What To Do If A Hotel Room Is Dirty?

Choosing where to stay on vacation can take a lot of time and effort. 

Once you book a hotel, you want to believe you’ve chosen the best place possible. 

But what happens when you arrive after a long day of travel and open the door to discover your hotel room is filthy? 

If your hotel room is dirty, the first thing I recommend is taking a deep breath. You’re going to be frustrated, which will not help the situation. The next step is returning to the front desk and reporting the issue immediately.

Hotels are usually quick to resolve guest complaints, especially in situations like this. 

Just tell the front desk staff exactly what the problem is, and if you keep your cool, they’re likely to offer you some kind of compensation or upgrade. 

If the hotel is fully booked and they can’t move you or offer you an upgrade, you may have to be patient while your room is cleaned. 

It’s inconvenient for sure, but the hotel will likely make you as comfortable as possible while you wait. 

How Do I Report an Unclean Room?

When you pay for a hotel room, expecting it to be clean is reasonable. 

Sometimes things get overlooked, so if your room isn’t tidy enough for you, go to the front desk and request that housekeeping return to the room. 

The front desk should take your request seriously and have the situation resolved immediately.

However, sometimes the front desk can’t help, and you’ll have to speak to the manager.

The hotel manager should be able to resolve the issue, either by sending housekeeping staff right away or by moving you to a different – hopefully cleaner – room. 

Some managers even offer additional perks to apologize for the inconvenience.

If you’re still unsatisfied, you can consider reporting the situation to the hotel’s corporate headquarters through their customer relations line.

More often than not, the corporate office will reimburse you.

There is a chance the corporate office won’t just take your word for it, though, and they may expect evidence of the mess.

To strengthen your case, take pictures or video of the dirty room, and document all your communications with hotel staff. 

Note down the time, date, and topic of the conversation you had with each staff member.  

Finally, if all else fails, you can post honest reviews online or report the hotel to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Be clear and accurate when sending your report or posting online reviews – some people won’t take a poorly written complaint seriously.

When Can You Complain to the Hotel Manager?

There are some situations where complaining to the hotel manager is completely justified. One is a dirty room, but there are other situations where it’s also appropriate.

Hotels are committed to customer satisfaction, and sometimes things don’t meet guest expectations. 

They can’t fix problems if they don’t know what they are, so here are a couple of issues to bring to their attention.

A Lot of Noise in the Room

You are well within your right to complain if there’s a lot of noise in your room, especially if it’s coming from mechanical malfunctions, abnormally noisy guests, or other sources within their control. 

If they can resolve the issue quickly, they will, but it might mean they send a maintenance person into your space, and it might take some time to pinpoint the problem.

In this situation, it’s probably best to leave the room and do something else while the maintenance staff does their work.

When the noise issue is other guests, you can inform the management, but this is harder for hotel staff to control. 

Loud parties are likely not permitted, but it depends on the hotel’s willingness to enforce the rules.

Also, keep in mind that not all hotels are soundproof, and there can be normal amounts of hallway or outside noise beyond the hotel’s control. You can complain about this, but likely there’s nothing to be done.

I recommend reading reviews to see if other guests mention noise and always bring earplugs if you’re sensitive to sound.

The Room is Too Hot or Too Cold

It’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself when your room is too cold or too hot.

If, for some reason, you can’t adjust the temperature to your liking, politely ask the front desk to send someone to fix it.

Depending on their system, it might be a matter of flipping the right switch or pushing the right button.

If the issue can’t be fixed, ask the hotel for extra blankets if it’s too cold or a fan if it’s too hot. They should be able to accommodate your request.

If it’s unbearable, and all the rooms are equally uncomfortable for you, you may have to consider switching to a different hotel.


No one likes starting their vacation on a sour note, and a dirty hotel room is sure to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Fortunately, you can turn the situation around.

First and foremost, take the issue to the front desk. They will most likely resolve the problem by sending housekeeping back to the room or by moving you to a different one. 

If the front desk can’t (or won’t) help you, talk to the hotel manager. More often than not, the manager will take care of things.

Before you book any hotel, make sure to read online reviews to confirm whether the property is right for you.