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Q: How should we handle a horrible hotel experience?

Michele says...
If something isn’t right, let the hotel staff know right away so that they can correct it. If your complaints are being dismissed, talk to the manager. Don’t freak out and yell—they’ll simply tune you out. Be calm, polite, firm and direct about how you would like the situation remedied. If you’re still not happy post-transgression, you can write a detailed letter to the general manager (get their name) and ask for your money back. All hotels mess up now and then; the great ones know how to soothe the ruffled feathers of dissatisfied guests. Remember that you can also always let loose on websites like If something isn’t right, let the hotel staff know right away so that they can correct it. If your complaints are being dismissed, talk to the manager. Don’t freak out and yell—they’ll simply tune you out. Be calm, polite, firm and direct about how you would like the situation remedied. If you’re still not happy post-transgression, you can write a detailed letter to the general manager (get their name) and ask for your money back. All hotels mess up now and then; the great ones know how to soothe the ruffled feathers of dissatisfied guests. Remember that you can also always let loose on websites like TripAdvisor.

A travel writer extraordinaire, Michele Sponagle has visited more than 40 countries around the world. Send her your travel questions here.