The Most Bizarre Requests Hotels Have Received From Guests

To anyone who has worked in a service role, it will probably come as no surprise that hotel employees get their share of strange, rude, and downright weird requests. While most folks are happy with calling down for some extra towels or the occasional breakfast in bed, there's always someone looking to order off-menu items — and we mean really off-menu. To find out just how wild they can get, we took a deep dive into hospitality workers' hangouts on Reddit and checked out a handful of other wild tales lurking online.

Hotel hospitality professionals have seen everything from entitled guests who want the Burger King treatment everywhere they go to odd tales that seem ripped from a "Fargo" storyline. And a few will even pull at your heartstrings. Some unusual requests are actually far more common than others — like those of an illegal nature that involve the local black market scene. If they've been in the business for long, most hotel industry pros will have a few special request stories that amuse, horrify, or simply defy logic. Hang up that "do not disturb" sign as we take a look at the most bizarre guest requests that will leave front desk workers wondering if it's time for a pay raise.

A fraudulent harpist

It might sound like something out of a Melissa McCarthy comedy, but one hotel employee said they were asked to stand in as a harpist to keep a pair of soon-to-be newlyweds from going into full-blown panic mode. Responding to "Hotel staff of Reddit: Whats the strangest request you've had from a guest?" one user said they had spent several years working for various luxury hotels, noting that there's not much that's off the table if you're willing to pay. As the poster put it, "LPT: we will do anything you ask because we want you to have a good time and we like tips."

Among their list of examples of wild hotel requests, the user recounted how a wedding planner had asked them to pose as a harp player tuning up their instrument to stall for time as the real player rushed to the venue. "The player was late, but we had the harp," they wrote. "The planner tipped me to sit in the coat room out of sight and strum the harp, so she could tell the couple the player was warming up."

Video game lessons

While it often seems like the younger generations can pick up any new video game and become instantly good at it, some folks need a little help. And who could be better qualified for teaching video game lessons than an audiovisual expert? Responding to the "Hotel Staff of Reddit" question, one hotel audiovisual team member said that's precisely what they were asked to do.

According to the responder, the request was made by a hotel guest conducting a corporate retreat that included a special game night for their company's highest-performing sales professionals. The company had gone all out — casino games, a pool hall, and even an arcade. Attendants could also participate in "Wii Sports Bowling" or play "Rock Band" on large screens. Since many of the guests were 30-somethings to middle-aged folks who might need a little help catching on, the CEO paid the AV guy to teach the guests how to play "Rock Band" — and it was pretty lucrative. As the Redditor wrote, "the CEO slipped me $100 bucks and then periodically through the night as they were having fun and drinking he handed me 4 more $50s." What a rock star!

A last milk

It might be hard to imagine an odd drink request would leave a hotel employee melancholy and contemplating life's fleeting nature. But that happened to one Redditor who wrote, "I had a gentleman ask for two gallons of strawberry milk. He was pretty cool so I made it happen." If it seems like a lot of milk for just one man, it would be the last beverage the guest would enjoy. As the poster continued, "He died the next morning ... Not the first time dealing with death, and not the last, but it struck pretty deep."

The Godfather treatment

Remember that scene in "The Godfather" when Luca Brasi sends a message to a Hollywood producer by killing his prize horse and leaving its bloody head in his bed? One hotel guest seems to have felt recreating this would be a fantastic icebreaker for their conference guests, and they weren't hesitant to enlist the hotel staff in the prank. According to a Reddit user, "A meeting planner once came in with a skid of plush horse heads, and asked us to put one in the bed of every senior manager attending the conference." No word on how well the prank went over.


Exorcisms and supernatural warding seem to be a recurring theme among hotel guest requests. A Reddit user shared that among the many strange requests they'd had during their six years in hospitality, the one that takes the cake came from a televangelist who was convinced his room was demon-possessed. The minister was staying in a $ 15,000-per-night suite when, according to the poster, "He and his entourage, mere minutes after checking in, called down to complain about the strange banging noises that they could hear coming from the roof," adding, "The guest was convinced that the suite was haunted (frankly, a lot of the staff would agree with him on that point), and that the source of the haunting was the Arabic script inlaid in the tilework in the billiard room attached to the suite. It was, of course, 'of the Devil.'"

Another user wrote of a woman who had checked in to escape spirits, "terrified her dead ancestors were haunting her." In this case, the Latter-day Saint employee was happy to help. "Since I'm a technically a Priest, she asked me to bless her room for her before she slept in it. Was kinda interesting."

