Employees at five-star hotels reveal secrets, deaths and celebrity run-ins in viral Reddit thread

hotel worker
"Never trust the glasses in hotels." Photo credit: Getty.

If you've ever been lucky enough to stay in a five-star hotel, you'll know on the surface things usually appear very slick and pretty much perfect. 

There's the concierge ready to help with any request, crisp hotel linen, chilled sparkling water or sparkling wine at your fingertips...

But it turns out that under the surface - in the staff-only areas, or after guests have gone to bed - things aren't quite as squeaky clean as they seem. 

That's according to hotel workers who have been spilling secrets online after a Reddit user asked: "People who work at 5-star hotels: what type of shit goes on that management doesn't want people to know?"

The post quickly went viral, racking up over 12,000 responses - and let's just say we'll never look at hotels the same way. 

Here are some of the most revealing responses: 

"A famous teen celebrity left a room full of needles and various drug paraphernalia behind for housekeeping to clean up." 

"Never trust the glasses in rooms. [Cleaneres] are so stretched thin on time that they will clean the glasses with the same rags they clean the bathroom. After all, their goal is to make the room look clean. I worked as a [room attendant] in a five-diamond for years and there was over a year period that went by where we didn't get a clean glass delivery. We didn't have dishwashers in the room, so management was complicit. This was in a five-diamond, one of the top resorts in the world. Never trust glass in hotel rooms."

"I worked at a Ritz a few years back... The kitchen staff had a few folks with drug issues and had to be sent home a couple of times because of it. In my time there I saw two waiters get fired due to embezzlement... The staff parties were WILD, to say the least."

"Bedbugs. Every single hotel from run-down motels to 5-star resorts has dealt with bedbugs."

"We weren't allowed to greet celebrities by name since they wanted to be anonymous, so we would use their alias that day. Some were greeted by prostitutes or 'escorts' who were always super nice to everyone. A regular would rent out a room for a day, once a month, and make US$30-40k that day from clients. Celebrities, business guys, you name it. Crazy." 

"I worked room service at a posh luxury hotel while I was in uni. It really isn't as exciting as others make it sound. Everything has to be perfect at all times. There is a lot of pressure to make everything perfect. It can be exhausting. Shit happens, but it's mostly drugs or prostitution. Mostly it's quiet and no one knows it's going on until we go to clean their rooms."

"Largest checkout bill I've ever seen was roughly $2 million for guest who rented out an entire floor of suites for three weeks, then promptly paid via wire transfer." 

"Dead people. There's a reasonable chance somebody has died in your bed. Obviously it varies with the type of hotel and its clientele, but some places you get deaths weekly (not that the hotel is unsafe but unfit old people overexerting themselves). One place I worked maybe 40 percent of the beds had been died in."

"Housekeeping gets the brunt of it. I've seen them carry out bags of used sex toys, peel used condoms off of every surface, and scrub shit - actual human (presumably) shit - off places there's no reason for human shit to be. The worst, though, was the couple that wanted a home birth but not, you know, at home. We had to deal with that hazmat situation."

"When we see 'Instagram influencer' on your booking, we roll our eyes."