The Worst Thing I’ve Seen In A Hotel Room. Period.

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

Warning: there’s a somewhat unpleasant picture in this post involving human bodily fluids, so only click if you’re not eating and aren’t easily grossed out. If either of those things apply to you, maybe check out this nice post about airport lounge spa treatments instead.

So, I’m currently staying at a Homewood Suites by Hilton. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced this brand, and I know it’s not exactly on the high end of Hilton’s portfolio. My check-in wasn’t particularly memorable, but my first impressions of the room were pretty positive. It’s spacious and has a nice kitchenette area.

I arrived quite late, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep, so I unpacked a couple things and then started getting ready for bed.

To my horror, this was the condition of the toilet:

To me, cleaning the toilet seems like Housekeeping 101. And that got me thinking: if they’ve done such a poor job of cleaning the toilet seat, how worried should I be about germs in the rest of the room?

So I texted Ben. Knowing that he has admitted to being “passive when it comes to complaining at hotels,” I figured he would commiserate with my reluctance to call the front desk and complain.

Nothing seems more awkward to me than a situation in which I call the front desk and say, “Hi, there’s a bunch of blood and urine on my toilet seat.” And, as I said, all I wanted to do was settle in for the night and get some rest, which I did.

I woke up in the morning and upon leaving, I left the seat up so it’d be very obvious to housekeeping that the condition of the toilet was bloody awful. And when I got back to the room, it was clean…at least as far as I could tell.

Well, Ben thought (and still thinks) I was completely nuts for not reporting it or asking to be moved to another room. And now I will probably never live it down. This coming from the guy who slept in a pool of his own perspiration recently at a hotel in Italy and never complained about it!

To be clear, I do plan to let the hotel know about this issue either when I check out or after I get home.

What do you think? Should I have asked for another room?

  1. “To be clear, I do plan to let the hotel know about this issue either when I check out or after I get home.”

    To what end? This is passive/aggressive. What’s the point after the fact? Bring it up then and there, or don’t bring it up. Not only would they have moved you on request, they probably would have offered a credit against the room charge for your trouble. But once you’re done with your stay? That’s like saying “I didn’t much care for the steak, but I ate it anyway”.

  2. They already cleaned it. No use to report something without evidence. They may also consider you making that things up to get some sort of compensation. You already choose to ignore it, live with it. Don’t whine

  3. Cute post Andrew. You almost sounded worldly and well travelled. Next time, let the hotel know during the time of the problem. If sleep was of that much importance, you took the time to take photos and write this blog, but not make a quick call to reception? Rookie.

  4. I don’t get it.
    I would have went to reception and asked for a different room. On a different floor. With a guarantee it was cleaned by a different person.
    That’s at a minimum. Otherwise I would have gone to a different property.
    Your cleaner (not necessarily the same person who failed to clean it prior) may/must have thought you left it in that condition.
    Complaining after the fact is usually pointless, absolutely pointless in this situation.

  5. If that’s the worst you’ve seen then I don’t think you’ve traveled enough! I agree with others…a quick trip to the front desk for a new room and a talk with the manager on duty would have been my solution.

  6. I definitely think this is a situation to get addressed immediately. If I were a hotel manager, I would want to know and correct it in-house vs. having the hotel chain contact me, probably costing more.

    Over the years, I have gotten more assertive when I see an issue, and I usually try to handle it at the hotel level.

  7. I report things like this immediately because I don’t want the hotel to think that I’m the slob who left the mess!

  8. i think you should’ve reported it as soon as you got to the room and noticed the problems. it’s too late now. as others have mentioned, the hotel might think you’re just making it up. plus, you have no proof that that happened. sure you took pictures but you couldve taken the pictures at any time.

  9. You should at least name the exact hotel in the post so as to maybe shame them into better service.

  10. As much as I understand the desire to get sleeping when one arrives late, you really should have reported it upon discovery to permit for immediate action.

    Not every potty is as clean as I like – think football games, where my standards are reduced. But if it was not so dirty that you could tolerate it, it was not dirty enough to kvetch about later.

  11. Wow, those appliances look so clunky, and the quality looks terrible. Why are they not all built in… Looks like a kitchen from 1994.

  12. I’m disoriented — I thought I was reading View from the Wing here for a minute. You should really also link to the Saudia airlines video with the dookie on the seat and trash in the aisle.

