I am pretty sure I have you all beat on this one, but before I reveal my most embarrassing hotel experience ever (which happened in Paris), I need to get you all to reveal something that even comes close. Otherwise it will remain a secret forever, known only to me, some strangers and a hotel employee.
Had just checked into my hotel in Venice. Bathroom was just inside the hotel room door, had to walk thru living rom to get to bedroom. Decided I needed a shower after the long flight. Went to bathroom, stripped down, forgot something in bedroom... yep, came out of the bedroom stark naked to find room service guy in the living room with a tray!
I screamed, he turned around towards the bedroom and I quickly tried closing the bedroom door. He said he had knocked and was making a delivery. I said I hadn't ordered anything! Turns out it was my welcome gift! I went thru that bottle of Bellini's pretty darn quick!
I've not told anyone about this before now.
Since NewHilton has shared with us, I'll do as well since the event was generically similar but worse. I had been staying at our college's apartment in Dijon for two weeks and always had to turn left to use the bathroom. I had to drill this into my head because a spiral staircase was immediately to the right and I would likely have broken my neck if I'd taken a wrong turn at night.
This was long ago and I was flying home from CDG and stayed overnight at the airport Holiday Inn. It was New Year's Eve. As usual, I went to bed ridiculously early (around 8:30), but also because I do not enjoy New Year's Eve as a holiday. I sleep au naturel and when around 11:30 I woke up having to use the bathroom, I naturally turned left as I had in Dijon -- straight out the door into the hall (there was no latching mechanism on the door). Since I was still mostly asleep I didn't realize for a few seconds what I'd done. There I was, naked in the hall. And since I had never intended to go there I didn't have my card key.
The next part was humiliating but it could have been MUCH worse. An older French couple came from the elevator and when they saw me shrieked. I think they thought something terrible had happened to me, and the man ran to fetch towels from their room. They then called the front desk to get me back into my room. So now I'm in the hall looking like I just came out of a shower when an extremely tall, big man appeared on the scene. Again, good that I speak French because he started interrogating me before allowing me back into my room.
Needless to say, the next morning I checked out as quickly as possible and have never again stayed there. I have, however, started taking precautions if the door doesn't have a barrier lock, like putting things in front of it, and also leaving the bathroom light on and the door slightly open.
Come to think of it that was probably the most embarrassing experience of my life (and the thing nightmares are made of). However, it really could have been worse -- what if it had been after midnight on New Year's and it had been a crowd of young people rather than an old couple? I still shudder to think about it.
Thank you for sharing that story. I can understand you not wanting to stay there again, and I would do the same. Thank goodness it wasn't, like you mentioned, late at night with younger people, and in the current times of youtube videos. As it is, you only need to not run into those very few people. Trust me, if people ran into me naked in the hallway at my older state in life, they'd shriek for a whole different reason
I have to agree with Pluto that both stories are hilarious though I am sure they were not at the time.
While reading NHM's story, I did have a flash back to when something similiar happened to me, again right after arriving on an overnight flite, so sleep deprived.
I had headed into the shower to take a shower, after checking that the door was locked. What I had not anticipated is that my ex-husband would decide to leave the room and leave the door unlocked. So while still in the shower I heard someone in the other room. Thinking it was my husband, thought it strange that he was trying to locate me as he knew I was taking a shower.
Turned out to be a hotel employee delivering an unexpect fruit basket and bottle of wine, and wanting someone to sign for the delivery. Since my ex's name was on the room, I don't think he was expecting to find anyone but a man in the room.
As I opened the bathroom door he was walking by. He bolted for the door, and I slammed the bathroom door so hard the it shook the walls.
When my ex returned to the room he was furious. Since we were in a very traditional country, and people were killed for less when it came to one's wife, I was more nervous over what would happen after he stormed down to the front desk.
Luckily, no noe died.
After that the hotel could not do enough for us.
I don't think he envisioned that anyone would come into the room while he left to do some errands. The door was shut, but the security latch was off so he could get back in with his key. The hotel staff can get in the door, even if locked unless the secuirty bar is in place.
It was all rather comical!
Lots of posturing on both sides!
