It's important to be respectful of hotel staff when traveling and to clean up the room before checking out. This makes it easier for the staff, and it's genuinely the right thing to do. Unfortunately, these guests did not get the memo.
Hotel employees on Reddit share the worst messes they've had to clean. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was working on the reception one shift, and all of a sudden this guest comes down with his laptop, passport, and about £2000 in cash. He then asks me to put it into the hotel safe. Like, the safe in the office where the money and everything is kept. There weren't any safes in the rooms because it was a budget hotel. It wasn't that weird, but the way he did it was weird. He had this kinda off aura about him, I couldn't put my finger on why though.
All is fine and dandy until a few hours went by. I was still on the front desk when a policeman walked in the doors and tried to go up in the lift (which required a key card) so I had to swipe him up. He never said anything, I was confused and caught off guard so I didn't ask him what was going on.
Turns out, the guy who asked us to put his stuff in the safe was a pervert who turned himself into the police, while surrounded by rooms of families with kids. There were so many kids. He never did anything, kept to himself, and I'm incredibly glad that he gave himself up over anything else, but it was just bizarre.
The police took all of his stuff with them, and we didn't hear about it again. Hands down the weirdest shift I ever worked."
"One that really sticks to mind though was a couple who had checked out, and they had stripped the bed and put all the towels and sheets in a pile near the door. Sometimes, people do that to be nice and to save housekeeping a job, so I didn’t think anything of it at first, but not this couple. I started picking up the sheets to put in the laundry bag and realized they were soaking wet. I opened them up to find they were absolutely covered in blood and feces, as was the carpet where they had been lying.
I thought it was horrific but carried on cleaning and went to do the bathroom. There, I found that they had clearly tried to clean the blood and feces off the sheets with the shower...and managed to just spray it all over the bathroom. Took me hours to clean the bathroom, the sheets and towels were thrown away instead of washed, and had to get a carpet cleaning company in. I do not ever want to know what on earth they had been doing in that room.
Also, shoutout to the woman who was sick in a trash can and put it out in the hall because it smelt so bad she didn’t want it in her room, and then complained about how bad the hall smelt the next morning and left a scathing review online about it."
"It was my second summer working at this particular hotel, and an older woman was staying in one of our first floor rooms. Her car was parked directly in front of the room door and was filled with tons of her personal belongings. Her room even looked like an apartment rather than a hotel with how much personal stuff she had. At this point she had been staying there for three weeks. Every single day she wanted clean sheets, which I thought was kind of weird considering she was the only one staying in the room and I had never seen her leave.
One day I knocked on her room door and announced that I was housekeeping there to change her sheets. There was no response. I tried again, and again, and after the third time, I thought it was kind of strange. Knowing she was an older woman, I frantically entered the room in fear that maybe she had fallen. Turns out, that's not what I should have been worried about.
In a chair in the corner of the room, she was sitting, head tilted back, mouth open, eyes half-closed, and not breathing. After seeing her dead, I realized that the reason she had all of her stuff and wanted service daily was that she had come to the hotel to die. She wanted to make sure her body would be found."
"We were a small pet friends hotel in a medium-size NC town. There was a guest in town for a few months that was covering for someone at one of the local plants. This guy was traveling with his dog and generally seemed like a pretty alright guy, even if he was a recluse. This guy said we didn't need to go into his room for housekeeping since his dog wasn't the friendliest and he liked to do the cleaning himself. This isn't really an abnormal request and we never had trouble with people doing that in the past, so we were happy enough to save our girls a room on the housekeeping boards.
After two months, the guy checks out and we go into the room for the first time in that span; what we found was a smorgasbord of disgusting. Opening the door we were assailed by the overpowering stench of dog urine, okay, that happens sometimes. Taking the first step into the room our shoes are greeted with a squish and literal dog urine coming up over the top of our shoes. This was obviously worse than we thought it would be!
