The lifestyles of the rich and famous is something that's always mind-blowing and jaw-dropping to outsiders. Hotel employees get the uhh..."privilege" of getting a closer look at the way some rich people live their everyday lives. Sometimes the hotel staff is met with overwhelming generosity and sometimes the staff gets a good look at how greed can make people behave like overgrown toddlers.
These 5-star hotel employees took to Reddit to reveal what the most outlandishly rich thing they've ever seen a guest do. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I interviewed at a large hotel attached to a casino and while I was being shown around the front desk, a woman walked up, said nothing, and got room keys after being greeted by the front desk agent. She immediately turned and walked away. Then the manager who was interviewing turned to me and said, 'That’s Mrs. Richladypants. You never ask her for her name, her ID, or god forbid a credit card. She stays here comped once or twice a week because her husband spends so much in the casino. If you upset her, she will yell at you and then hand the person working next to you a $100 bill just to spite you.'
I ended up turning down a job there, thankfully so because apparently she wasn’t the only guest of her type there."
"I worked in a high class restaurant in a nice hotel (for my town anyway) for a few years. We had a couple come in with their lap dog, religiously every Tuesday evening for dinner. Due to health code, they were not allowed to bring their (non-service) purse poodle into the restaurant. Their solution? Request a special table be set up in a private nook of the hotel lobby so they could dine in style with their fur child. Also, they saw the menu as more of a ‘mix and match’ situation, rather than a thought out, cohesive guide to ordering, with each component of each dish tailored to complement everything else on the plate. They chose whatever sides and sauces on the menu struck their fancy, and paired them with their chosen protein, and they often ordered two different mix and match entrees each, plus a starter - They ALWAYS ordered the cheese and cracker board, no crackers, sub gluten free bread (Double toasted. The lady sent the first round of bread back every time. We could’ve sent the first round out burnt, and she would’ve sent it back to be toasted more, or re-sent the bread she had just sent back without doing anything to it and it would be ‘just divine’ the second time around), and they subbed all 4 or 5 of the local, artisan cheeses for Brie, which wasn’t even one of the cheeses that came on the board to begin with. We started keeping a wheel on hand specifically for them. Oh, and a ‘lightly seasoned, grilled chicken’ for the dog. They were polite, and delightfully odd (plus they tipped through the nose) so once we got used to most of their quirks, we were more entertained than annoyed, and enjoyed their weekly visit."
"I worked nights at a hotel many years back - not super high class, but certainly no budget hotel either - a lady came in to reception. I say 'lady' because she definitely was - she just reeked of old money. She had a guy in tow, wearing a grey suit - as this was about midnight on a Friday, I immediately clocked him as a chauffeur/aide type deal. No problem, I've seen that before.
She asked if we had a room for the night. 'A decent one, please. A suite, ideally.' No problem, we had a suite available. I told her the price - as night manager I had the freedom to charge pretty much whatever I liked, if it meant making a sale. But for her I charged full price. She looked like she could afford it. She didn't bat an eyelid.
Then it came to her chauffeur guy. 'Do you have a servant's quarters for my driver?'
'Um, no, sorry madam. Just the standard rooms.'
I gave her the price for one of our standard rooms, and she pinched up her face. 'Oh no, that's too much. Don't you have, like, a staff house or something he could stay in? I'd really rather not spend money on an actual hotel room for him.'
All this with the guy standing right next to her. I felt really bad for the poor guy and wondered if this was usual for him.
After a few more questions and her considering whether to have him sleep in the car (yes, really), we eventually settled on him having a standard room for rock bottom price (I think about £30 or so) - that was as much as she was willing to spend on him, and less than a tenth of what she was paying for her own room. TBH, I'd have given him a room for free rather than having him sleep in the car - but clearly I had more compassion for the guy than she did."
"I worked for a resort in the Seychelles for 4 years. I have hundreds of stories, but the one that stands out was a very wealthy Canadian family who stayed at one of the private residences for a couple of weeks.
They brought their own staff including two personal chefs but also asked for a hotel chef to assist their team with prep and local ingredient knowledge. A chef I was friendly with was selected to spend the two weeks with them.
One day, another member of their staff came down to one of the restaurants and purchased two bottles of drinks for €11,000+ each. Now we had far more expensive bottles on the list but this was still a notable sale and later that night, I asked my mate what they had cooked to accompany the drinks.
Turns out they had poured both bottles into the pot while making a Coq au Vin."
"I work at a luxury property in California, and we had the co-founder of a large payment processing company stay with us a while back. He only liked to sleep on his own bed, so when he woke up that morning, he paid a team to load his bed into a truck and have it delivered to our property. We then removed the bed in his luxury suite and setup his bed that his team had brought us. He only stayed with us one night and the process was done to send the bed back home the following day. It kind of blew my mind that he went through all that trouble, just so he could always sleep on his own bed. To each their own, I guess!"
