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What should you do when your hotel is not what you expected!

Updated on February 13, 2015
One of the many gross things I saw in my room at Mt Olympus, WI Dells, WI. January, 2015.
One of the many gross things I saw in my room at Mt Olympus, WI Dells, WI. January, 2015.

You planned a perfect vacation. You crossed every t and dotted every I. To make sure your vacation is absolutely wonderful. You book the most gorgeous hotel. You packed your bags and off you go.

You arrive at your hotel realizing it's not what you expected. The d├ęcor is old and outdated. There are stains on the carpet and a musty smell in the air. There is grime in the tub, and hair in the sink. Dead bugs on the window seal, dust on the lamps and don't get me started about the clear slime on the door. All you can think is, "When was the last time this place was cleaned?"

The first thing you need to do is take pictures. Even if the hotel is in good shape you should take pictures. Next, call the front desk. You need to complain so they have it on their records. Be kind, but let them know how unhappy you are with your room. They probably will send house keeping to clean the room again.

When house keeping comes, let them do their job. If at all possible leave the room. It would be very uncomfortable to sit there while they clean.

When you come back, if your room is still not up to your standards. Call the front desk again. Ask to speak to the manager. You are paying to stay here and you deserve a clean room. More than likely they will move you to another room.

If the second room isn't up to your standards, talk to the manager again and request a refund. If you booked through a travel agency you should call them and explain the situation. They can help you find a new hotel and make sure you get a refund.

If the manager doesn't give you a refund, leave the hotel anyway. Don't let this hotel ruin your vacation. Call around and find a different hotel. Pack your bags, and restart your vacation.

When you get home upload your pictures. E-mail the pictures to the hotel general manager, along with a detailed message about your stay. Wait for a response. If you don't get a response within 48 hours, call the hotel. If it's part of a hotel chain, skip the manager and go straight to cooperate. Explain the way you were treated and the state of cleanliness of the room. Let them know you have pictures, and tell them you would be happy to e-mail them. Stay calm, people are more likely willing help a calm person. After this phone call they should be offering you a refund or at least a partial refund.

If not, contact a lawyer and get a free consultation. Ask if they think it's worth fighting in small claims court. Most of the time lawyer fees are covered by the other party, if you win your claim. But use this option as a last resort! I have never done this. And more than likely I never will, unless I was out an extremely large amount of money. If it's not that much money, you might just want to chalk it up to a bad experience. Life lesson: never stay there again. Write a review on BBB, to warn others away.

Hopefully, you never have to deal with a bad hotel room. But if you do, make sure you let the hotel know. If your room is a disgusting, it can ruin your whole vacation. You want to be comfortable where you sleep. You deserve to relax.

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