How to complain about a hotel the RIGHT way?

Have you been victim of a bad hotel or motel experience? Has hotel staff stolen or broken items? Was your room dirty or did it not meet your expectations? In that case you should file a complaint. If not for yourself, then for the hotel to improve itself.

Filing a complaint can be difficult sometimes. If you don’t know where to start with your complaint, this article can help. Hotels can be hard to deal with and sometimes neglect their customers leaving you in the tricky spot of seeking justice.

After you read this article, you will understand if you should file a complaint, how to get the process started, what you might expect from filing a complaint, and where to go next. Hopefully,  you and other guests will receive better service in the future.

hotel complaint

How to write a hotel complaint?

Filing a professional and acceptable complaint is key when it comes to your complaint being taken seriously and fully processed. Remember the following advice as you are writing your complaint to the hotel:

  1. Keep it professional – Don’t let yourself get carried away with emotion. If the hotel board or the complaints processing group finds your tone to be overly aggressive or packed with anger, they might throw out your complaint and dismiss it as emotional ramblings.
  2. Document your hotel complaint – If you have the opportunity to take any photos that might help your case against the hotel, do so. The more proof you have of any damages or falsehoods put on by the hotel staff, the more likely it is that your complaint will lead to changes.
  3. Inform them – Don’t come across as the one who knows their jobs better than they do but let them know what indiscretions they committed that lead to this complaint. Let them know what happened and how they can help you.
  4. Don’t threaten – This coincides with the keep it professional advice. Using threats and adverse language can and will lead to your complaint being thrown out by the hotel. Using calm and professional language will help give credit to you and your complaint. Don’t threaten legal action unless you plan on backing that claim up as some hotels may be willing to take you into a legal battle.
  5. Contact information – Leave your number, email, address so the hotel can get in touch with you. Allowing them to respond to your claim will help settle the process smoother for you.
  6. Make sure your complaint get traction or attention. Online complaint platforms, like ours, will make sure that the hotel wants to resolve your complaint.

When should you complain about a hotel?

If you feel as though the hotel is at fault for damaging or losing your items, a dirty hotel room, or lying about accommodations then you may want to file a complaint. You are a paying visitor, compensation is most likely due.

We also suggest you submit your complaint as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file your complaint, the less likely it is to be taken seriously.

Some hotels receive several complaints weekly, even daily. So when you point out that your complaint is posted online, it is much more likely that they will do effort to resolve your issue.

Why complain about a hotel?

Filing a complaint allows you to reach out to the hotel and showcase your dissatisfaction with their provided services. This could either lead to compensation, or to broader structural changes for future customers. Filing a complaint will start the process to change and bring the hotel to a higher standard. By processing your complaint, the hotel may become aware to issues they didn’t previously know about.

When you complain about your hotel experience on a website like ours, your complaint becomes publicly available to the whole world. It can potentially help other people who are considering staying in this hotel. They can make a more informed decision before booking a room. On the other hand, hotels who actually handle complaints online show they take complaints seriously. Because let’s be realistic, every business receives complaints sometimes.

What are the possible results of hotel complaint?

Complaints can lead to many events be it structural changes, apologies, or compensation. If something was stolen or damaged of yours, the hotel might look to find the stolen item or replace the broken one. If rooms are often dirty they might train or hire extra staff so they can provide better services.

Where to file a complaint about a hotel?

Besides filing your complaint directly through the hotel’s complaint procedure, we also advise to give it some online attention. This will make sure your complaint get taken seriously. You don’t want to put your effort and time in a complaint that is being ignored.

Do you have a complaint about a hotel that hasn’t been listed below? File it here and get your complaint rolling!

Current complaint sentiment: Positive

Our sentiment meter has detected a -39% decline in Hotels / Motels complaints over the past 28 days compared to the average rate.

Updated on December 4, 2023

Hotels / Motels complaints chart

In the graph below you will find a monthly breakdown of the complaints we have received in the category Hotels / Motels over the last 12 months.


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