Travel Etiquette: Hotel

By SuitcaseTravelBlog | Sep 17, 2023

When it comes to a comfortable and enjoyable stay at a hotel, it's not just about the amenities and services provided by the hotel. Understanding and following proper hotel etiquette is equally important to have a pleasant experience for both you and other guests: from check-in to check-out, friendliness, tact, and respect.
Different countries have their own codes of conduct, and the service provided may vary, but there are certain rules that everyone needs to know.

Therefore, let's explore the importance of knowing the rules of hotel etiquette and how they contribute to a pleasant and memorable experience.

Be friendly

The first and most important rule is to be polite and friendly. Always greet and talk with hotel staff politely and respectfully. Wish them a good day and don't forget to say, "thank you" and "please". And of course, always smile.

Thank the receptionist for their time and any answers to your questions, because this is the person who will assist you in solving your problems such as directing you to your destination, calling a taxi, or getting you out of other difficult situations.

“Hi”, “Salute”, and similar phrases are impolite and undesirable. Every hotel is a public place where the formal communication style should be respected.

When meeting staff or other guests in the hotel hallway, it is recommended to greet them in a friendly manner even if you do not know these people.

When entering the elevator, pay attention to the following rules of etiquette: young people should let women enter the elevators first. However, if there is an older person, it is necessary for everyone to show respect and allow them to go first.

Excessive emotions

Avoid expressing excessive emotions, even If something is upsetting you or you are unsatisfied with the service or design. It's best to keep your negative feelings to yourself. It is also best to control your intense adoration and excitement.

Check-in and check-out times

Be sure to respect the hotel's check-in and check-out times and don't arrive at the hotel too early or leave too late. This helps to ensure the hotel can be clean and prepare rooms for the next guests.

Let the hotel administration know in advance if you plan to check in late; otherwise, they have the right to cancel your reservation.

Change your room before you unpack your suitcase

If you are not satisfied with the room or the view from the window, ask to change your room before unpacking your suitcases. The most likely hotel will try to help you out. In this case, no one will have to wait until you put all your things back in your suitcase.

Room cleanliness and Hotel facilities

Be mindful of keeping your hotel room in a clean and tidy condition. This includes keeping your personal belongings organized, not leaving items lying around, and using the garbage bin provided.

Use the room amenities respectfully and with care. This includes complimentary toiletries, towels, and electrical outlets. Don't waste it.

Return the room to the condition you found it when you leave.

Use the hotel facilities responsibly and with care, including the fitness center, swimming pool, and sauna.

Respect other guests' privacy and be prepared to share equipment and space.

Do Not Disturb

If you want to be alone in a room, leave a "Do not disturb" sign on the door handle so that the staff will not enter your room.

Noise and Behavior

Keep in mind that you are not the only guest at the hotel. Your comfort zone is slightly limited by the comfort zone of other guests.

Consider your neighbors by keeping noise levels to a minimum, especially in the evenings and early mornings. Keep the television volume at an appropriate level, and if you want to listen to music or any other audio, use headphones.

Try to keep quiet between 22:00 and 08:00.

Typically, hotel rooms have heavy doors. Holding the door will prevent it from slamming loudly when you enter the hallway or your room.

Do not run in the hotel's hallways.

Dress Code

Depending on the hotel, there may be a different dress code for dinner. For example, at more expensive hotels, men require pants, shirts, and closed-toed shoes, while women must wear dresses.

In hotels with a lower rank, it is acceptable to dress casually and avoid showing up in flip-flops and shorts.

You can always check the dress code with the receptionist.

Swimming trunks or swimsuits are not suited for the eating area and should not be worn inside the hotel either. Only use it in the pool. You can wear light beachwear while walking in the hallway.

Spa area. You can enter the spa area wearing just a bathrobe. However, often there are several elevators in hotels, one of which leads to the spa area, and the other to the reception, so it will not be quite very decent to ride in that elevator in your bathrobe. It's usually advisable to verify with the hotel directly because the restrictions differ from one to the other.