In some countries you have to be very careful of every action and look. My guide that picked me up in Naples and took us down the Amalfi coast actually lived in Sorrento. He was telling us stories about how he and his friends would not even look at scilian girls, afraid their male relatives would come after them. The minute they knew the girls were scilian they headed in the opposite direction in fear of offending male relatives. Some actions and looks can insite violence in these countries. When we were in Turkey, I decided to use the hotel hammam. Went to make an appointment, and all they had was a masseur. My ex heard this, and his response was, my wife sees your masseur, after your wife. They just glared at each other. Was just wishing it would all end. Afterwards, I asked him what the big deal was. In Switzerland, you sign up for the massage, and take the next available slot regardless of whether it was a masseuse or masseur. He said he had no problems with that as it was Switzerland and that the practice was generally accepted. But in Turkey the hammams, if not separate, have a ladies day, and a mens day, and there is not mixing, so for their male reservation person to say this, was not. proper. Since it was an international hotel, that had primarily a European clientel, I think they thought they were being very European in their business.
Anyways, this is how misunderstandings can develop while traveling, and its important to be aware of actions and looks, and try to avoid these things as much as possible. Unless you have strong local language skills it not as easy to unravel, as it was to get into it.
Every trip is a learning experience!
Doesn't matter how many time you travel, each trip is new, which is what I think the big draw is.
I think I have also heard ProfC say that after several successful trips, all the sudden, after all the planning and all the previous experiences, something goes wrong that was unexpected, you make a note of it, and try to avoid it in the future!
I have nothing close for these two stories, but my Aunt Dorothy can contribute. She's no longer with us, but she loved to share an experience from a hotel in Cincinnati in the 1950's. She was accompanying my uncle to a business dinner. Their room was on the second floor. Dororthy was all dolled up (her words) and ready to go. My uncle went to get the car, she would meet him out front. She left the room and headed down the hall. This hotel had a mid hallway door. She opened and walked through the door. Her first step was 12 feet down. This was apparently some type of exit door without steps. She landed on the hood of a car below right outside the kitchen door. Remarkable, she only suffered a few minor cuts and bruises. She said the looked like she had been in a fight with tattered stockings and dress as she walked back through the lobby to her room.
This is second hand but fits into this.
A friend of mine was staying at a hotel and in the morning while completely nude, decided to get the newspaper outside his door. He looked and didn't see anyone so stepped out to get it and the door slammed behind him. There he was in the hall. No one around, and no way to call for help. He waited for a while, facing the door, and no one came and so had to use the newspaper for cover to go to the front desk for help.
This happens alot on cruise ships on the last night, when you have to pack your bags and put them outside the door. Never fails some is inappropriate dressed, or not at all, trying to get as much as possible into the suitcase, so as not to hand carry off, and while putting the case out and making sure its up against the wall and not blocking the hallway, the door swings closed behind them.
More than one person has gone down to the reception less than dressed appropriately.
Its so common they now not only warn passengers at the disembarkation lecture, but also broadcast it over the PA system.
On board ship, the key card is everything, so I usually leave it hanging around my neck.
Note only does it unlock your door, but it is need to buy anything on board ship, and or embarkation and disembarkation.
Unfortuantely, installing a key pad will not eliminate the keycard like in a hotel, as its needed everywhere else, so I think they just have not bothered.
The only thing under keypad control is the cabin safe, and the gym lockers.
I am going to just go ahead and say this, and will probably blog about it in more detail elsewhere at some point, but I do have a couple of embarrassing hotel experiences that, while not perhaps as humiliating or embarrassing as NewHM or the Prof, were still humiliating nonetheless, just in a different way. In fact, I am hugely embarrassed to even admit to it to my fellow travelers here on Insiders.
