5 rules of hotel etiquette you need to know

From one- to five-star hotels, foreign country backpackers to local BnBs, the lines of etiquette may sometimes be a bit blurry. Traditionally, it was the guests who had the power to share their hotel experience with family and friends, and with the advance of travel sites such as TripAdvisor, with the world. Online hospitality services such as Airbnb now allow hosts to share reviews of guests. Here are a few hotel etiquette rules to ensure you’re always a pleasant guest.

Tipping the porter & housekeeping

Should you see the porter, online sites recommend that you tip them per bag. TripAdvisor says “it’s normal to tip the porter R15 per movement, assuming about two normal-size bags per person”. When it comes to housekeeping, the site recommends that you leave R50 per person, per day.


Speaking of housekeeping, it’s advised that you treat your hotel room as you would like your home to be treated. While you’re allowed to let your hair down, it’s important to not make it difficult to clean your hotel room. Leave dirty towels, for example, in the bath or shower, try to neatly pack your toiletries and ensure that you don’t leave your clothes, shoes and bags scattered.

Keep personal items safe

Avoid the loss or damage of your personal items by making use of wardrobe space. The safety box is perfect for important items or travel documentation and usually available in hotel rooms with the option to create your own easy-to-remember passcode.

Free wifi 

Free wifi has become one of the important amenities for travellers searching for a hotel and this service is fast becoming a necessity. Some 97% of respondents in the 2016 Expedia Hotel Etiquette study said wifi should be “provided by the hotel at no charge”. Be it at a coffee shop or hotel, its also proper etiquette to not abuse the service by downloading large files, as this may affect the establishment’s bandwidth and therefore, accessibility for other guests.

Consider the staff and other guests

Lastly, remaining polite with staff goes a long way towards having a satisfactory stay. Staff will tend to go the extra mile for  friendly guests. When in your room, consider other guests by not being too loud or hogging shared amenities. You’re all on holiday, after all.

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