Did I ever get disappointed by a hotel?

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What did you expect to read in the first line? Well I would be a liar if I said “No”. But by the time travelling around and seeing so many hotels, I learned there are different ways of expressing your disappointment. While one of our most read articles about a hotel in Milan was a negative one, I decided to put it down as I am sure the hotel would have changed over a time of three years. I think it would be unfair to judge a hotel’s performance after such a long time but on the other hand I would never ever take the money to stay there again. A bad stay is a lost stay and only very few hotels do really try to convince these lost customers. In fact it is one of the hardest things a hotel has to do. For me, the most interesting is that while I sometimes think I can see how a hotel performs, sometimes I am totally wrong. If a hotel has a top rating on the big review platforms, it can still be a total disappointment from beginning to end - is it really me that is so discerning or was it just a sum of unlucky moments? I agree, I used to put the hotel on the “dislike list” as well but I also worked on the other side of the desk and know how hard it is to always deliver the same level of service. There is no space for feelings or moods when working in a hotel and a little mistake may lead to more incidents and causing the guest to leave a bad memory about the stay.

I love that one can’t plan everything and let’s be honest, that’s what makes life so adventurous. So the question now is how would you call a hotel stay a total crash? Would you say a failed check-in, missing warmth from staff or a dirty bathrobe make a hotel bad already? Since we have stayed in many hotels, and we have seen a bit of accidents, our tolerance always gets less strict and one mistake at a one night stay can still be undone if the rest is outperforming. However on the other end, if things happen over and over again and the list of negative things is longer than your positive memories, then the hotel has a problem and at that stage you should do the following.

  1. Call the department while you experienced the issues and ask them to come up and see it or just tell them and let them arrange a solution.

  2. If no reaction and major issue, try to speak the manager (at least there is a duty manager) and explain the problem, remember to be polite and respect the person even if you are upset. If she/he is a good manager she will find a solution or offer compensation immediately.

  3. If nothing happened or the incidents were small but there were several of them, fill out the survey sent to you via email post-stay (be honest and list the negative points, feel free to mention the good things)

  4. In case there is no survey, send an email to the hotel with your negative feedback and ask them for feedback from a manager

  5. Should there be no reaction (or do you want to be more discreet), contact the manager via phone (always better as both try to be more constructive) or email

  6. If all of the above fails or the hotel is not responding, contact your travel agent or write a review on this stage only (do not write a review before you talked to the hotel’s manager so they can find a solution)

  7. DO NOT AT ANY INSTANCE BLACKMAIL THE HOTEL - we all know there are reviews out there that have just been put in order to feel better but not to help anyone. You do not really benefit from this review, neither will the hotel really suffer from it unless they only have 10 reviews and someone actually reads your review.


I can say I experienced a lot, above all an incident at a hotel in Milan’s Tortona district by a Spanish lifestyle hotel chain (with orange logo) that belongs to the third biggest business hotel group worldwide. We stayed there with a party of three and we all took our Macbooks and Bose and B&O headphones only to find out after a dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant that all our stuff was stolen from the hotel room. I felt property was the least cooperative one in the world but what did I do? Well, I was shortly before writing 20-30 One star Tripadvisor Reviews so that their rating sinks from Number 5 to 300 but again I told myself we are in Italy and reviews are mainly paid anyways. I filed a complaint at the local police office to find out this did not help anything. Thanks to an Italian friend, he found a lawyer who took over the case. We filed lawsuit and I was paid a compensation. It wasn’t the easiest of all tasks in my life and took me a lot of time. Worst thing: I wasn’t the only guest and these kind of robberies still happen, so another reason to book myself at the all time favourite hotels rather than wasting time at other places.

The Excelsior Gallia - Once a hotel that made me to the person I am after having stayed there several times when I was four years old

The Excelsior Gallia - Once a hotel that made me to the person I am after having stayed there several times when I was four years old