What To Do When You Witness Bad Guest Behavior At A Hotel?

Filed Under: Hotels

So I’m having an amazing stay at Cala di Volpe in Sardinia, though ran into a situation today, and I’m curious to hear how you guys would have handled it.

The pool area is beautiful and relaxing, and I’ve been camped out here with my laptop for much of the day working. I sure can’t complain about that!

However, for the past hour (no exaggeration) there has been a guy pacing around the pool screaming into his phone. The pool here is huge, and we can hear every word he’s saying even on the other side of the pool. He has made about 10 laps around the pool, and every second word is “f*cking.” Ironically he’s discussing some sort of a charity, so it’s funny to hear him say “no, it’s f*cking because I f*cking care about the f*cking kids.” Alrighty then…

Over the past hour he has made probably four or five different phone calls.


I told Ford and Matt I’d confront him during the next round, but they told me not to. Why?

  • Ford told me to instead tell someone who works here, because you never know how the guy will react when you confront him directly.
  • Matt said he just wouldn’t confront him at all since he’s “not confrontational” (as if!).

Okay, I’ll admit that I sometimes resist the urge to channel my inner Larry David. This scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm came to mind:

But in this case my intent in confronting him directly wasn’t to be passive aggressive, but rather to be direct and ask him to please keep it down.

In theory I see the merit to getting a hotel employee involved, but that’s something that almost make me feel uncomfortable. I hate doing something like that to hotel employees, since then they’re in an awkward situation, and I don’t mind handling it myself.  So it’s not that I prefer handling it myself, per se, but rather that I don’t want to make someone else’s life more difficult than I have to.

What would you do in this situation — just ignore it/let it continue, ask a hotel employee to do something, or take the situation into your own hands?

  1. Go up to him, say “excuse me”, take his phone, throw it in the pool, tourn around and keep working on that laptop….
    You need to look like the Hulk though.

  2. Tell hotel staff and have them handle it. That’s their job. If they refuse or don’t think it’s an issue, then you have a major issue with the hotel and its management and you should review them accordingly.

    Most likely, they’ll agree an unruly guest who is not considerate of other guests needs to be spoken to, and the situation will be rectified. I’ve gone to staff numerous times over obnoxious resort guests and have never had my complaints ignored.

  3. You’re on vacation. It’s the hotel’s responsibility to handle it. I would ask a hotel employee to alert security that this guy is getting too loud and shouty.

  4. Ben, I would have thanked Matthew & Ford for their advice and followed up with my gut feeling to ‘talk’ to the perpetrator of such an inconsiderate act. I emphasize the verb talk, for Zi would go over to pick up a fight. I simply would bring the situation to his attention and how the loud tone of his conversation, let alone all the cussing his doing, is annoying to you and your friends, as you tried to also enjoy the pool area while working on your computer. THEN if this approach fails, then I’d ask for assistance from the hotel.l personnel. There are times when we’re so caught up in conversation we don’t notice how it all is affecting the people around us. Kudos to the funny video!

  5. Agree with Susan and peachfront. This is part of a hotel employee’s job description – dealing with unruly or rude guests.

  6. Follow him around and yell off color language, like “mister please, you want happy ending? suckee suckee?” If he can disturb your peace, then you can do the same to him.

  7. This is unfortunate, yet completely predictable. It’s funny that someone commented on your other post on this hotel predicting that it’s normally full of jerks in the (very expensive) high season. Well, apparently the attraction for entitled jerks is not limited to the high season!

  8. Most importantly, though, did you proactively tell the hotel staff at check-in that Matt would be staying with you guys?

  9. Absolutely alert security. They need to quiet this guy NOW. I absolutely will not tolerate rude and obnoxious behavior. This is the type of guy that would tell you to f**k off and keep talking if you approached him. I would continue to request security intervene if he doesn’t take his phone call and filthy mouth elsewhere. Good luck.

  10. What you should do is bottleup your inconvenience and take out your frustrations by blogging another post of how wonderful the Citi Prestige, sorry the Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card is !!

  11. @ Ben — And, looks like my earlier comment about the hotel (closets excluded 🙂 ) being filled with jerks might not be too far off base…

  12. I’d say something to him directly; it will probably make a bigger impression. But then, I’m a confronter by nature, but I try to be polite about it — and never underestimate the power of an American/Southern accent.