Do not open the door to anyone wearing only underwear or wrapped in a towel. This is inappropriate. So please, before you open the door, put on a robe or get dressed.

After the room service meal, take the portable table out of the room and leave it by the door.

Smoke in designated areas

In many countries smoking in some public places is subject to a fine and it can reach 1600 €. Some hotels have smoking rooms, while others allow smoking only in specially designated areas. The laws must be followed in any scenario.

Keep valuables in a safe

Be sure to store valuables, keys, passports, and cash in a safe or in luggage with a lock. You don't want to have any unexpected surprises.

Watch the kids

When traveling with your family, remember that your children are your responsibility. Do not pass it on to others, especially in the public areas of the hotel. Hold the children by hand at the reception and in the lobby.

Check if the hotel offers additional services and entertainment, such as babysitters, kids' activities, and playrooms to prevent the kids from getting unhappy or bored.


Tipping is customary in many countries, especially in restaurants and hotels. Research the tipping culture beforehand, and always leave an appropriate tip for excellent service.

There is an immutable rule for all hotels that should be followed:

Any service that is not part of the duty must be accompanied by a tip. Please be aware that in certain countries such as Japan and Australia, tips are not accepted at all since they are considered offensive.

Thank the receptionist for the guidance, suggestions, and assistance.

Make sure to tip appropriately if you're leaving a tip for the cleaning or room service.

You may also leave tips for the concierge staff or valet parking attendants if they provide you with good service.

You should tip the hotel staff member who helps you carry your belongings and takes you to the door.

You should give the maid tips at the end of your stay if you asked her any questions and she assisted you throughout your stay.

Many hotels provide their guests the chance to relax in saunas, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools. Visitors are welcome to leave tips as a sign of appreciation for the service.

In hotels, there are usually cafes, bars, or restaurants where you are served by waiters. Please express your gratitude with tips.

As you check out of your hotel, thank everyone for their kindness and hospitality.

Hotel Buffet

The variety of delicious food at a hotel buffet may tempt you to eat all at once, but you should still behave properly.

Be patient and take your time as you wait in line.

Divide the reception into several meals and avoid placing the meat, dessert, and fruit all on the same plate.

It's allowed to refill your plate with food several times.

Take only as much food as you can eat.

Do not leave a half-empty plate on the table. This is very disrespectful to the people who prepare food for you, plus throwing food away is very bad and rude.

Change the plate if there is any gravy, bones, or other waste left on it.

Avoid picking through your meal to get the best piece. It will look humiliating.

Don't take food from the restaurant to your room.

Hotel fines

The facility's administration is committed to the interests of the visitors. It's acceptable if the guest arrives 15 minutes behind time and leaves a bit later.

But there is a chance of a fine:

For late cancellation. Find out the deadline in advance and do not miss it.

For taking food from the buffet to the room.

For littering on the property of the hotel or room.

For the loss of the room key.

For damage to hotel property.

For additional guests.

Be responsible with hotel property and comply with the rules and regulations of the hotel.


If you have an issue with your room or service or have some feedback to give to the hotel, try to communicate politely with the staff. Remember that while you're a guest, they are working at their place of employment and should be treated with respect. Provide your feedback in a constructive manner and avoid making unreasonable demands.

Practicing proper hotel etiquette is essential for a pleasant and memorable stay. Being respectful to hotel staff and other guests are key aspect to remember. By doing this, you not only improve your personal stay but also help to generate a positive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. So, the next time you check in to a hotel, remember the importance of hotel etiquette and naturally create an outstanding experience.

Happy travels!

Accommodation Etiquette Hotels

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Written by Suitcase Travel blog
Hi! I'm Angela from Suitcase Travel blog. Travelling is one of my passions. Exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning more about cultures and traditions brings me incredible joy. I would like to share my travelling experiences: how to travel inexpensively yet comfortably, and see as much as possible on a short vacation. I sincerely hope some articles will be informative for the traveler, or even just entertainment for the curious. Thank you!

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