How to handle an inebriated guest in a hotel

A little bit of alcohol brings out the best in some people, but in most people it has the opposite effect. Nice, quiet, unassuming people when sober can become unpleasant, loud and boisterous.

Unfortunately, when people have had ‘too much to drink’ it means they are more likely to overstep the boundaries between what is acceptable and unacceptable, leading to the potential for some ugly situations. If you are a hotel owner, manager or just a member of staff and you have to face the unpleasant situation of dealing with a drunken guest, it can be difficult to know what actions are best to take.

Here are a few tips that might help when you’re having to cope with someone who’s had too much to drink.

Be firm, but respectful

The best way of dealing with a drunken guest is to know how to handle yourself, otherwise you are entering a difficult situation unarmed. Do not leap in and man-handle your drunken guest then frog-march them out of the hotel. You will be causing much more trouble if you do.

Remember that a drunken person has not completely taken leave of their senses, and that the ‘sober’ version is still in there somewhere. It’s just a question of drawing that person to the fore.

The best thing you can do is to approach someone who is inebriated and causing a scene in a calm manner, and ask if you can speak to them privately. Be respectful, and your guest is more likely to remain respectful to you, even if they are drunk. Be polite, and smile a lot, as this often causes your troublesome guest to relax. Don’t mention the fact that they are drunk (they will often just deny it anyway) or be judgemental as this will just make them annoyed or worse, make them angry.

Isolation is key

If you can persuade your guest to follow you to another room, then that will take them away from the area in which they are causing a disruption. Offer them a coffee and maybe something to eat, and a chance to talk.

If you can get them to drink coffee, then this will give them a quick jolt and reduce the intensity of their drunkenness, allowing them to think clearer and perhaps even giving them the chance of reviewing their behaviour. Food is good as well (unless your guest is really, really drunk) as it helps absorb some of the alcohol faster.

Get their car keys

Too much alcohol and sound judgement rarely go hand in hand. If you can get your drunken guest’s car keys off them easily then do so. You could be saving their life, and several other lives as well. If you can’t get their keys, get someone close to them to take responsibility for their well-being.

Dealing with a drunken hotel guest comes down to taking precautions and using common sense and good judgement. Do not try to take on too much though – if things are looking as if they are getting out of hand for you to handle, then call the necessary authorities.