"I used to work at a ski resort that sits at the top of a steep canyon. The geography is pretty extreme and people don't want to drive through the snow, so everyone with enough money stays directly at the resort. Our rooms generally weren't over the top luxurious, but we had probably the second or third nicest hotel in the resort area and saw some rich clientele.
One time someone in sales or reservations messed up with a conference which caused the significantly larger and more 5-star luxury style place up the hill to become oversold. So naturally they bumped some of them down to our hotel.
Normally this isn't a big deal. We'd comp them enough stuff like free spa passes at the 5-star place and a meal and they'd be happy. They're coming for some random conference that sold a huge block of rooms. They probably didn't even know what hotel they were at or what type of room they were in.
As someone who works at a higher end hotel you get really, really sensitive to peoples' body languages and you can tell when people are grumpy. Normally they're just tired from a long trip or mad at their spouse or something and it has nothing to do with you, but you can see it 100 yards away.
This guy walked through the door and was broadcasting his bad attitude like there was a giant lighthouse light strapped on his head. Not only was he ticked off, but he kept making eye contact with me to let me know he was ticked off about the move and ticked off that he had to wait in line to check-in. I knew when he walked up that he was going to go off.
He gave me the typically bad attitude interrogation. What's going on? Why did this happen? Are you incompetent? Yadda yadda.
It was really unpleasant but I'm a pro. I was doing pretty good at the hospitality verbal kung fu and not giving him anything to be ticked off at me about. He started asking about the amenities of the hotel, looking for an opening.
'Do you have a pool?' Yes, sir we do. Here's your key.
'Do you have a restaurant?' Yes, sir. It's really fantastic. Here's a voucher for a meal on us. Would you like me to make you a reservation?
'Do you have a spa?' Yes. We have steam rooms, sauna, and a masseuse on contract. We also would be happy to take you to the 5-star spa at any time. Here's the number for our valet driver. What time would you prefer your appointment?
It's also worth nothing that we're like 100 yards away from the other building. We even had 24 hour valet to come pick them up and drive them around literally on call if they didn't want to walk through the snow. We have a better restaurant than the 5-star place at normal prices, a nice gym, nice pool, the whole 9 yards. This was a wipe-your-butt if you ask nice kind of hospitality environment that most people really enjoyed.
He couldn't really find anything to complain about but he was still interrogating me. Then he asked me about the ski lockers.
'Do you have ski lockers?'
Yes, sir. The ski locker is on the first floor, just across the walkway from the tram center so you can unload without having to walk up any stairs. The locker number is just your room number. Here's your combination.
'Do you have boot warmers?'
No, sir. We do not.
He'd finally found something to go off about. The dude threw his head back and let out a big, 'Oooooh.'
'You don't have boot warmers? What kind of place doesn't even have boot warmers in the locker room. You expect me to put on my skis when they're frozen cold in the morning. What am I supposed to do, put them in my room where they'll get all smelly?'
Dude proceeded to unleash on me for a good three or four minutes all the pent up rage he'd been building for the last hour or so, except his target was how ridiculous it was that we didn't have electric boot warmers in his private ski locker at the luxury hotel. I worked in high end hospitality for ten years, and probably the second worst lecture I ever received from a customer was over our lack of freaking boot warmers."
"We had a business dude rent one of our apartments for 3 weeks at this fancy hotel I worked at. Second day, we get a maintenance call, he wants us to remove to the TV. Not replace it, just remove it entirely.
As housekeeper I head up with maintenance to clean up any mess from the move and got to see it all. The guest is removing our TV - because he's gone and bought his own. Bigger. Flashier. Brand new. There was also a brand new (I cleaned up the packaging) PS4 he was hooking up to his new TV. We had no idea if this was against policy so we left it. Guy's paying for the room, he's not broken anything, so whatever.
At the end of his stay, he leaves it all behind. Maintenance dude took the TV (easier to smuggle out the service entrance for him) I took the PS4 and sold it for more traveling funds. Thanks, ridiculously rich business dude! You paid for 2 weeks of traveling!"
"I’m three years into Sous chef at a private resort in Upstate New York. Most of our guests are returning from generations before them. Wealthy. Very wealthy. We get some Congressmen, Actors getting away from the daily crap. But mostly families that are crazy rich, and four generations deep into annual visits. Insane the amount of requests. But... one that stands out as a weird experience.
A 60-something year old woman crying as loud as she can because we didn’t have the cookies she wanted. Guys, you would’ve thought she was just told someone died. Made a huge scene in the dining room. Her husband has the backbone of a jellyfish and just sat there trying to console her. ‘It’s ok honey. I’ll get you cookies. Don’t cry’. The owner went out and bought store bought cookies because we do not have time for that nonsense. We did not tell her they were store bought. She was happy by the end of the night.
Fast forward to dinner the next night. Same scene. ‘Where’s my cookies?’ We gave her the same store bought cookies. Same package. ‘These aren’t the same. The Baker used too much butter this time.’ Next night? ‘Oh these are much better’ Still the same package.
