We were recently interviewing the GM of a very well known Hong Kong Hotel about the hospitality business, travel and the responsibility of running a world-renowned property when it dawned on us; hoteliers must see some pretty weird things. The GM who is always quite discrete did allow that some customers were, “a little eccentric.” And that got us thinking, the Housekeeping Staff at most hotels must have some very interesting stories. So we reached out to Maids and Housekeeping Managers at 5-star properties across the globe to compile their tales of the strangest things they’ve seen while working. Let’s just say, they weren’t shy.
You can’t freeze meat in the bathtub
One Maid at one of New York’s most iconic hotels told us the strangest thing she ever encountered happened when a guest asked her for some ice. She responded by bringing him a bucket’s worth but that wasn’t enough. “He said he wanted to fill his bathtub. When I asked why he replied that he fell in love with the corned beef at a deli around the corner and so bought several pounds to take home. The problem was that he wasn’t leaving for several days and he lived in Brazil, a 12 hour flight away. His plan was to freeze the meat in his bathtub.”
Clearly that wouldn’t be sanitary and frankly could be dangerous so the Maid spoke with the hotel’s Chef who ordered the customer a few pounds of properly sealed and frozen corned beef and they kept it in the hotel’s freezer until his departure. Packed in a cooler with dry ice the corned beef arrived safely in Brazil. “For the last 5 years this same customer comes back each year and stays for about a week and always leaves with a care package of corned beef.”
Here’s looking at you kid
Paris is renowned for it’s art, food and culture. It also happens to have some of the world’s great hotels and one such famous landmark was the backdrop to this odd story. “For several weeks I would get a creepy feeling every time I’d have to clean a corner suite. I felt like someone was looking at me.” In fact it wasn’t someone but something and it all came to a head when a guest called the Hotel Manager to complain that the Maid must have eaten their fruit basket while cleaning the room. Needless to say the Maid was called to her boss’ office to explain what happened.
“I told the Manager that I would never touch a guest’s food and he believed me. But when the same scenario played out a week later with a different guest, the Manager said he’d have to let me go.” But the Maid’s termination didn’t last long. A few days later a very embarrassed Manager called the Maid to explain that Maintenance had captured a spider monkey hiding in an air vent in the suite while doing some routine repairs. ‘This explained why I felt something was watching me when I’d clean the room. We tracked the stowaway monkey back to a guest from Central America. We believe he had lost or purposely left his pet a month earlier when he was passing through and the little monkey simply adopted this as his new home, feasting on the complimentary fruit plates and any left over room service dishes.” This story ends happily as the Maid was reinstated and the monkey was sent to an animal sanctuary. He apparently now understands more than a few French words. That beats many of our readers.
So what about you, what was the weirdest thing you ever encountered during a hotel stay?