Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER What to do when you have a bad hotel experience
What to do when you have a bad hotel experience PDF Print E-mail
Q: We recently stayed in a hotel in Rome, and it seemed every member of the staff was deliberately rude to us. We believe we always behaved with courtesy and consideration to them, and expected the same in return. What should you do when you're offended in that way? Coloseum, Rome
A: Travelers with any sense of courtesy will not deliberately offend another person, whether at home or on the road. However, you don’t have to take offensive guff from anyone. About those rude employees in Rome, how do you say, "Shove it where the sun don't shine" in Italian? No, not that. Just kidding.

Before we leave home, we study up on the customs of the countries where we'll visit. We've been around for a long, long time, and we know it isn't likely we'll offend any people in Europe, Asia, America nor in other lands. We don’t need to apologize for practicing what we consider good American manners. Whenever we’re guests and spending money in another country, we expect courtesy from those who are paid to serve visitors.

In Paris recently, after a taxi ride from Le Gare Nord to our hotel, I took out a handful of French francs. I know the rate of exchange and was computing the fare and tip when the taxi driver reached over and took all my francs. I yelled some appropriate curses in English and fractured French and grabbed most of it back, but did the slob apologize? No, he just snickered and jumped into his cab, mumbling how stupid American tourists are. That's inexcusable.

I was on a Rome street several years ago, a bit confused about where the Parthenon was, I walked over to a well-dressed man and asked directions in my even more fractured Italian. I had taken two semesters of Italian as a college freshman, and coming from the streets of South Philly, I knew some slang and colorful curses.

The guy looked away as if I were bothering him. He didn't even want to acknowledge my presence. I did get off a couple of South Philly's best opinions about how his mother and father never married. I walked on and got the information from a much more polite and cooperative Roman lady.

Simple courtesy is universal, and when we give it, we expect to get it back in equal amounts. As for your bad treatment at the Rome hotel, be sure to report it in writing to the local and/or chain hotel management. If your trip was booked by a travel agency or group organization, let people there know your complaint.
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