Coming Out Of The Closet At A Hotel… Literally

Filed Under: Hotels

I have to share something that happened at the St. Regis Rome yesterday. I’m not sure whether I’m more embarrassed or amused by the situation, because I can’t think about it without laughing to the point that I have tears in my eyes. I apologize in advance if this is one of those “you had to be there” situations.

Let me cut to the point — I’m on a trip to Italy with Ford, and our friend Matt is joining us for the first part of the trip. We had a suite at the St. Regis Rome (I used a Platinum Suite Night Award), and I suggested Matt just stay with us, since the suite was big and we could arrange a rollaway. After all, Rome hotels can be obscenely priced.


I’m not sure if the hotel technically allows three guests in rooms or not, though we were mainly just in the room to sleep anyway, and it was a quick stopover, so I didn’t put too much thought into it. I know, shame on me.

Fast forward to yesterday morning at 4AM. We were all awake and jetlagged, and ordered coffee through the St. Regis butler service. When the butler arrived Matt went to hide in the (massive) closet. That’s because the room was technically for two people, and while we didn’t think the butler would care, we wanted to play it safe… or at least that’s what we thought we were doing.


We had one other issue — we couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights in the room, as the switches didn’t seem to be working properly. We could turn on the lamps, but any of the lights built into the room wouldn’t turn on.

So I asked the butler if he knew how to turn them on, as I assumed it was some easy fix, and that we were just exhausted and not using our brains.

He played with the light switches in the living room with no success, and eventually walked towards the bedroom, where the closet was located. Oh crap, I was hoping he wouldn’t open the closet door. I sort of stood in front of it, hoping that would prevent him from entering. I would have never thought there would be any light control master switches located there anyway.

He walked back towards the living room. Whew, we’re safe.


He fiddled around there for about two minutes with no success, and then walked back towards the bedroom again.

I could sense he was about to open the closet door, and was horrified. Do I let him open the closet door and see Matt there, completely in the dark (since the light in the closet wasn’t working)? Do I say “oh by the way, our friend is sitting in a dark closet at 4AM on a Sunday morning?” We had dug ourselves into a hole, and I wasn’t sure the best way to go from there…


I just walked towards the living room and looked away.


Right as the butler started to open the door to the closet, Matt emerged and said “oh hi, I was just looking for something in here.”

While the butler let out a quiet gasp at first, he played it completely cool otherwise. I was in the living room laughing to the point of tears, though my greatest emotion was embarrassment. I don’t even know what the butler thought, given that he had been in the room for probably about five minutes at this point, which was all time Matt spent “looking for something” in the light-less closet, before nonchalantly emerging when the door opened.

After breakfast I just went to the front desk and proactively added a third person to the reservation (which was fine), just because I was that embarrassed.

  1. I just stayed at the St Regis Rome for 4 nights in April and everyone we encountered was very nice. I’d be surprised if they weren’t okay with the 3rd person. We really enjoyed our stay there!

  2. Tears in my eyes! Ridiculously embarrassing having 3 grown men being sneaky like children! #MEGALOLZ #ROFLCOPTER

  3. I have to say my family stay at the St Regis Rome was amazing. I had a reservation for 2 Deluxe King bedrooms one booked using the Citi Prestige 4th night (used their concierge to book) and another one using SPG points. The rate we booked with Citi included breakfast for two but it was not included in the award reservation. I am SPG Gold so I did not expect much from the hotel but I asked if we could have connecting rooms since we had 2 kids and wanted to be as close as possible even with one adult sleeping with each kid. At the check-in I was told they had upgraded one room to a junior suite with a connecting deluxe room. They also extended free breakfast for the other room so during our entire stay we had free breakfast for 4 people. The rooms were huge by European standards and very luxurious. Their concierge was fantastic and were very proactive in trying to make our stay even better. I would definitely go back to the St Regis when I return to Rome.

  4. I just snorted my coffee all over my computer and fell off of my chair – partly because it’s hilarious and partly because my best friend and I had done the same for a female colleague of ours when we were on a biz trip after we had consumed a few too many drinks to have the initiative to drive her to her hotel; and ours was closer to the airport anyways (she was using the other bed while I just made a bed on the floor so nothing naughty happened 😉 In our case, we snuck her into the closet, but forgot to clear some of her clothes. The look on the butler’s face was very unusual when he looked around and saw some female garments on the second bed and stared at us….

