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Worst. Guests. Ever. A roundup of nightmare guests

June 27, 2013
by Laura Canning | guides

Tents. Not soundproof. Campsite guests, h ouse guests or hotel guests  – we all have our tales of woe about those of the nightmare variety. Tales that are usually told while rocking back and forth and weeping…Whether you’re a campsite owner , a campsite guest or staying in a hotel with a celebrity down the corridor, nightmare guests will likely show up at some point on one of your holidays, leading to the descent of the red mist and a large dollop of incandescent rage. Which is not really the emotion you’re aiming for on a relaxing holiday.

We asked our Facebook users for stories of nightmare fellow guests and got several gems (ta very much), from the amorous neighbour who ‘seemed to miaow like a cat on her finale’ to our particular favourite, the camper who stole the fat from someone else’s frying pan (leaving finger marks in the remaining fat. To which we say, Ewww.). And while we’ve covered annoying campers in the past, this latest lot take ‘annoying’ to a whole new level. Here’s our roundup of nightmare guest categories:

The tea-leaf

It’s generally accepted in hotels that you can liberate that sachet of nice body lotion to take home (but not clocks, lamps or medieval swords , thanks). But this doesn’t apply to campsites or caravan parks, where the clue is in the fact that toiletries, equipment and other bits and bobs are put there for communal use by the campsite owners. And when guests nick something belonging to other campers just because it’s not nailed down, then we can only say there is a special circle in hell reserved for them. Preferably with regular pitchforking.

(Also, while we most sincerely hope this never happens to you, have a read of our tips on how to keep your caravan secure , just in case the tea-leaves have their eyes on nabbing something bigger.)

The amorous

From miaowing like a cat to, er, howling like a dog?, overly-amorous guests are one of the biggest sources of annoyance and complaints on holidays – which is probably not surprising when hotels offer ‘conception credit’ to guests who make a new human during their stay. And it’s much worse on campsites with tent camping, when loved-up folk apparently don’t realise that these types of walls are not soundproof. Gah. Amorous behaviour in itself is of course not a problem – go for it, we say. As long as it’s in private and we can’t see your tonsils, we applaud you. But we will literally start applauding if your screeching wakes us up at 4am. That's been found to work.

Dali. Occasional animal fan. The famous

The number of celeb guests and their ridiculous demands has reached epic proportions, so much so that the phrase ‘Remove all the brown M&Ms’ can be used as code for an overly-demanding hotel guest (those ones were Van Halen). But there’s also the angry sleb guest to contend with, such as Russell Crowe’s phone-throwing incident in a New York hotel in 2005 (he later apologised and made a payout to the hotel staff member the phone hit), as well as the downright weird/certifiable – Salvador Dali ordered a flock of lambs to his Paris hotel once which he then shot at with blanks, and also paid staff to catch flies for him in the hotel garden.

(Our favourite ever nightmare hotel guest in the celeb category has to be fictional Alan Partridge, for his epic 182-day stay and zombie staff-torturing at the Linton Travel Lodge. We bet the champagne in the hotel was drunk dry when he finally moved on.)

The rowdy kids

Oh dear. We shall hastily point out that we don’t think even the grumpiest camper could/should take issue with kids playing on a campsite, and that there are quite a few folk about who seem to think kids shouldn’t be in public at all (we particularly liked one of our Facebook commenters telling a campsite owner after a complaint that the kids were now ‘chained up until morning’). But. Kids using people’s tents as a goal, being allowed to run around screaming or never having being introduced to the terms ‘personal space’ and ‘other people’s possessions’ account for a goodly chunk of feedback on nightmare guests of the smaller variety. We blame the parents. Which sadly doesn't help when a football smacks you in the face.

Please. The noisy

Along with the loudly amorous and kids not respecting hangovers at 6am, there are oh so many other types of noisy nightmare guests around – we reckon you’d get them even on a five-star cruise. Among our favourites, by which we mean ‘top of our List’, are the snorer, who sounds like a chainsaw in the next tent and who we can just tell is doing it on purpose ; the unmusical (we are often unmusical too but we don’t try to play guitar in the dead of night) and the sparring couple, who seem to wait until they’re surrounded by dozens of other people to start having a barney. Spare us, please. And send us some earplugs.

Special mention – the house guest

Just like fish, house guests start to smell after three days, warned that man of wisdom Benjamin Franklin. Or possibly it was Mark Twain. Whoever said it, they were right. There are house guests who, Father Stone-like, wouldn’t know a social boundary if it hit them in the face . And there are also those who laze on your sofa all day and empty the fridge of your Friday night cider and pizza while you’re out working like some sort of muppet, making us think that Franklin/Twain might have meant three hours for the whiff to start rather than three days. It’s all the more reason to give up the house and move one’s life and book collection into a campervan.

We always like to shudder at stories of nightmare guests on the campsite and elsewhere (we’re told it’s therapeutical), so if you have any more, have at it below. And here’s our guide to campsite etiquette , just in case...