Extreme makeover: Hotel room edition

Most guests would prefer hotel employees not to rearrange their belongings. But whether it was just an odd celeb prank, a quirk of having more money than sense, or just boredom from constant travel, one anonymous Reddit user wrote that a "famous celebrity" asked for their room to be effectively scrambled every time they left. According to the Redditor, the celeb requested "that whenever he leaves we had to rearrange everything, move the bed, TV, all of it. Even his processions and clothes. He liked the challenge of finding where things were. Like new again."

A puppy mill broker

Of all the ethically and legally questionable things that hotel guests have asked employees to do, one of the most shocking was the pure gall of an individual who tried to enlist a staff member's help in a puppy breeding scheme. According to the user, "I work at a 3 star hotel in central Texas. We're not exactly the Ritz, but we're a respectable establishment." One Christmas Eve, a guest requested the employee obtain a "grand champion pug, with a male and female puppy" for the purpose of breeding, even offering a price to open negotiations. "I literally was floored by the request," they wrote. "TL;DR: Xmas Eve jerk asked me to be his puppy broker."

Buckets of fish

Whether it's true or just wild hotel worker lore, one food runner claimed to have delivered a bucket of fish to a famous rocker's room for a pretty adorable reason. The Redditor wrote that Alice Cooper — or someone from his room — had contacted the concierge to order "buckets of fish" for the penguins he apparently had in tow. "No joke," the runner wrote, adding, "they actually found some at 3am." Sadly, the runner noted that they didn't meet said penguins. "I only got to clean the dirty dishes up from the hallway," the user continued, "before the other guests started to smell it."

Unlucky number avoidance

Another guest request to file under "surprisingly common but nonetheless odd" comes from those with numerical superstitions. Recounting one such experience to the "Hotel Staff of Reddit" thread, a user wrote, "After I gave him his room number (room 2407) and key, I had a 'numerologist' tell me he wanted a different room because the room number digits added up to 13. I thought he was kidding, but I didn't laugh thankfully, because it turned out he was serious."

A similar tale could be found on r/TalesFromTheFrontDesk courtesy of another Redditor, who recalled getting lengthy guest comments via email from one guest before check-in that could rival an SAT question. In addition to the pretty standard requests for a high floor and early check-in, the guest had specified, "Because of Guest's beliefs, she requests a room number, when you sum the digits, the total minus 5 = 1 or 2," followed by a rambling explanation of the formula the front desk was meant to use.

Many taxidermy-related requests

According to Reddit, one oddball request that should probably be on every hotel worker's BINGO card is "taxidermy." While some folks are content with typical souvenirs like seashells or fridge magnets, one Redditor recalled when their roommate was asked to do literal shark taxidermy for some five-star resort guests. They recounted, "A grandma and her grandchild found a shark washed up on the beach and wanted the number of a local taxidermist so they could preserve their lovely souvenir." In the same subReddit, another user wrote, "Had someone call and ask if they could perform taxidermy in their room," adding, "Love my job."

And then there are those eccentric folks that bring their taxidermy on the road. After receiving a phone call from a fortysomething guest searching for a beloved "stuffed" husky she had left behind, a Reddit user assumed she was looking for a plushy. Imagine their surprise when security explained that the husky in question was actually taxidermied.

Bed for a gun

In a nation where plenty of folks wouldn't dream of leaving home without their trusty sidearm, it's hardly surprising that gun-related requests are common enough at hotel front desks. But one hotel guest wanted a spare bed for his gun. Sharing their experience on "Hotel Staff of Reddit," a now-deleted Reddit account wrote, "SO is a bellman at the casino/hotel we work at, oddest request he's gotten is if the room provided a seperate bed for the guest's rifle. First off, you can't bring that thing in our casino, otherwise yes there was a second bed."

Chrome dome camouflage services

No matter how awkward the tale, it's hard not to empathize with the hotel guest who needed help covering up what was likely a source of insecurity. Answering the Reddit question, "What's the most absurd request you've received from a guest?" a user stated, "A guy once asked me to paint his bald spot with spray paint because he couldn't see properly." And unlike that guest's hair, the plot thickens. When asked if they had delivered on his request, the hotel worker responded, "He insisted so much that I didn't had a choice. Not my proudest moment. I made sure to do a poor job."

All kinds of images in the room

Yet another example of internet culture bleeding over into the real world, it's become something of an IRL meme for hotel guests. It seems to have begun as a few odd requests for Nicolas Cage photos. A Redditor was among those making the request, writing, "Booked our hotel room while drunk and asked for a picture of Nicolas Cage on the nightstand." They even added a link to a photo of the framed Nick Cage pic the request yielded. Over the next few years, the trend spread wildly, with hotel employees recounting requests for photos of Scott Baio, Bea Arthur, a Disney princess, Jeff Goldblum, Marky Mark, and even a duck.

