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Diana Mather is a British etiquette and presentation skills tutor based in Cheshire and London. She is the author of eleven books, including four children’s books.

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31 July 2023


Whether you are on holiday or away on a business trip, wherever you stay, it is important to think about the people who will be looking after you and display five-star hotel etiquette.

Be polite

We all respond well to kindness and respect, which is how we should treat everyone. When you walk into the hotel, make sure it is with a smile. This will immediately get you off to a good start when observed. If possible, use staff names, and if they are not wearing badges – it’s okay to ask. 

It may sound basic, but ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ should always be used when interacting with hotel staff.

There is currently a shortage of hospitality staff in many countries, especially the UK, so many hotels employ young and often inexperienced staff.  If this is the case, be patient and encourage the staff member with praise.

Try not to make too much noise

After a good night, it is sometimes easy to forget that some hotel bedrooms have very thin walls! Keep the conversation, TV or music at a reasonable level and be aware of the time of night – some people have early starts.

Noise can also be a problem when dining. A large party of noisy revellers can ruin the evening for a couple trying to have a romantic dinner, so the golden rule is always to be aware of others. It’s not just your hotel!  

Don’t leave the bedroom in a state

It is tempting to enjoy the luxury of not having to make the bed, wash the basin or clean the loo, but most hotel staff have a heavy schedule and do not get a high wage, so don’t expect them to do what you wouldn’t do yourself.

If you don’t want to look at a basin strewn with strands of hair, it’s pretty certain they won’t either, so make sure you check that sort of thing before you leave. It is also good manners to pick up cushions and pillows and place them back on the bed rather than leaving them on the floor.

Oh – and, yes, it is bad manners to pinch towels, bathrobes and other larger amenities!

Complain tactfully

If things go wrong, make your complaint discreetly. It’s a key rule of good hotel etiquette.

The hotel needs to know when something isn’t right, but nothing is more embarrassing than listening to a dressing down at full volume in front of a room full of guests. 

Look after your children

It is vital that children learn ‘hotel manners’ at a young age and their parents’ behaviour will be copied and learned.

Although you are on holiday and want the children to have fun, it’s not fun for other guests if your little darlings run riots.

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