This past summer, I did some multigenerational European travel for the first time - 4 generations in our party to be exact - my mother, who is ALWAYS a delight to travel with, my sister and brother-in-law - same, and my two adult (and sometimes I feel like I need to use that term loosely!) daughters and two small grandchildren. My son-in-law, deployed for nine months - was unable to join us. Neither was my husband or my son. I have to say - It. Was. Tough. But that's for another post/blog. What was embarrassing, and I think it's even more embarrassing to admit here than it was when it happened, was how messy my daughter (the new mommy) was in the hotel room. When we left the first property that we stayed at, my mom had to inform me that while I was hauling luggage back to the lobby, she had to go around our villa and pick up trash that my daughter was just going to leave behind. Additionally, my daughter apparently attempted to be disrespectful to the property in other ways (where the littles were concerned, like letting my little granddaughter, with very newly acquired toilet skills run around without a diaper or training pants, which my mom caught, and thankfully abruptly curtailed.) When my mother mentioned something to my daughter about respecting the property, my daughter's thought was that we were paid guests and we were sort of, somehow entitled (to what exactly? I do not know!) Wrong, wrong, WRONG! I was humiliated as well as furious with her attitude, and the fact that I had to defend myself to my mother that, "Mom, you know that I did NOT raise her to be this way." (To which my Mom replied, "Of course you didn't.") I had to re-explain to my twenty something daughter the basics of 1) leave it better than you found it, 2) treat it like it's your own property, 3) the customer will ultimately pay the price for wear and tear, 4) have some respect for the people who have to clean up after you, and 5) the reservation was in my name, therefore the state in which we leave a place ultimately reflects upon me! Well, when we got to our next property, on the first morning when we were ready to depart the room for the day, there was literally so much stuff strewn about, that it would have been impossible for any maid to do their daily job. The place was just covered with 'stuff' ie. belongings, trash, crumbs, etc. I was compelled to pick up before we left. My daughter seemed offended by my actions, but I politely explained to her that there was no way the maid could do her job for us with all of this stuff (pardon me - ****) everywhere! And so it went, although she did leave the place clean when we checked out (she didn't dare do otherwise ). To be honest, I (pause) don't really want to travel with her anymore, until she learns to get her business in order! I know she's got a tough row to hoe, with her husband being deployed and she being a 24/7 single parent overseas with no familial support, and I know that little crawling and grabbing babies and toddling kids are messy and difficult to corral, but c'mon! It was so bad at that second hotel that I had to take my mom aside and tell her, Mom, I cannot stay in that room with them. There is just too much stuff! I don't care how much it costs (and it cost us!), we are getting a second room! And we did. My daughter keeps a fairly clean home, so I don't know what -- well, I do think I know what was going on - on top of the stress of being a geographic single parent, I think the idea of Europe travel with babies is a little bit insane. It just shouldn't be done until kids are older, because it's just stressful as well as exhausting. Is it just me? What do the rest of you think? (And btw, I am not a Mommy Dearest. I am not exaggerating about the mess!)
Embarrassing or not, obviously I really needed to get that off my chest, so thanks! And someone, anyone, please tell me that your grown kids aren't perfect either, because I REALLY need to hear that!
Some time when your daughter's husband is back and things are more stable, you ought to make a surprise visit to her house when she's out and surreptitiously do to it what she did to the hotel rooms. She might get the point, though I guess you'd have to fess up so that she wouldn't call the police!
Mmm. I really don't know how to play this out... Next year we will want to visit Prague and Vienna. It could quite possibly be my only shot at those two cities. I really want to stay in the Prague Marriott, and I really want my stay and my visit to these two exquisite cities to be very special, but there is no way I will do it with my kids and grandkids. It's not just, you know, the stuff in the hotel room, it's also that my travel priorities are not the same as theirs. One cannot linger upon something of great interest with tired little children a foot. Will have to figure out a win/win. And yes, she's learning. We'll be doing another hotel stay together in Garmisch in December. More opportunity for practicing room etiquette and that equally important sense of ownership.
pluto -- I'm not sure if your son in law's deployment had anything to do with the room situation or not, but I do recall one time on my way out of the country for a deployment being given a small writing tablet at the USO in ATL that read something to the effect of "the toughest job in the AF/Army/Navy/Marines (pick one) is being a military wife." I kept that close to me while I was gone as a constant reminder. It definitely takes a very special person to endure that kind of separation...my wife is living proof after 30 some odd years of marriage and multiple deployments ranging from a month to a year in duration. I say give her a break.