Exploring the room further, we found that the mattress and chair were completely soaked through with dog urine and growing literal mushrooms and mold. The wood on the tables and dressers was split and peeling, beyond any kind of salvage. The bathroom had poop stains on the floor and in the tub, but the tub also had a temporary bed of blankets and pillows set up in it. This dude was literally coming back to his room every day and sleeping in that mess, the only thing he bothered to clean up was the dogs poop (mostly). This was for TWO MONTHS.
We had to completely strip the room and rehab it because it was so bad. This also prompted us to create a policy where we had to enter every room at least once a week, with no exceptions.
It amazes me that the guy slept in there and supposedly went to work each day. I don't know how he managed to hold down a job if he lived like that."
"Three agents were on shift this night, and the evening was going like any other. However, this night we get an alert from our fireboard panel that a smoke detector was going off in one of the rooms. An agent called up to the room to see if everything was ok. No one answered the phone. With the alarm blaring it was odd that someone could just sleep through it. After a few more failed attempts to reach the guest, myself and another agent headed up to the room.
When the elevator opened onto the floor you could hear the alarm still going off in the room.
My co-worker knocked, knocked again, with no response he said, 'Hello, I am coming in.'
I'm leaning against the wall so I can't see in.
He creeks open the door slowly, then shuts it abruptly, turns to me, and says 'There's a dead man in there.'
Thinking he must be joking I open up the door myself quickly and there on the carpet floor is an older man lying with no clothes, lifeless. The next thing to catch my attention is that there is so much thick steam hovering over the room coming from the shower. I run into the bathroom, reach my arm into the shower and turn off the steaming hot water. I turn around and see needles filled with a brown substance lying all over the bathroom counter, towels with blood on them and a massive, and I mean massive adult toy. My coworker during this time had gone to check on the man and call 911. I walk back into the main part of the room and see my coworker on the phone with 911, the man lying there. Outside I met the paramedics, explained the situation, and lead them up to the room. Once back in the room the man showed signs of life, they carried him out on the stretcher.
After we looked up his guest profile and I noticed he was a frequent guest and always requested a walk-in shower. We pieced things together and assumed he liked to come to the hotel to shoot up crack, take a really hot shower and shove massive adult toys up his butt."
"When I was just out of high school, I worked as a housekeeper at a decently upscale hotel.
The main policy regarding cleaning rooms was unless it was illegal activity, just clean around it. Okay, fair. I had seen weed paraphernalia in hotel rooms and chosen to just ignore it. Loaded weapons lying around in their lock cases during a loaded weapons convention, fair enough.
But, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw on a night room turn down. Basically, you lightly freshen up the room, make the bed prepared to be used for the night and drop chocolate on the pillow. When I moved the sheet down to make the tuck for turn down, there were dirty child pictures. I immediately spoke to the night manager who contacted the police.
I was allowed to anonymously make a report because the man was already on probation. He wasn’t allowed to even be staying at the hotel. He was from the area and utilized hotels to meet other perverts like him. Because it was probation they could be more flexible with warrants and such.
Still bothers me now."
"Worked front desk at a cheap Knight's Inn in Massachusetts years ago. We had a few people that we rented rooms monthly to, so they basically lived there. One of those guys was an older guy, very strange, definitely a heavy drinker, that also randomly worked as a fencing coach and trainer. He would bring his students, very young girls, to his room sort of on a regular basis. It was potentially a very messed up situation, but all we could see were girls he worked with go into his room. I generally had to call the cops once a week for other issues so I know them pretty well and let them know about what I was seeing but they said they couldn't do anything about it, but suggested we kick him out for violating guest policy. The guy had been there for years though, and my GM ran a pretty loose ship so she didn't do anything about it. I started taking pictures of him and his guests though because I knew something was up and was hoping to get something that the cops could work with.
