The Grumpy Guest: 4 Common Guest Complaints and Easy Fixes For Hoteliers

The Grumpy Guest: 4 Common Guest Complaints and Easy Fixes For Hoteliers

When a guest settles into a hotel, odds are they’re expecting a seamless stay. As such, hoteliers have to work tirelessly to tie up every loose end before and during a guest’s visit to ward off any hint of a sour experience. 

With so many moving parts in a hotel, some things are just bound to go wrong. The trick is how to handle guest complaints when they occur. Transforming the frown of an angry or upset guest into a smile can be a challenge that takes not only tact but proper strategy. 

The good news is, many complaints are manageable and when handled properly, they have the potential to simply fizzle out like they never happened. Read on for some of the most common guest complaints and how best to smooth them over.


Hotels are always racing to keep up with technology that continues to quicken its pace. Ten years ago, visiting a hotel with an internet connection may have been a small luxury, but in today’s travels, WIFI is an expectation. Perhaps worse than not having WIFI at all is when a hotel promises WIFI and the service does not work.

Nearly every guest will bring a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or another device to use when looking up local attractions, answering emails, making calls, and more. If visitors are continuously bothered by poor or zero connectivity, consider raising their spirits by offering them a complementary mobile hotspot for the remainder of their stay. And remember, investing in a trustworthy, fast internet service could be the answer to a significant portion of your complaints.

The Grumpy Guest: 4 Common Guest Complaints and Easy Fixes For Hoteliers


Rest is fundamental to any business trip or vacation. If a guest cannot rest due to excessive noise outside their room, it’s a bad review waiting to happen. While you can’t tell the entire street to quiet down or soundproof every wall, there are a few things staff can do to quell rackety disturbances. 

An easy answer could be to move the guest to a room farther away from the source of the noise. But to minimize room changes and to avoid having your guest pack their belongings, a better idea for a hotelier would be to install sound-masking technology in especially noisy rooms and have a few portable ‘white noise’ machines on hand to provide to guests seeking sound relief.

The Grumpy Guest: 4 Common Guest Complaints and Easy Fixes For Hoteliers

 Key Card

“My keycard doesn’t work… again” is a phrase to which hoteliers have become overly accustomed. When you issue a guest a plastic card, you’re giving them yet another item to keep track of amid their daytime journeys, when their focus should be on business or excursions. Moreover, strips on the cards demagnetize quickly, and a guest locked outside their room that has to trudge back down to the front desk may be exceedingly displeased.

 Instead of opting for a needless plastic card, consider OpenKey for a modern touch to both check-in and room entry. With OpenKey, guests can quickly download an application to their smartphone and can either choose to check in at the hotel’s front desk or head straight to their room when it’s ready. When they arrive at their door, a tap on their phone unlocks their room, and viola—rest and relaxation await.

 Smartphones have become hubs for boarding passes, payment systems, calendars, business meetings, and much more. With the vast capabilities of a smartphone, it makes perfect sense to free your guest from front desk lines and plastic cards that are easily demagnetized and lost. 


Everyone has a different internal setting—some like to crank up the heat while others prefer their surroundings chillier than an ice bath. Temperature preference alone is a crucial part of the guest experience—especially due to the fact that temperature plays a fundamental role in whether or not your guest can fall or stay asleep.

Sometimes, a room’s thermostat and temperature settings can seem confusing, especially to someone unfamiliar with the controls. In this case, a staff member should visit the room to manually adjust the settings to the guest’s preferred temperature.

 If a guest is still having issues with their temperature controls and a hotelier wants to go above and beyond, have a portable AC or heating unit brought to the guest for the remainder of their stay.


Successfully resolving guest complaints is never easy.  Moving a guest from room to room is rarely the answer or best path to a good stay review.  Instead, try some of the methods above to satisfy guests dealing with minor issues and convey the sense of hospitality that travellers are seeking.  When it comes to issue resolution for the hotel guest, a little effort will go a long way towards bringing them back on a future stay.

by Morgan Sliff

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