Hotel Chains or Spy Organizations
February 26, 2013
Frank@OBOW in Opinion

I’m well aware that decent hotels go out of their way to make my stay more enjoyable. They want to know if I have a particular preference when it comes to pillows, view, smoking or non-smoking, low or high floor, etc. And those are things I don’t mind sharing with the hotel.

But now according to this CNN Report, some hotels are going above and beyond simple information gathering.

They are going through your trash, making note of items you brought with you, writing down details of conversations you have with hotel employees and even search  the internet. They scour Facebook, Twitter, websites, and just about anywhere they can to gather information on you.

They claim it’s to make your stay at their hotel better. I think it borderlines on the “creepy.”

If I’m a repeat customer, I don’t mind them keeping records of my like and dislikes pertaining to my stay—pillow preference, which newspaper I like delivered, any food preferences I have, etc. This is information I choose to share with the hotel.

But to do an online search about me, my likes, dislikes, interests, and my family, well, that, in my estimation, is invading my privacy. If I walked into a hotel room and found a gift for me that was chosen because of something the hotel found out about me online, I would seriously think about checking out and never staying there again. I would wonder if they are recording my phone calls, tracking what websites I go to  while using their internet connection, or even have hidden microphones in the room. (Dont’ laugh, one well known hotel in NYC did put hidden mics in some rooms.)

What about you? Would you find it flattering or scary for a hotel to spend time online finding out about you?


Article originally appeared on One-bag, carry-on, light travel tips, techniques, and gear (
See website for complete article licensing information.