10 Types of Hotel Guests You Will Find in Philippine Hotels
Over the years I’ve noticed that there are 10 different types of Hotel Guests you will find when working in a Philippine Hotel. Some of them are my observations, and some are the observations posted by my followers and fans on Hugot Hotelier.
Working in the hospitality industry prepares us for close encounters with all kinds of people. We are trained to keep a smile on our faces and remain calm and pleasant. Even when hotel guests scream at us or treat us rudely.
This is great training. Not just for handling guests inside the hotel, but also for dealing with different kinds of people in our personal lives.
In the Philippine Hotel setting, we encounter hundreds of hotel guests daily, each with their own personalities, quirks, pet peeves and ways of expressing themselves. Here are some of the more common types of guests we see and assist day in day out.
The Good Balikbayan Hotel Guests
You know the type. I’m sure you’ve met them at some point.
They are your balikbayan titos and titas who are giddily happy to be back home in “Pinas” after being abroad for so long. They speak to you in a Tagalog that’s heavily accented and their sentences are peppered with “salamat.”
They love to tell you about their memories when they were still living in the country. They give away “Hawaiian Host” or “Mauna Loa” macadamia chocolates as pasalubong, or sometimes even perfume or makeup depending on how much they liked your service.
Their rooms are always full of visiting relatives who come in droves, and they fill the restaurants with their huge family. Their treat, of course.
Catchphrase: “Saan ba may masarap na halo-halo?”
The Bad Balikbayan Hotel Guests
The complete opposite of The Good Balikbayan.
These hotel guests manage to find faults and nitpick over the smallest inconveniences they experience in the hotel, in fact in the whole country. They gripe about the traffic, they complain about the smell. They hardly ever speak in Tagalog even if their English grammar is atrocious and their accent is obviously forced.
They brag about everything they have and everything they are “back in the States” or wherever they came from. Extremely sensitive about discrimination, they feel you are always prioritizing foreign guests over them. Even if the said foreign guest actually came before them in the queue.
There is no pleasing these types of guests, unless you are praising them all the time and treating them like the “extra special” people that they are.
Catchphrase: “Hindi ganito sa States!”
The Feeling Don Romantico Hotel Guests
It’s the nightmare of every female frontliner. A guest who feels entitled to be creepy just because they are paying for a room or a meal.
Usually older, these guests make the staff feel uncomfortable by asking personal questions.
They give unsolicited, bordering-on-lewd compliments about the staff’s physical appearance and invite them out on dates. These guests manage to just toe the line between being a creep-o and plain sexual harassment.
Catchphrase: “May boyfriend ka na?”
The Honeymooner Hotel Guests
These are the types of guests who make us all collectively say “sana all.”
At the same time, they also make us want to gouge our eyes out as they play tonsil hockey at the reception desk while checking in.
Yes, yes, we know you’re madly in love. But please, control yourselves enough just to make it to your room. After all, that’s what it’s made for.
Catchphrase: “King-Sized Bed ha. May Jacuzzi ba?”
The Freebie-holic Hotel Guests
Everyone knows these guests! They are the ones who are forever asking for an early check in, a late check out and a room upgrade for no reason.
They ask for all the things they can get for free. Whether it is newspapers, paper bags, note pads or ballpens. They are the ones who know the Housekeepers by name, due to the sheer amount of requests they have for additional amenities.
They are also sometimes the guests you see in the Duty Managers log, complaining about a cotton bud inside the water pitcher in their Room Service cart, managing to get their meal for free even if everyone knows there is no way that cotton bud would come from the kitchen.
Catchphrase: “Complimentary ba to? Pahingi ako ng tatlo.”
The Barangay Hotel Guests
Filipinos are known to be tight-knit families, and this is apparent in hotel stays.
Despite the reminder that rooms are only good for 2 adults and 2 children, we will often find ten or more people inside the guest room, squeezing like sardines on the available bed space and laying blankets on the carpet for those who won’t fit.
When apprehended, they will insist that the other guests are only visiting for the day. They are also the ones you will find bringing a rice cooker, a caldero full of adobo, and sometimes even a small lechon in the room.
Catchphrase: “Dalawa lang kaming matutulog ditto. Uuwi din yang mga yan mamaya.”
The Incognito Hotel Guests
There will always be this type of guest.
The mysterious kind, whose location and whereabouts can never, ever be revealed. Who is he hiding from? Nobody knows, and it is frankly none of anyone else’s business.
He comes and he goes like a thief in the night, often with a different companion each and every time. We didn’t see anything!
Catchphrase: “Confi-A ha?”
The Entitled Influencer Hotel Guests
With the rise of vloggers and influencers, we have also seen more and more of these types of guests. They wield their social media powers like a sword, to anyone who dares not to give in to their requests.
They are usually seen doing live feeds in the lobby, wearing their OOTDs and doing little TikTok videos in every nook and cranny of the hotel.
While they are indeed useful in promoting the property through word of mouth, it can sometimes go beyond the limit when they begin to feel invincible, due to their millions of followers who will hear all about their “bad experience” if we don’t give them what they want.
These are the modern TripAdvisor Warriors.
Catchphrase: “This will definitely go on my vlog.”
The Friend of the Owner Hotel Guests
Just like the Entitled Influencer, these guests feel too powerful for their own good.
They go around the hotel dropping names of hotel bigshots and owners and expecting a red carpet treatment just because they know these people. They usually also speak in a loud voice so everyone around them knows how special they are.
Sometimes, they don’t actually know the owner or manager at all. They just know their name.
Catchphrase: “Ano nga pangalan mo? I’ll make sure (owner) hears about this.”
The Perfect Hotel Guests
Of course, we also do have our good days when we encounter guests straight from heaven.
They wait patiently in line, they give their complete reservation details, they don’t nitpick about deposits and rates. They smile, they say thank you, they wish you a good day. They only ask for things they absolutely need.
They are thankful and appreciative of everyone who assists them. They tip graciously, and they leave wonderful feedback on the hotel’s website.
Though almost extinct, these guests still do exist. And they are the reasons why we still love to do our jobs despite the long hours, other rude guests and physically exhausting work.
Catchphrase: “Here, this is for you.” (Hands over a Php1000 bill)
Being a hotelier is a test of patience when it comes to dealing with these types of hotel guests. But when you master that test of patience, rest assured dealing with difficult people outside of work will be a breeze!
Have you encountered any other guest types in your hotel?
Let me know in the comments!
If you are looking for some tips on how to handle difficult guests or situations, check out John Savage’s Handling Complaints Part 1 article