches, which may contaminate food or be psychologically unsettling, causing guests to have a bad hotel experience. 

One of the Microtel Inn Hotel reviews evidenced the issues of bedbugs and how they made it difficult for customers to have a restful night.

Stayed 3 nights while getting covered in biting bugs, larvae, hanging off base board behind bed Hotel room has a infestation from Bed Bugs and excrements exoskeleton, larva, living and crawling bed bugs in all stages.

The Motel 6 reviewer had the same experience with insects while staying there. The room was "infested with termites" that "were crawling out of the bed and walls." When asked for a refund, the motel staff refused, which led the customer to "strongly advise against staying at this motel due to the termite issue and the management's lack of accountability."


Another prevalent hotel issue that compromises customer experience is noise. In most cases, it is caused by other guests and may include loud conversations, slamming doors, or footsteps in hallways. 

Conversely, the noise may be caused by hotel operations such as housekeeping activities and maintenance work. Either way, noise disrupts customers' hotel stays as it makes it difficult for them to relax or sleep. 

One Travelodge Hotels Limited review evidenced this common hotel issue: 

There was constant banging or knocking on doors in the 2nd floor, all night right up to around 6.45am…

It is worth noting that Travelodge Hotels Limited resolved this  hotel complaint and issued the customer with a 50% refund.

Holiday Inn Express Hotels review inaccurate descriptions of amenities

Indifferent and rude staff behavior

Poor customer service characterized by indifferent and rude staff behavior is another common hotel complaint. It is frustrating when customers reach out for assistance when they experience hotel issues, only to meet rude and indifferent staff.

For example, in a Quality Inn review, the customer complained that the hotel manager was disrespectful when they reached out to complain about getting bitten by bedbugs at the hotel:

Never in my life have I been so disrespected by a manager…I had 15 bed bug bites all over my arm. She (her name was Rena) never called me back!

How to Avoid Issues With a Hotel Stay 

Although you cannot guarantee a great hotel stay, you can be proactive in looking out for red flags. Below are tips to avoid bad hotel experiences.

  • Read online reviews. Before booking your stay at a given hotel, read customer reviews for insights on the common issues visitors experience at the property. 
  • Confirm hotel information when booking. Don't just book on the website; call the hotel's customer support to confirm details about price, hotel room features, and available amenities.
  • Request to inspect the hotel room before checking in. Check the room for cleanliness, functionality of appliances, and whether the amenities match what is advertised.
  • Reach out to the management if you encounter hotel problems. Communicate your issues clearly and courteously to enable prompt and efficient resolution.

What has your experience been with hotel stays? You can write a review and share your consumer insights with fellow travelers to help them make informed decisions when planning their next trips.


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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