    That’s pretty exciting though, congratulations. I once got a semen-covered toilet seat on an airplane. I considered it a bonus, though, because I really couldn’t wait, and it made that bathroom the one with no line. Too bad it was before cell phone cameras.

    I think the post would be better concluded with a better question: What’s the most disgusting experience YOU have ever had while traveling? That could be a comment thread for the ages.

  13. Well, I’ve had much worse experience in not so high end Best Western hotel. The toilet was full of bodily fluids, it was also stuck and did not flush. Also the bed was dirty and room was missing towels. The problem was that I had arrived around 8 pm, just dumped bags in the room and went for the dinner. It was around midnight when I noticed the issue with the room as bed was made and everything did look like ok. I was worried if the nightshift person at reception could do anything (like speak english). To make communications easier I walked down to the reception the report the problem. The receptionist did not say much and I’m not sure if she understood the whole issue, but she gave me an another room which was in perfect condition.

    After this incident I’ve started to check the room even if it’s more highend than 4 eur/night Indian ‘hotel’. That includes verifying working cold/hot water in shower and sinks, drains, toilet (flushing), closets, bed (under it, sheets for stains etc.), windows (closed, no holes or missing glass), operational AC and door lock. This takes less than 2 minutes and saves time if you have something to complain about as you can do it right away.

  14. Interesting. You took the time to photograph the toilet seat, but not pick up the phone and document it with an employee.
    Too bad I cant post the bedbug bite pictures from my stay in two different hotels. Dont feel bad though, care to see how bad it gets out there in hotels. Yep, there’s a website:


  15. Haha! Thought you were complaining that there was a kitchen in the room from the initial pic with the title…

  16. I’m always surprised by how many toilets in hotel rooms have urine stains or pubic hair, plainly visible, on seats. For that reason, I won’t drink out of in-room coffee cups (unless sealed in plastic) and I almost always clean the toilets with alcohol or body wash and a wet towel.

  17. Gross. Point it out the second you see it. Crazy to wait till you check out till you mention it.
    How did you even poop in the room? Leaving aside the general grossness, bodily fluids can transmit diseases.
    Is this some gross out strategy you guys are using to increase page interactions?

  18. Like other said, I don’t really understand at all why you wouldn’t bring it up immediately. Plus by doing what you did (leaving the seat up before leaving), the cleaning person probably assumed you’re super gross and you did this yourself. Also if they didn’t even clean the toilet seat, I cannot imagine for a minute they changed the bed sheets.
    I also don’t like to confront hotel staff when something is wrong, but in this case it’s a matter of hygiene. A few weeks ago in Vegas I opened the sheets on my bed and something was there, I wasn’t sure what it was but I called immediately and politely asked to have sheets changed. I don’t think there is anything wrong expecting a clean room.

  19. @ FNT Delta Diamond – Are you using the hotel’s towel to clean the toilet? Like the small face towels guests use on their faces? If so, that is far more disgusting than the dirty toilets you are complaining about.

  20. Yuk! I am the manager for a Hilton-branded hotel. Often our hotels are in a shared area with the Homewood brand. I beg you, please, share the photos, at the least, with management. Please don’t wait til check out. The hotel needs to share this with housekeeping, and the housekeepers’ supervisor, so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t forget the 100% guarantee – a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

  21. 1) I absolutely would have told the hotel to clean it up.
    2) I always travel with antiseptic wet wipes. Usually this is for airline tray tables, but these really come in handy.
    3) You and Lucky should re-evaluate your threshold for raising a complaint with hotel staff.

  22. LOL…sorry, I can’t stop laughing. Here’s something scary, I’ve slept in hotel rooms that would have made this one look like an immaculate room in the Burj Al Arab. And of course, no Wi-Fi there at all lol.
    And I’m so harden, I wasn’t even phased. Just another day for me.

  23. No way. I would have been on the line and wanting a new room. I stay at Homewoods all the time when I travel, mainly because they have a full kitchen. I have never encountered the splatter, but it seems that they do miss cleaning the showers thoroughly. I can’t tell you how many times there is hair somewhere in my shower that wasn’t cleaned up, but that I ususally just rinse away and move on; it’s still cleaner than most gym showers I’ve seen.