But anyway, it never got to that. Eventually, he stopped paying his rent and the GM finally kicked him out. He had a lot of things in the room, so she gave him two days to move out. And when we went into his room... oh my. He went to the bathroom EVERYWHERE except for the toilet. Poop and urine on the bed, on the carpet, in the drawers, explosive diarrhea on the walls. This was all mixed in with vomit as well. I'm certain he did a lot of this on purpose, but the bed sure looked like it had been dumped on before. Words really can't do justice just how awful it was. I had to throw up myself after seeing/smelling it (but I made it to the toilet). We had to rip the room to the studs and rebuild it, it was impossible to clean.
The GM sued the guy in small claims court. Turns out, those TV judge shows scour public records of civil court filings to find good episode material. We got a letter from the Judge Judy show wanting to meet with us regarding the case.. GM declined, unfortunately."
"We had a girl staying for a week in our place. She would call my office phone a few times a say for our janitor kid to get her snacks from the vending machines, and take her cash to pay for her room. Her reason was that she had very bad leg pain and it was hard to walk. Hospitality is our business so no one complained.
When the kid went to the room, she was always seated in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her from the waist down. At the end of the week she called me crying that she couldn't take the pain anymore, and asked if would I call for an ambulance. When the EMT arrived and pulled the blanket away, they found out the awful truth.
This young girl was a nursing student and had used her stolen instruments to cut off her leg mid-thigh. She did it in the tub and washed the blood down the drain. She had gotten through the bone and had been working on the underside flesh. It goes without saying she had some kind of mental issues. She was admitted to the hospital where they worked to reattach her leg and then sent to the psych ward. When her family was notified, according to the nurses at the hospital, friends of mine, they did not come. I often think of this girl and wonder what became of her."
"I used to work as a Quality Supervisor for a 5 star hotel. Basically my job was to make sure that both the staff and the guests have no ongoing issues.
One morning, I was around the reception area, guests were leaving in masses. I asked a few of them about their stay, took positive and negative feedback. Suddenly, one of the receptionist girls waves me over. A guest couple was checking out, I think they were Irish, age around 24-26, completely normal couple. The receptionist girl pulled me over and said that one of the cleaning crew notified them to send me up to the couple's room immediately. A bit puzzled, I go up to their room.
It was trashed.
Like COMPLETELY trashed.
Like if there were some blood splatters around, it could have seriously looked like a scene for a brutal murder case.
Among a hundred other things: Broken chair. Broken TV. Pillows and sheets all over the place. Curtains were torn down. The bathtub was clogged with the bathrobes and the floor was completely drenched. The table seems like some sort of makeup and other unknown things were used to paint all over it. A pack of wet Asian noodles was slammed on the ceiling. A tampon inside a lamp. And so on.
Completely in shock, I went down to immediately talk to the couple. I questioned them, but they acted like they don't know what I was talking about. Called in the higher-ups, in the end, they were forced to pay a considerable amount of money for the damage they caused. The strangest thing was they were genuinely acting like they don't know what happened at all, not just trying to lie or make up a ridiculous story.
After they paid (still acting like they did nothing wrong) and left, I went on to investigate the issue a bit more. I ran into some other guests from the floor they stayed in, and asked them if they saw or heard anything strange. As it turned out, the couple acted like they were on narcotics the night before the accident. Like HEAVY substances. They stood in the hallway for 30 minutes, just staring at the wall, for example. They left claw marks on the inside of the door, which I didn't even notice at first. The staff did not get called because other people thought they were just moderately trashed tourists.
To this day, I do not know what they took, but that room left a permanent mental image in my head."
"I did do a short stint as a 'Room Checker' for my university during the summer break. Basically it was going into student halls rooms and checking for damages, anything left behind, and generally making a laundry list of 'how much of your deposit are we taking from you' kind of stuff, as well as setting up the rooms for new students coming in.
The worst, by far, was a dorm room that was very neat and tidy on the face of it, but when you opened the door to the en suite bathroom...well, it's tough to describe, but the entire shower and walls around it were caked in wet hair. And I mean CAKED, you literally couldn't see the walls in some places. The whole place smelled like a rancid wet dog and pretty much made me vomit instantly. Unfortunately, the nearest toilet was right there in front of me so I kinda got stuck in a vomit loop before I eventually made it out of there.
