Amazing: Staff Abandoned Hotel So Guests Took Over Front Desk, Made Breakfast

Three guests staying at a La Quinta in Nashville found themselves running the hotel when staff abandoned the front desk. They answered the phones and even set up the hotel’s free breakfast for the rest of the guests.

There hadn’t been any staff on duty to check them in when they arrived some time before 5 a.m. They waited for about half an hour, and then went back inside the office behind the front desk to see if maybe someone had just fallen asleep?

That’s when they were sure that nobody from the staff was there at all other than a single housekeeper. Since the phone kept ringing off the hook, and another guest was railing about how she’d been charged $600, they decided they had nothing better to do than chip in and solve problems. “instantly, we’re like, manager mode,” said one of the guests.

  • Answering calls they learned that every single one had the same issue. It was a guest on property whose card had been charged unexpected amounts.

  • They called the general manager – her number was written behind the desk – and she told them that she didn’t know why there wasn’t anyone there, but she couldn’t come in because she was on the West Coast for work. They told the manager they’d just figure out how to check themselves in!

  • By that time the complimentary breakfast was late. They got into the kitchen and brought out food for everyone staying on property.

Close to 8 a.m. a hotel employee came in, and so did the general manager of a nearby Holiday Inn owned by the same company. As a reward for helping out, they were moved to the better property (Holiday Inn) and their stay was comped.

@ahow15 You gotta do what you gotta do. #hotel #laquinta #newjob #singlemom #workinghard #rideordie ♬ original sound – ahow15

It’s a common joke that La Quinta is Spanish for “next to Denny’s.” But the actual story of the name is that the chain’s founder searched for the cheapest furnishings he could find. They had a Southwestern motif and he decided he therefore needed a Spanish name. It really is unrelated to what the Urban Dictionary says that it means.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The idea of “La Quinta” in Spanish is a small estate. For example in Bogotá, Colombia, there’s the “Quinta de Bolívar” (now a museum), where the liberator Simón Bolívar had a residence. I doubt if anyone consulted the Urban Dictionary in choosing the name.

    It seems to me that the guests, though with good intentions, were in risky territory in actually operating the place. Glad it turned out well for them.

  2. Hah! Another good weekend article for our entertainment. Thanks, Gary!

    Looks like the night/morning staff were thieves and decided to rip off customers on their way out of Dodge…

  3. Indeed. And what is it with fat people and obnoxious tattoos? Why the need to draw attention to themselves?

  4. Gary, my wife and I were in gales of laughter reading your description of this story. Great writing and thanks for the laughs!!!

  5. The hotel is lucky that the proactive guest did not start stealing copy paper (typing paper), toilet paper, and even the TV.

    The proactive guest is lucky that they did not get arrested.

    The last employee to leave by the end of the day was irresponsible. That is like if a caregiver says “my shift is over so I will leave the bedridden elderly person in the house alone so they soil themselves in bed and die of dehydration” or if the bus driver says “my shift is over, I leave the bus and let it roll down the hill and kill some passengers on board when the bus crashes”. That is like some nurses leave the operating theater when their shift ends and will not even stay 2 minutes while the operation is just about over.

  6. Not sure what happened at this property but, FWIW, La Quinta is generally the best brand that Wyndham has in its roadside motel category. Some of their properties are almost as nice as a decent Holiday Inn Express.

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