You Know You’ve Failed A Hotel Inspection When…

All licensed hotels, whether they’re a luxurious high-rise property or a scuzzy dive, have certain standards they must maintain in order to continue reaping the benefits of being a part of something larger than themselves.

In other words, if a hotel wants to keep that Marriott, Hilton etc., banner on the keys they have to run the gauntlet of regular inspections. And trust me, as someone who’s seen eighteen-plus years of inspections occur before his jaded eyes, I can honestly say it’s a helluva gauntlet. Don’t get me wrong, as an observer of human behavior I love to see managers run around like the proverbial decapitated fowl, but to be honest, inspections are sort of a joke.

The hotel knows exactly when the inspector is arriving so they have plenty of time to get things cleaned up and ready. His or her room is spotless and fully stocked. Carpets are shampooed. (Bye bye, blood or wine stains!) Elevators, guest and service, are cleaned and tuned up. Lobby walls are repainted and tidied. (So long plant that sorority girl threw up in on Sunday morning.) A hotel becomes the sort of property it should be every day whenever an inspector shows up.


Now if an inspector showed up out of the blue? Well, perhaps they’d find a detail or two that would result in a failing grade. Such as…

ONE)  Conversations like this: 


ME:  No, I’m a bell man, sir. (Tapping the actual desk.)  This is the Bell Desk. I don’t always have the most animated personality… but there is a distinction between the two of us.

And in case you’re wondering, the Inspector actually liked my humor. Though when he noted during a meeting with Management that he received horrible service from a staff member, my name was the first one raised. I wonder why that was?


TWO)  More than one dead hooker hidden under a guest room bed.  One dead hooker under a bed is acceptable by today’s standards. (Four Rooms was more of a documentary than anything else.) But two or more? Now that’s just lazy.


THREE)  Honest answers to guest queries.  Whoever decided that honesty is the best policy never ran a hotel.

TEENAGE FEMALE GUEST:  Why are all the adult movies in this hotel soft core? How is my man supposed to get hard for me if the porn is soft?

ME:  Is that your gentleman over there, miss? (I pointed at a man old enough to be this chick’s grandfather.)

TFG:  Yep! He needs a little something extra to get him going and your porn here sucks!

ME:  Pun intended?

TFG: What pun?

ME:  (Sighing.) Never mind. As far as your flaccid friend is concerned, miss, (I figured we were down the rabbit hole anyway) have you considered pills or maybe just talking? Conversation can be very stimulating. Your man can tell you what Jesus was like.

TFG:  If he wants someone to talk to he can get a dog! He’s paying me to make him feel like a teenager again!

ME:  So let him feel you up and send him on his way before he gets any further. That’s how all my teenage encounters went.

TFG:  Are you serious?

ME:  Depends on whether or not my meds have kicked in, miss.

TFG:  I heard that!


Remember, bellman are highly-trained professionals.


Would you like another?

BOSTONIAN GUEST:  Your parking sucks! The spots are too damn small! I can’t figure out where to park my fucking truck!

ME:  Have you considered using criteria other than compensating for shortcomings when purchasing a vehicle, sir?

(Oh, that Hook!)


FOUR)  Television sets with only two channels – that are as blurry as Sarah Huckabee’s answers to direct questions.  To be fair, there is a sign in front of the TV that reads, “To Our Valued Guests; We apologize, but there’s nothing good on television anymore anyway.”


FIVE)  Valets that get into your car while wearing a crash helmet.  Safety first, kids.


And that’s all I have for you today.  To be honest, this has taken all the brain power I can muster; I’m knackered!

See you in the lobby, friends…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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17 Responses to You Know You’ve Failed A Hotel Inspection When…

  1. You should be a guest favorite! Free entertainment! They are on vacation.

  2. That TV sign! (You should immediately print some of those up and sell them online as the perfect last minute holiday gift.)
    Trust The Hook to be practical as well as entertaining.

  3. Bravo. Take a bow.

  4. Doug in Oakland says:

    We used to have quarterly health inspections at the franchise restaurant where I began my food service career. Management made a big deal over it, mostly to get a bunch of stuff done that should have been done all of the damn time. It was during one of those cleaning and stock rotating frenzies that the owner’s daughter told me that we were the only restaurant of any size in town (Eureka, Ca.) that didn’t pay off the health department, and that was why they were so strict with us.
    in retrospect, that place, a Sizzler Steak House, was by far the cleanest restaurant I ever worked at.

  5. A day in the life… living the dream eh, Robert?? 😉

  6. When I worked for an ad agency, we signed up ti what was then the ISO 9000 scheme. We had regular audits to make sure we were adhering to what we’d signed up to. Here’s the best bit. We set our own criteria. All we had to do was whatever WE had specified for ourselves, and we passed the audit.

  7. Theresa says:

    Ooo! Hook, I’ve had audits in my line of work, by the DoD! I can tell you, they are tough! Everyone in Management starts jumping around and all us “underlings” have to respond. The problem is, we never know when the bastards are coming! So we’re all walking around like cats on a hot tin roof until it’s over, then its “DRINKS ON THE HOUSE”!. Kidding but, you get the jist!
    Love Love Love your hotel stories; they are the best!

  8. Thanks for getting me snickering, chuckling, and smiling this morning. I really needed it.

  9. StillWaters says:

    Conversation with Teenage Female Guest was a gas. You are some riot, Hookster.

  10. It is very unsettling to stop and think what goes on behind the scenes at a typical hotel, luxury or not. When traveling and staying at any hotel, I try to think happy thoughts and get into the spirit of whatever the theme of the hotel might be–but there’s always the potential for a rude awakening. I don’t want rude awakenings–unless they are quite interesting and make good fodder for writing material!

  11. I can certainly think of a few places we stayed recently in Niagara area that could use an unannounced inspection. Of course none of them were yours. I figure the entertainment value offered having you there would make up for anything the inspector might find.

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