  5. Hilarious but… why not just say could you bring coffee for three since one of your guests from another room wants to join us, but charge it to my room?

  6. thanks for the laughs and the suspense Ben! that was hilarious. This is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to read OMAT, despite having a ‘jet-set’ life, you seem to be like a kid at heart.

  7. I sneaked my dog into a hotel once that did not allow dogs. It was a late night check in. I put him in a shoulder bag and went up the elevator – no problem. The next morning the I entered the elevator with my shoulder bag and a roller. Half way down the elevator stopped and a bellman got in. When we got to the lobby he immediately picked up my roller and reached for my shoulder bag which was also on the floor. Of course the dog started moving around and the look on his face I will never forget. Luckily I had done an in room check out – so I made a quick get away.

  8. Just because there are 3 men in a room at 4AM doesn’t mean all 3 are ‘staying’ in the room. I would expect a butler in Rome to be discreet.

  9. That’s hilarious. Perhaps the butler thought you were actually trying to hide a menage a trois rather than just a 3rd guest? 🙂

    I am curious about (1) whether the StR Rome did charge you extra for a 3rd guest and (2) what you think about the StR Rome (and its renovations)! Hope you’ll do a post very soon about the StR Rome overall, since we are planning to stay there next Sept/Oct.

    Enjoy Italy!

  10. Thanks for sharing a story that lets us laugh along with you (not at you). My guess is the butler just assumed he was a hooker! The best part is the nonchalant ‘oh hi’, like this is all perfectly normal.

  11. @Oscar: Just because he arranged a rollaway doesn’t mean there would be a third person. After all, it would be considered completely normal either for two men to share a suite with one bed, or for two men to share a suite with one bed and request a second.

    I was traveling to Hawaii with my mother a few years ago and the condo we rented had only made the linens up on the queen bed in the bedroom, not the pull-out sofabed. Since we arrived after the desk had closed for the day and did a remote lock-box check-in, we were quite befuddled by the lack of linens. We ended up splitting up the existing linens from the one bed to make up the sofabed. The following day we went to the desk and were informed that because we shared the same last name it was assumed we were sharing the bed. 😛 They happily went and made the sofabed for us during the day.

    We’ve since stayed twice more at the property and loved it every time, but know now to be very specific when providing our check-in information!

  12. Geez you guys are cheap. Just add the third person and grow up.
    Obviously you had to post about this to claim the third person as a business expense

  13. Believe me, the butler has seen stranger things. I used to work in hotel operations. I’ve seen stranger things.

  14. I was hoping the three of you slept in the same bed. Question: Do you have sex with your partner in a suite when the third person is in a rollaway bed in the living room?

  15. Great post and very funny. At least he was wearing something, or was he? Sounds like you are having a good time.

  16. Ha ha, that’s great! Don’t mind it too much, the butler certainly has seen more bizare things in his career. And I am sure the hotel will not do a headcount and charge for the additional guests when a rockstar “invites” his groupies to that suite over night…

  17. “After breakfast I just went to the front desk and proactively added a third person to the reservation”

    Is it really proactive when you’ve been busted by someone from the staff?

  18. Some hotels do require that visitors after 23.00need to be registered at the front desk. Not because of max occupancy but due to security (police registration) or emergenies (headcount in case of evacuation).

    I stayef in rome for a week at the best western (nice comfy hotel) alone and my boarding school chum came back to my hotel to pick up some gifts and photobook i brought for him. He was only allowed to stay after 23.00 if he registered, citing above reasons.

  19. @cinti lingus

    You’re disgusting. Do us all a favor and disappear. Anti-semitic trash have no place here.

  20. Ben, surprised you are so uptight …

    But on a more travel related note: I think all SPG properties in Europe have long moved to the rate per room model, where the surcharge for a third person is only for extra services (e.g. breakfast, roll-a-way bed) and therefore rather minimal. Only very few (non-chain) hotel, mainly in rural areas, still do the rate per guest model, which results in full 100% additional charge for each extra person. So I’m pretty sure you could have afforded registering Matt properly …

  21. I needed the laugh this morning! It’s also good to know i’m not the ONLY one who’s made executive decisions for hotels regarding their policies!! The added video clips??? Touche’

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