What would you do?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  SwissExPat 8 Sep 2017
at 16:18

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  • TominScotland

    I’ve been having this debate with some travelling colleagues/ acquaintances.

    You’re staying in a hotel and, for one reason or other, you leave a rather unpleasant mess in the toilet/ bathroom (I probably don’t need to elaborate). What do you do?

    a) Clean it up yourself to the best of your ability with whatever is available in the room

    b) Leave it as is – it is the job of housekeeping to clean up

    c) Leave it as is but write a note apologising to housekeeping

    d) Call housekeeping to borrow cleaning equipment to clean it up yourself

    e) Do something else

    I know what I would do but wondered what your thoughts were about this. I should say that this is, thankfully, an imaginary scenario for me.


    Well thankfully this has only happened once to me.

    Many years ago I worked the SIN-SYD night flight arriving into SYD tired and jetlagged. When we arrived at the crew hotel our rooms were not yet ready so as a goodwill gesture the hotel invited us to the buffet breakfast. I perhaps over indulged on food (and a few glasses of the sparkling wine available on the buffet didn’t help) and shortly after our rooms were ready. I remember getting to my room, and exhausted heading straight to bed. Bad move. I was exhausted and couldn’t fight the tiredness yet my digestive system was saying nooooo let your food digest first. The digestive system won. All of a sudden I could feel my head spinning and all the food and drink coming up. I made a mad dash for the toilet and although I made it, it was like a scene from the exorcist. Vomit went absolutely EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. Up the wall, on the bathtub on the towels. I always feel quite emotional when I vomit (no idea why) and as childish as it sounds I couldn’t think how I would clean it up. The towels had sick all over them, I still felt exhausted and jetlagged. So I called ‘Guest Services’ and was very apologetic and explained I wasn’t well and made a terrible mess in the bathroom. The lady on the phone was lovely and said something along the lines of ‘don’t be sorry! That’s what we are here for’. She said she would get someone from Housekeeping to come. A housekeeper did arrive looking very solemn I apologised straight away and before she even entered the bathroom tipped her generously. That seemed to do the trick and she couldn’t have been nicer.


    a – first
    d – second
    e – third (never return)


    Definitely (a).

    Unfortunately I’ve been there more than once and did (a).


    Unfortunately it’s happened to me twice.
    A or D.

    The first was on my way to a trade show in Deauville. On the way from Paris in the rented car we stopped for lunch and I had a very runny omelette, something of which I am now very wary. Let’s just say that it resulted in me throwing up in the bed and over the carpet.

    The second was when I had a paella somewhere near Malaga and the shellfish (which I now never eat) must have been off.

    In both cases I cleaned up as best I could and then called housekeeping and explained that I’d done my best to clear up.

    And then, there’s this :


    A or D, and have also been there a few times thanks to local bugs/booze. How some hotels deal with it can be different. I had 2 “housekeeping issues” that spring to mind. First was in a Hotel in Taipei and when i came back to my room there was a neatly folded floor towel in a bag with a note on it saying towel is soiled with feces and I must pay for it. I checked it, yes, I sniffed it and it was mud of my shoes. I remember the night before I had gone out for a smoke stood on the grass and when finished gone straight to the loo with my shoes on, this was a floor towel. Resolved it by hand washing it and taking it to reception and having a right moan at them!
    2nd was in the Hyatt, also in Taipei. Was there with she who must be obeyed and had an incident of a certain cycle ladies have happening out of cycle. Mattress stained…. well I sheepishly went down to the concierge expecting a huge cleaning bill. However, the concierge (a woman) said no problem at all, these things happen and they would replace the mattress and does the wife need anything. Perfect response.


    Mostly A, but once was do bad C with a very large tip.


    Had a similar in J toilet on BA. A women left the toilet and I was next in line however found it a “bl***y mess” Told a (female) member of cabin crew who apologetically obliged by cleaning it up.



    And if not entirely successful write a note and leave a healthy tip next to it.


    (a), then leave a tip.. then run (if poss.)

    A couple of years ago on a BKK-LHR flight via DOH with an overnight stopover, we were staying in one of the nicer hotels & rooms in Doha and unfortunately ate something that didn’t agree with me in Bangkok a day or two prior to the BKK-DOH leg and was rather constipated thereafter. Fast-forwards to the middle of the night in the Doha hotel and I woke up feeling rather… ummm.. ‘moist’. A rather upset stomach and a deposit in the bed. Horrified, I tried to clean it up to the best of my ability but was soaked through to the mattress protector. We checked out quite early the next day but left a super apologetic note for housekeeping and 50 Euro. The shame at the time!


    Interesting topic Tom. Luckily this has never happened to me. Not that I’ve not had a food poisoning but luckily I’ve always made it to a bathroom in time.

    However, recently, driving back from Holland to Switzerland, and stopping at a supermarket in a small German town, I was taken short. Bursting I asked for the bathroom and was taken into the back into what was presumably a staff toilet. As I was relieving myself (and probably raising the level of the nearby Rhine) I noticed that a prior user must have had a very bad aim as the floor was covered in urine.

    Now what to do? I was very embarrassed. My German was not good enough to explain, and anyway I probably wouldn’t have been believed – so out I went with a quick “Danke” into the car and off we went. A bit cowardly perhaps but it wasn’t me and I didn’t feel like cleaning up after someone else. Mind you it would have needed a full mop and water the floor was so wet.


    I’d definitely do my best to clean up… and ask for extra cleaning material etc if needed.

    Under no circumstances just leave it as is as long as I am physically able to do the work myself.

    I’d accept that a large payment for someone else to do it would be appropriate if circmmstances required it…. i.e you needed to leave immediately etc

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