She comes every year. We all know ahead what week the ‘cookie lady’ is going to be staying with us so we can get her stupid grocery store cookies."
"I used to work in a luxury hotel. A colleague of mine got a call from an in house guest, asking for a car to take him somewhere. Naturally, he offered him what options we had, and the guest got annoyed and closed the line.
A few minutes later, the guest came down to the front desk and asked for my colleague. He then proceeded to show him a cardboard bag literally overflowing with cash, and started saying 'You dare ask me which car just because of different prices? Can't you see how much money I have? Why do I care, just get a freaking car ready.'"
"I work IT in a small tourist ski town. Old lady calls up, computer has a virus. Show up at her 'condo.' To be clear, 'condo' is 4-stories, directly on the ski slope, with a private elevator and dedicated movie theater. Computer itself is just junk though. Standard Dell crapola from 2004 or whatever. I start the virus scan and it'll take like an hour or more. Half an hour in, this little dog is yipping at me (friendly like) and the old lady picks her up, then asks how much longer. I tell her I can't really say. Scan has another 30 minutes, but if a virus shows up, it could take a lot longer to clean it up.
Old lady, Mrs. Callendar, she says 'Oh, no rush, we just wanted to know if we should tell our pilot to warm up the plane yet or not.'
Yeah, a $1000 PC, and my $95/hr virus scan are literally holding up a private freaking plane. And she's okay with that.
I took about 45 more minutes, and removed a minor virus, then reset her browser's settings to disable about 35 toolbars and fixed the issue."
"Worked abroad at a high end beach club in Greece where all our clients had to speak English as all the staff were Brits. Now this place is fairly top end, tabs at the end are often £20,000 after a week kind of place.
I worked all over but mostly in the restaurant and we had some great ones:
-asked to turn down the volume of the insects in our outdoor restaurant
-had a competition with his mate to see if he could get the biggest bar bill of the week
-bought a bottle of rosé costing £60+ just to have a glass
-their villa was 5/10min walk from the club so paid extra for a private driver for the week
-paid for an in-villa host for 3 meals a day for 2 weeks, just for when they wanted to eat in, my friend was the host and she made 5 meals in total
All I can think of at the minute, was a brilliant place to work though, and all in all the guests and staff were brilliant to work for/with, going back this summer!"
"My former boss (insanely wealthy) used to stay in presidential suites and would have any and all red removed. He was a high roller at several casinos and they made special chips just for him as a substitute to red chips. He hated the color red because when you’re losing money, you’re 'in the red.'”
"I worked at a Hilton for a little while. Made about a dime above minimum wage cleaning bathrooms, walkways, polishing brass handrails etc. I walked around with an obvious cleaning cart and was not service staff.
Once, about 2 am, this obscenely rich family barged in fighting with each other, generally being butts, while their airport shuttle driver was hauling in case after case of luggage, the poor guy. The matriarch of the family snapped me over (pushing a custodial cart), threw a $50 bill at me, and barked to have the luggage brought to their room. Then they laughed at me for bending over to pick up $50 and laid the rich attitude on thick.
I went, 'Yes ma'am, I sure will!' Then I wheeled my cart away, now $50 in the black, and took a nap in the way back of the laundry room behind the machines. Oh man, it was so warm and noisy - you could sleep off a nuclear bomb. I miss that spot.
The family wanted my head when their luggage was still in the lobby the next morning. Fortunately, I was so anonymous and unworthy of their attention they couldn't describe me, and the camera worker in security was too hungover to give a crap.
For all the crap I got away with, though, that job sucked. The worst was that the place hosted child pageants. I've never seen such a group of vicariously entitled behavior. Yuck."
"I worked at a private villa in Bali. One guest stood out. She only drinks and bathes in Evian, so one day I spent almost an hour filling a large tub from tons of Evian bottles. The same young woman complained that the path from her villa gate to her room wasn't well lit. She wore sunglasses at night."
"I operated a premium chain restaurant in Canada. One day this Indian gentleman (let's call him Mr. S) started coming in, at first by himself. On the first day he spent $200 on drinks and tipped $1000. The next day he did the same again. When we saw him the third time I had servers fighting over him.
Anyway, one evening he got wasted and Brad the busboy made the mistake complementing his watch. Mr. S takes off his watch and gives it to Brad. The next morning Mr. S comes back to get his car and asks if Brad is there. Brad assumes Mr. S wants his watch back and is removing the watch as he walks over.
Mr. S says, 'Brad I'm really sorry I got wasted last night and gave you my watch.' Brad is chuckling as he is removing the watch and says, 'It's no problem. I was just holding the watch until you returned.' The next thing Mr. S. said, I could not believe. He said, 'Brad you don't understand, I'm sorry because it was very rude of me to give you a used gift.' And at that moment Mr. S pulled out a box with a brand new Tag Heuer watch inside and handed it to Brad."