    Picture it: Sydney Mardi Gras last March. We are sitting in the VIP section and a woman 2 rows behind us starts blowing incessantly on a whistle. Zee becomes annoyed.
    Me: “Excuse me ma’am, I really appreciate your enthusiasm, I really do, but we need to dial the whistle down a notch.”
    Her: “So basically you’re telling me to shut the f*ck up?”
    Me: “Yes, and thank you.”
    (Whistle stops)

  13. There are actually First Class train cars in Italy that are designated “Business, Silent Area” which don’t allow cell phone use which is totally necessary if you want to get any work done. I have never understood why people turn up the volume when talking on a phone. It’s as if they feel that everyone within a hundred meters needs to know they are a special person. God help us if they ever allow cell use in flight.

    I agree with Ford and Matt on this one – let the hotel management deal with it.

  14. “You’re being really and rude and disrespectful to me and the other guests. Would you like to stop or would you like me to get the hotel staff involved?”

    It could be that simple!

  15. @Jesse from Ireland

    I’m laughing so much with your comment!
    I’m picturing Ben walking slowly and silently towards the guy (in a Kristen Wiig kinda way) and starting to tickle him lololol

  16. I was in line waiting to check out from a beach resort in Aruba when a Jet Blue pilot in full uniform began screaming like a child at the front desk person as he felt the wait was too long. Sure I could have been the hero and stood up for the poor front desk person, but instead I just sent a tweet to Jet Blue about it.

  17. A couple of quick suggestions.
    Walk up behind him “trip” and push him and his phone into the pool.
    Grab his phone (as someone suggested above) and throw it into the pool.
    Call Amex and have the platinum concierge call the hotel for you and complain.
    Follow him around with your own phone and scream random shit into it.
    Call the cops and tell them someone’s taken hostages and is screaming demands into a phone near the pool.

  18. I see this guy all the time in airline lounges.

    A silent continual stare usually gives him the hint he’s being a d-bag.

  19. You should show him this post and the post you put up about similar behavior in the Frankfort airport when you were traveling to South Africa. Explain that you are an internationally recognized expert on travel and he has become your latest human interest story.

  20. Be a great American, start a war, drop a bomb on him and make him eat McDonald for the rest of his days. That way you help him and everybody achieve happiness forever.

  21. You are in Sardinia and swimming in a f¥£€ing pool??! What is wrong with you people? Scared of sharks?

    Best beaches in Europe, if you have the guts to step outside the 5 star hotel and actually see something.

  22. I’m an insanely loud talker on the phone. I have no concept of how loud I am when I’m on the phone – especially if I have headphones in. I know I’d appreciate someone bringing it to my attention.

    Then, if he ignores you, you send the staff to solve the problem.

  23. @Kevin The small mini jammer didn’t work worth a damn outside or in a large open concourse with multiple windows. But….ohhhhh how it worked in airport lounges, small gate areas.

    I had a good friend who used to carry one until the FCC had the dude on a Philly bus arrested and prosecuted for using one a couple years ago. Oh, watching these D-bags start going “hello, hello” then getting PISSED was just priceless.

  24. You have 4 simple options:

    (1) Be passive aggressive and suffer this obnoxiousness without complaining about now…but complain about it here or elsewhere or later. Not recommended.

    (2) Politely ask the guy to refrain from speaking so loudly or to move so he can have his conversation. He may have no idea he’s being so loud and offensive.

    (3) Politely ask a hotel employee to speak to the guy and ask him to speak less loudly or to move to have his conversation.

    (4) Do nothing…but stop complaining.

    It isn’t too difficult.

  25. I understand the desire to confront him directly. Having grew up in NYC I have no problem telling people to stop behaving like a moron in public places. However, I do choose my battles. And in this case, the reason I would have the hotel staff do it is besides all the good reasons other commenters here made, this a$$ hat probably wouldn’t take kindly to you telling him what to do. He is likely to respond very differently if it came from someone who clearly works at the hotel. If he doesn’t shut up then you can go off on him. Chances are the other guests are waiting for just such an opportunity.