We have no clue what went on in that room. There had to be some sort of animal involved because there was no way that much hair came off one human being, even the hairiest of us. But even if he was washing a dog or whatever in there, there was no way this could've happened accidentally or just being too lazy to clean - it was just far too...well...EVERYWHERE. Even if we were to assume that he/she cleaned his/her dog in the shower every day for the year he spent there it still didn't seem like it would be enough to cause that much stuff on the walls.
I learned later that this room, in particular, was deemed not fit to be used for the next wave of students, since during our second round where we put all the new student welcome supplies into every room, we were told to skip it. I was very pleased about that."
"I worked in hotel maintenance for a Red Roof Inn for a summer while I was in college. It was a really easy job, I'd do my daily job duties; emptying the outdoor trash receptacles, cleaning up smoke butts from the parking lot, then handling any maintenance tickets we had (usually super easy stuff like replacing a burnt-out light-bulb). Any time after that, I'd just chill in an out-of-order room and watch movies on HBO.
There was one out-of-order room which was locally a bit famous because it was occupied by a murderer who killed a few people and then fled to that room. The police figured out where he was and went to mount an assault on the room, the manager of the hotel (some Australian guy) was an idiot and almost stepped in the SWAT team's way. But they told him to get out of the way, they then busted down the door, threw a flash bang grenade into the room, and apprehended the murderer.
Because of the flash-bang, that room was out of order for months due to the large burn in the carpet. Eventually, we figured out that the weekday maintenance guy (and admitted heavy-drinker) had fallen off the wagon and was just staying there and getting trashed. At that point, he was kicked out. I only worked there for a few more months, but that was the craziest thing."
"I use to be a duty manager in a hotel. We had a guest who was brought in by two people (man and women) who came over to reception asked if we had any rooms available and paid cash for the room, with a card taken as security against the room. The women were shady to say the least, and we worked out quite quickly that the people were some sort of police/govt agency that wanted to keep the women safe somehow.
Anyway, they left and about an hour later the women came down for some food. She took the food back to her room, then she came down again and asked to have a chat with me as I was the one who served her. She asked me if I smoked weed or did anything of that sort. I genuinely don't so I answered no, she then asked where can she get some. I said I had no idea and couldn't help. She went out a little later and I saw her smoking outside the hotel at 10 pm when I clocked off.
Anyway the next day, the two people turn up again and pick her up, she looks slightly worse for wear but off she goes with these two people. About an hour later get a phone call from housekeeping asking me to go up to what was her room.
It looked like a bomb had hit it. Vomit, poo, blood as well as evidence of substance use. We had to get the carpet cleaned, bed replaced curtains replaced walls repainted everything; it was that bad."
"I worked at a 2-star hotel, so not exactly a big deal but we would have guests come in all the time that worked for one of the local companies.
One such guest, a very obese man, was with us for two weeks.
For extended stay guests, our housekeepers would normally take out the trash each day, make the bed, vacuum, and then every three days they would trade out linens and towels (unless specifically requested).
About six days into his stay, the guy called down and requested no more service and had his 'Do Not Disturb' sign up constantly. He would place his trash in a trash bag outside his door every night for housekeeping to pick up in the morning.
When he left, he didn't bother stopping by the front desk or informing us in any way and he left his 'Do Not Disturb' sign up, so housekeeping wasn't able to check his room until all guests were due out at noon.
His room smelled AWFUL, like rotten garbage awful. He had left towels smeared with feces piled up in the corner of the bathroom, the bedsheets had feces stains on it. But that isn't even the worst, the toilet in the bathroom was broken. The tank was broken in half from a large crack running from the top left to the bottom right.
He had apparently somehow broken the tank, turned off the water to the toilet, and used the towels in the room to collect his....by-product.... whenever he had to go.
His company ended up getting billed a ridiculous amount for the replacement toilet, ruined linens, and lost business as that room was unsellable until the toilet was fixed."