Elevator body double

In a Reddit post titled "A comprehensible list of oddities, unreasonable demands and weird requests from our beloved guests," a Redditor recalled their most noteworthy front desk guest requests, including one that revolved around a fear of elevators. The user wrote, "A rather strong looking, burly man who said they were deathly afraid of elevators, asked someone from the front desk to accompany them whenever they had to take an elevator to get up to or come down from their room." And it was a request they were happy to help with, they noted, adding, "He was a pretty good guest. No complaints from him at all. He stayed almost a month with us."

DUI support services

It's not uncommon for front desk employees to get requests that involve varying degrees of lawbreaking, from drug and escort procurement to sober checks for a vehicle's breathalyzer. But one guest took things even further. According to the author of "A Comprehensible List of Oddities," they once received such a call to the front desk while conducting an audit. As the poster recounted, the guest was "caught in a checkpoint for driving under the influence and was demanding I go out to get their car and drive them back to the hotel."

Tea with Paddington Bear for Grandpa

In 2022, United Kingdom Travelodge released a list of strange requests they had received from guests. Speaking with London World, a spokesperson for the chain proudly explained, "Where possible, our hotel teams will go above and beyond to help customers as they relish a good challenge." And some requests are genuinely wholesome. According to the same article, a guest in London Central Waterloo Travelodge requested, "Can you arrange a surprise garden afternoon tea for my grandfather with Paddington Bear?" After seeing the late Queen Elizabeth's tea with the famed ursine, who can blame them? 

Wildlife control services

Among the more absurd front desk requests hotel employees get hit with are the ones that come from guests who don't seem to understand some pretty fundamental facts about nature — like the fact that deskies can't force wild animals to stop doing animal things. As a Quora user shared, "I worked at a hotel built on pilings over a bay, so the hotel had amazing views. One time a guest called and said the sea lions and the waves were too loud for her nap and asked me to make the sea lions (in their natural habitat) be quiet until after her nap."

Writing on r/TalesFromTheFrontDesk, a Redditor discussed their job at a small island hotel where protected wildlife on the grounds include "birds, bees, pigeons, feral cats" as well as "monkeys, coaties and geckos and Iguanas" — all of which are mentioned on the website. But this didn't stop one guest from having a full-blown meltdown, demanding that employees "remove all animals from the premises" because she was "allergic to any and all animals." When the employee could not comply for probably obvious reasons, they wrote, "Y'all, she wanted to call the police because she said I was threatening her life by not removing the animals and stealing her money."

Color Correction

In a Reader's Digest article about bizarre hotel guest requests, a hotel employee in Queensland, New Zealand, told a tale about a guest who claimed to have an even wilder allergy. They recalled, "We had a lady come to stay that was allergic to the color purple." According to them, "She emailed prior to her arrival asking that any room amenities, furniture, or fixtures in her room and around the hotel were removed from her sight so she would not feel ill upon seeing them."

While weird, it might not seem like a tough request for most hotels; however, they said their hotel was fairly purple-drenched at the time: "All of our amenities at the time were lavender scented, we had purple colored books in our library, shades of purple on wine bottle labels, and paintings in our art gallery as well as flowers throughout the hotel." A consummate professional, they concluded that they complied with "no questions asked."

A glitter bomb to make housekeeping's day

In a Reddit post asking the worst thing hotel employees had discovered in a room, a former housekeeping employee recalled, "Drag queens on their way to a convention stayed over night.. When I opened door to clean there was glitter everywhere." Despite the hotel's 22-minute limit for maid cleaning times, the former employee shared, "That room took about three times as long." Unexpected glitter bombs will quickly land any hotel guest on housekeeping's bad side.

But one hotel employee embraced a glitter request. Responding to the question "Hotel workers. What is the weirdest thing someone has asked for in their room?" a Redditor wrote, "Probably the weirdest request was for the housekeeping staff to cover one of the rooms in glitter, and I do mean COVER. The middle-aged man who requested it brought his own glitter to us several hours before checking in, and it was a whole bucket of glitter." And despite the cleanup, they seemed to think it was worth the hassle. As the poster shared, "My boss was out of town so we actually did it, which did turn out to be incredibly fun."

A suspicious staple gun

It probably shouldn't require much explanation, but hotel employees tend to look suspiciously at people who ask to borrow things like home improvement tools to use in their hotel rooms. A Reddit user wrote about one such experience they had while working at a small hotel with an even smaller staff as a young adult. The poster shared, "I had a lady ask for a staple gun so she could staple the curtains closed in her room. She obviously did not get a staple gun." Stapling your curtains closed sounds like a prime way to get kicked out of a hotel.