  26. Get your cellphone out, literally follow him around the pool while repeating his exact words in the same accent and tone.

  27. Having read the other suggestions, I take it back. Just do what Jesse from Ireland suggests, but do it while you have Matt film it 🙂

  28. Have the hotel boat take you to Isla Maddalena..nice change,gorgeous beach and No entitlted Aholes. Or move to the Villa Patrizza…

  29. OMG! I have no clue how you contained yourself! I myself would have grabbed a pad of paper and pencil and walked up to him on his “non pool” side while standing close with a look of complete concentration and taking notes! As you moved along with him, hanging on his every word, trust me you would have his attention in short order!
    When asked what you were doing I would have shared the fact that you were so fascinated by his attempt to expand everyone’s vocabulary that you didn’t want to miss a single word!! Point made!
    Of course, that’s just me. Perhaps sharing your extreme disappointment with the fact you could not enjoy the serenity of the beautiful surroundings based on the annoying offensive person by the pool would be best shared with management!
    Who knows, they might have wanted to do something nice to make up in part for your displeasure!!

  30. Being an anglophone who lives in France, I am always amazed by Americans who to talk loudly and who do not even care about how they sound to others.

    Also, Americans are continually demonstrating that their lack of command of the English language. The overuse of that four-letter vulgarity as an adjective to mean just about anything from disgust to ecstatic pleasure is a definite indication of a lack of education. The paradox is that most Americans have paid a fortune to obtain a four-year university degree and they are still ignorant of their own language.

    Confront them about their bad behavior? That would be like talking to a “stupid” wall. Pushing him into the pool would have been a better approach.

  31. How would you handle this situation? Hyatt in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia, Chinese gentleman in the pool spitting and blowing his nose into the water

  32. Staff. They get paid to do this and you shouldn’t have to put up with it. I do tend to get ticked if staff does nothing. Does this guy’s rudeness trump my peace and quiet at relaxing resort? And especially if he’s yelling curse words when kids could be around?

  33. You see this all the time just last week Taipei lounge nice low murmer except one guy on cell German language you could hear him across the room without cursing but still so self important

  34. I would recommend contacting the hotel front desk, let them handle it.
    A properly trained staff will know what to do. The “key” here, is the properly trained staff. These are precisely the situations I train Hotel Staff to handle. Here are the steps for hotel staff…
    1. After the complaint to the front desk, inform the hotel manager, let him or her handle it.
    2. The hotel manager should inform another employee to standby as both a witness and potential for a violent altercation.
    3. The hotel manager must paint the picture of randomly noticing the issue to avoid retaliation to any guest.
    4. Hotel staff involved must remember to “defuse” and “resolve” the situation. Approaching in a non-threatening, calm manner with a smile goes much further to defuse then the “tough guy approach”. Always have a offer of resolve. For example, recommend a private area, empty conference room or vacant office. Remember, as hotel management we are here to help guest with problems.
    5. If at anytime the person becomes confrontational, back off right away and contact hotel security and or police.

  35. I am. Staying in the resort. In front of us there is senior citizens couple i was on the phone talking to family for an important matters.

    The couple confront me. For several times.

    Because as what they said i talk so loud which is that is my normal voice & told me. To go inside & closed the door & shut up.

    I explained to them that for awhile sir/ ma’am because it is an important matters.

    I was talking with my
    VISAYAN LANGUGE since i am. A filipino woman.

    I told them i can’t talk inside because of the signal issues. But then they still coming back outside . Because i was outside sitting there to talk.

    But not just like that even i was listening music to my laptop & the volume is low there is still an issue.

    So. I just let them be.

    But this time when they confront me. i talk them back i told them when you talk outside on your phone guys i can even here you but i never say anything.

    But then they just walk out.

    I did realized they want to control me. For what am i going to do.

    Nor they do it because they are senior citizens & they are being stupid because i can’t argue/ fight with them because it is under the Philippines law.

    I will be charged or might be in jail.

    I never swear or talk shit things not even once.

    I only talk about our family for the important things.

    I didn’t do any violation.

    Then the wife threatened me. To report me. in the police.

    For what violation?

    To be honest they’re kinda pain in the ass.

    Their stressing me. Until now i can’t even sleep.

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