  24. An entire blog post for this non-issue. I mean SERIOUSLY?
    How many countries have you visited?

  25. Why is this post even a thing? Call the front desk, they send someone up, it’s cleaned in 30 seconds and everyone moves on with their life

  26. I had a 3 foot long termite tunnel hanging from the ceiling of my hotel bathroom (and this was at a hotel chain where I have status).

  27. I once stayed in a dive of a hotel in Tijuana where someone had not flushed quite some time ago and maggots had infested the toilet. No joke.

  28. You haven’t seen a toilet after a bunch of French backpackers have used it have you? Btw this blog is weirdly obsessed with toilets and bathrooms…the number of posts Ben does on this…

  29. I get it. You just want to go to sleep, and because of that, you don’t want to switch rooms. But why not just have housekeeping clean the toilet without you having to switch rooms? I mean, I’m sure you used the toilet before you went to bed and again when you woke up, right? And that means you used it with the blood and urine still on it? Anyway, just seems like an easy thing for housekeeping to take care of without a room shuffle.

  30. THIS is the worst you’ve ever seen? I suggest you travel to Cuba and check some of the hotels there 😉
    Apart from that I agree with the first comment. If you didn’t bring it up while you were staying there, thus giving them a chance to fix it right then and maybe accomodate you some other way, why would you bring it up afterwards? What do you expect to achieve?

  31. A dirty shower and dirty toilet are worth complaining about.

    I had a toilet leaking above my room into my toilet area and it left a horrendous smell. Complained, got relocated and upgraded. I never knew that a Four Points could have a luxurious suite with a bathroom the size of a normal hotel room that included a 4 person jetted tub, shower stall that could fit just as many, dual vanity, etc. Best crappy experience I’ve had

  32. Usually blood is seen on the walls in cheap-to-mid-range properties in countries featuring mosquitoes. I lost track of how many properties and which continents I’ve seen splattered mosquito bits and blood stains high up on walls. Though toilets, you would in fact think the cleaning staff can reach and check those. Sigh.

  33. To respond to a few of the issues raised by y’all:

    @Aaron has a fair question: why didn’t I just have them clean it? The main reason is because this is a limited-service hotel, and they almost certainly don’t have a 24-hour housekeeping staff. So probably the guy who had checked me in 5 minutes before would have had to clean it, and I assume he’d rather just assign me another room, which I didn’t want.

    When I discovered this issue, it was shortly before bed and I had to be up in about 6 hours. Snapping a photo took about a half of a second, a lot less time than changing rooms would’ve taken (since this hotel doesn’t feature teleportation devices). I was groggy and ready to sleep, and I’m sure the ordeal of moving would have left me wide awake. I didn’t write this post until the following day. In other words, I prioritized sleep over addressing the issue.

    Finally, the point of telling the hotel upon checkout or at some other point shortly after my stay would be so they could be aware that there may be an issue with the housekeeping quality, for the sake of future guests. And if they don’t believe me, that’s on them. I won’t be looking for compensation from them for the problem.

    Thanks, all, for the input.

  34. You call the front desk and tell them immediately.

    Hilton are usually awesome at comping the night for these kinds of issues.

    I’ve been diamond for many years and one Hilton last year in a major us city showed me 8 rooms with mould on the ceiling in the bathrooms. Next day I demanded the Gm explain himself about the poor house keeping standard. Result – refund of accommodation and 30000 points to make it right plus a free stay which I’ve never bothered with because the standard was poor. In Charlotte recently my room was not serviced and I got back at midnight, waited 30 mins for towels and they comped the night.

    So Hilton are flawless if you bring issues to their attention.

  35. I’m sorry Andrew, you blew it! Like people pointed out, it’s too late to complain now!
    A few years back, I was on a business trip to Puerto Rico and stayed at one of the better hotels. Upon entering the room before a dinner meeting, I did my normal walk thru. The first thing I notice is the clean appearances of the visible surfaces and vac marks on the carpeting etc. Then imagine my surprise when I discover on the floor on the far side of the room a pair of used men’s underwear! Further inspection turned up pubic hair in the very lavish bathroom! I always travel with a few extra plastic bags in my luggage one of which I used to turn inside out to contain the underwear.
    On my way thru the lobby I stopped at the desk to ask for the manager. He was all smiles! I then asked if they had a lost and found which he said yes to and I produced the plastic bag. I tol him I was anything but pleased. I then told him what I required. That was simply that either while I attended the dinner he could either upgrade me or send housekeeping back to the room immediately to clean the entire place including the pubic hair from the shower. The poor man was mortified. I stopped at the desk later in the evening and he came out to assure me not only had he supervised the cleaning crew but had personally inspected it. The entire room including the bed linens had been redone and a complimentary fruit basket was waiting along with a written note with a room credit!
    I never raised my voice and in fact smiled thru the entire conversation. I simply listed the obvious.
    You missed an opportunity! Too late now!

