The Art Of The Hotel Complaint

by VGP blogger, Rachel B

I spend roughly every other week at a hotel and though I hate to complain, I’m a firm believer that the best hotels appreciate feedback from their guests. Feedback from guests is often the only way they can fix problems that sometimes they are not even aware of. I recently had a bad experience at a hotel where the Wifi barely worked the entire time I was there, which is just inexcusable for a hotel that hosts many business travelers.

It is rare that I go as far as to send a letter to a hotel chain or log an online complaint. But in this case, the Wifi was not fixed by the end of my trip and I was very upset. I found myself with a little writer’s block when I first began typing up my letter but what I ended up with was a format that I can hopefully use time and time again. The art of the hotel complaint:

hotel complaint

Include the specifics to start: Provide your name and address as well as your company name. Also provide your confirmation number, hotel loyalty account number and dates of your stay.

Give some background: Especially if you are a frequent traveler, remind the hotel of your loyalty and how often you stay at their properties. With your co-workers permission, include their names and status as well.

Stay upbeat and positive: Clearly state that your intent is to provide the hotel with feedback that will hopefully help them to improve their property or service. I like to throw in a few compliments such as “your desk staff was very attentive and pleasant but unfortunately the issue was not resolved by the end of my stay”. Be sure to thank the hotel in the end for their time.


Stick to the facts: When you explain your complaint, provide as much detail as possible. I noted the name of the front desk staff person who I spoke to and who told me each day the Wifi would be fixed. I took a screenshot of the “cannot load page” errors I received each night and noted the specific times each evening when the Wifi was the slowest.

Ask to be compensated. Quite often, hotels will compensate you with points. Don’t be afraid to ask for something for your efforts such as points or an upgrade on your next stay.

Most hotel chains clearly state on their site where to send complaints via email or provide a form.  If you can’t find specifics and are just emailing, make it to the attention of the General Manager of the property.

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