How To Report A Hotel Room That's Unclean Or Has Pests

We've all been there. After a long day of traveling, there's nothing better than checking into your hotel, dropping your bags, and decompressing after the rigors of travel. On the other side of the mint pillow, there's nothing worse than finding the promise of a relaxing stay replaced by the reality of dirty digs. You may notice after two minutes or two days, but a hotel room's cleanliness can seriously impact your enjoyment of a trip.

To begin, we should be honest about expectations. Your two-star hotel room off the interstate won't share the same standards (or price tag) as a four-star luxury resort. Also, we should try to appreciate that hotel rooms host people, so demanding an absolutely sterile environment isn't always possible. That said, you're a paid guest, not a victim of your vacation.

From knowing how to report a hotel for roaches to speaking with the front desk about refunds, here are a few tips to help you clean up the mess of a dirty hotel room. 

Work with front desk to find a resolution

A hotel's lack of cleanliness is probably the most common complaint among hotel guests. In fairness, housekeeping staff typically do a fantastic job, given some people's tendency to celebrate slovenly during vacations. They're not the ones cleaning, right? Although one housekeeper may clean 20-30 hotel rooms a day, which may lead to oversights, you're still paying to live in a livable room.

If you find your room dirty upon check-in, you may want to first take a picture or video, then simply speak to the front desk. If it's easily resolvable, the front desk will typically send someone to clean it and move you into another room. Front desk staff are trained to deal with people and typically have a lot of leeway in handling situations, so it's wise to be upfront but also polite and respectful. Along with receiving a clean room, the staff could upgrade your stay or offer a discount for the inconvenience.

After you're moved to another room, you could be met with the same (or another) issue, such as a dirty bathroom or moldy smell. If this is the case, you may want to explore other options. If your hotel has a good cancellation policy, such as canceling up until check-in or within 24 hours, then speak again to the front desk. They may simply reimburse you for your stay and assist you in making other arrangements.

Report your situation to higher ups

If you travel enough, you're bound to arrive at a disappointing hotel at some point, whether it's cleaning standards or something else. It just happens. However, if the front desk refuses to assist or compensate you in any way, then you'll need to speak with either hotel management or corporate. Corporate relations staff may be more apt to avoid bad customer reviews and resolve the issue.

If you're still not satisfied or something pretty egregious happened, then you could choose to report the hotel to the appropriate authorities. How you would report a hotel for roaches may depend on the situation. If you find one in the bathroom, you probably shouldn't contact the local health and safety inspector. If you find them crawling all over the ceiling, you maybe should. You could also contact the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission concerning hotel complaints.

Reporting incidents isn't really about punishing the hotel. If the front desk and corporate offices are unhelpful, then your credit card on file may be charged, whether you choose to stay or not. However, your documentation of the incident plus a paper trail of submitting complaints will support your case in disputing the charges when speaking with your bank or credit card company. Unfortunately, if a hotel refuses to heed your complaints — though most are quick to address concerns — then you may need to clean the mess up later.