  36. Andrew, no matter how TIRED you were you shouldve STILL told the front desk. Who are you to know they dont have housekeeping on demand, or how long it would take to just quickly assign you to another room?

    Clearly this didnt bother you too much otherwise you wouldve switched rooms.

    Sorry but you messed up.

  37. The maid probably thought you made that red mess and probably got pissed at you for cleaning it.
    As others have said, should have reported it right away.
    I too once had a brown surprise left in the toilet when I checked into a motel in my college days.
    Other than being relieved of getting a new room after a polite request, I didn’t make much fuss back then.

  38. hahaha i was expecting something ACTUALLY gross… not just a bit of blood

    I think you need to travel more.

  39. I should have immediatly called the Hotel Mgr at the reception and asked for a room change. It is unacceptable this to happen on a so-called Suites by Hilton.

  40. Andrew,
    Do you all travel for free?
    If not, do you use funds that you worked for to pay?

    You, we are paying for a service. We should have it right. Why do we or should we accept crap.

    No way we would stay in that room, get another, and if they are all dirty, leave the hotel with a complaint to corporate. They need to know what their hotels are doing to their guests

  41. The travel sensibilities of this blog never match mine. To say how gross and disgusting it is and then do nothing about unsanitary conditions (except allow the hotel staff to presume it was you that caused them) is just not aligned with my values.

  42. I just realised that this and the other post were written not by Ben, but by Andrew. This blog has always been written by experienced travellers, so if someone who has limited experience is writing, which applies to both posts, perhaps it would be best to clearly highlight this. I personally have no interest in reading complaints that weren’t first addressed to the hotel to see how they were handled. To me that is much more interesting because in all hotels this unfortunately does happen sometimes.

    If this is a minor problem, say, one small very hard to see thing that’s not too gross, you clean it up yourself and forget about it, if it is a majorly gross item or something very stupid like this, or an unflushed toilet etc, or worse, like used underwear inside the sheets which I’m sure we’ve all found once or twice, then call the housekeeping button on the phone and tell WHOEVER answers that you need it sorted immediately. Don’t blog about it or write a TripAdvisor review without seeing the outcome, that’s pathetic and it also makes you look like a total amateur. If you want to go to bed, then say that you need to get to sleep but that it really bothers you and say you don’t want to move room unless it’s literally next door, but then it will of course have been cleaned by the same person who probably was in a hurry. Personally if it was anything to do with the bed, I’d move room, but for this I’d go into the other room while they sorted this out.

    It’s much more helpful to share this in the context of a full review, i.e. I booked at eleven pm and arrived at midnight, etc so we can know if it was perhaps turned by the guy at front desk in the first place, and if their normal housekeeping is more vigilant.

  43. Folks:

    While we spend endless posts parsing the lobby amenities or the concierge desk, lets never forget the basic elements of the contract between guests and hotels. One side provides clean room, clean bed, clean toilet, clean shower; all in a secure, safe, private space. The other party pays for these privileges. No exceptions or excuses are acceptable. Either side is required to deliver “specific performance” of their respective obligations. Each side is entitled, if not mandated, to report deficiencies so they may be corrected. An example: if your credit card we’re declined, would the front desk hesitate to inform you? Could you even check in?

  44. Oh Andrew!

    These were gifts from the Lord! He thought you would bask in the holy bodily fluids after reading his dirty message card on the pillows.

  45. Those photos made me ill.

    If this happened at a reasonable hour (early evening) I would probably ask for a refund and move to another property. If late night (as here) there is no way I would accept that room – it would be the same as if they put me next to a noisy a/c compressor – and would demand a new room.

    I can’t believe you accepted the room or even used the bathroom

  46. Who is this Andrew kid anyhow? This is the second review I’ve read of his and all he does is complain about something it seems like. He needs to be demoted to proof reader not blogger.

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