I believe you are really on to something. As we age, it's important for us to remember how it was for us when we were young. We had more energy then, but less wisdom. When I was my daughter's age (actually younger), I lived overseas (7K miles from home). I was married, I had a baby, and I was an active duty service person. There was no family support. No home phones (living off base in the "ville"). Certainly no cell phones. There was no email, no Skyping, indeed no Internet. It was us against the world. And whenever we referred to the States, we spoke in terms of "back in the world," as if we were on another planet, as that was certainly how it seemed. It was hard. But even so, and it's good that you have prompted the reminder, my husband (nor I) ever deployed, and I was very fortunate to have known the sweetest missionary wife (who home schooled her own children, and did a good job; her eldest was accepted to the Air Force Academy right out of "high school") who needed the money and took care of my baby daughter. She gave the absolute best care, and we all came to be family to one another. I was extremely lucky. I think I probably had it easier than my daughter in many ways, even though I was active duty and she a stay at home mom with all the modern amenities, because there's no substitute for being surrounded by good and supportive people, and I thank you for helping me to be reminded of that.
It seems that a second room might be a good choice. It will cost more but it might allow you to relax and enjoy your family and your daughter to be herself. Just don't even go into her room and out of sight out of mind. I would probably not try to change your daughter. She is married and an adult. You did what you could and now she is what she is. Different people have different lifestyles. Just be glad that you have her.
Cal, You're right, and I am. You've prompted an excellent idea. We can get a couple of rooms in the nice hotel. We can all take turns watching the kids so that everyone gets some "adult" time plus the grandparents get some quality kid time. We get a nice hotel stay, the kids get a nice hotel stay... It's a win/win.
It will be worth some extra money to be able to enjoy your family. The extra room will give both of you the ability to keep your rooms as you see fit. I hear so much worse from parents that have real problems and would be happy if that was all they had to worry about. On that, time is short and you should be glad that she wants to travel with you. Again, just enjoy your family.
Definitely worth the extra money. We discussed this further last night, and now we're considering the thought that we may just stay in Germany with the babies, and send the parents off on an adult only vacation to the Prague Marriott (looks beautiful) by themselves as a gift. Prague will be there for us when it's 'our' time. Need to run it by them to see what they think.
I appreciate all of the constructive input. Might seem like a no-brainer for some, but sometimes one can't see the forest for the trees...
Still very generous on your part.
Closest I have come is letting my sister and kids share my cabin.
And now that they are taller than us, get them their own cabin, which is actually self-defense so I can walk through the cabin, have somewhere to hand my clothes, find a towel in the bathroom after my showerm and not be wakened up by their cell phone calls at all hours of the night.
Here's some more embarrassing "stuff." Traveling last summer with my 10 month old grandson (what else?). He was (still is?) at that age where - you know - they just grab everything they see. It was a constant challenge when dining to keep the little fellow from grabbing the tablecloth (and yanking it) in front of him. On more than one occasion, his little hands slipped by all of our pairs of eyes, grabbing the table cloth (with quite a grip), and sending glasses of wine and water a spilling everywhere! Not so bad at lunchtime in casual establishments (though always hated to see the server have to do all the clean up), but totally mortifying at dinner. People were so nice though. To tell the entire story however, a couple of times when we were out without the babies (after they went home) and it was just us adults, we still managed to spill wine!
PRof, I have been waiting to see if anyone told of an embarrassing episode where I was the 'other party'. It would have been interesting to put a name to the ...
it occurred quite a few years ago and it wasn't a Marriott hotel. I had checked in and was given my room key. I went to 'my' room ... well it had the number that I was given and they key operated the door ... I opened the door and entered the room. I put down my bag and heard the squeak of a chair which prompted me to look up ... there was a desk unit directly in front of me and a very attractive young lady was sat in the chair ... looking directly at me and also completely naked!
i am not normally stuck for words but when she asked why I was in 'her' room, I must have gone bright red (I felt the flush) and blustered some sort of response before turning round and exiting the room ... without my bag. I decided not to knock and ask for it, despite the young lady seeming to be totally un-embarrassed about her lack of attire. I went to the front desk, berated them about giving me an occupied room and asked them to get my bag.
I Would love to know what she had to say to the hotel management!