For some, a hotel room is merely a transit point; it’s a place to sleep and shower, no more and no less. For others, it’s a haven replete with awesome perks: Plush bathrobes! Sparkling toilet! Privacy!

Whichever camp you’re on, you want your room to be comfortable, clean, and safe. We’ve prepared a laundry list of things to check in your room before you unpack, lie down, or zoom to the first destination on your itinerary.

Check your room before you do this, yo © Giphy

If you find that something is amiss, don’t hesitate to notify the front desk. Any changes arising from issues you catch early on likely won’t cost you a penny.

So, get your inspector hat on and get checking!

Hidden camera

Check your surroundings carefully for blinking lights, extant wires, and questionable plugs. You’ll preferably search the whole room, but pay extra attention to smoke detectors, tissue box, clothing hooks, mirrors, desk lamps, and any decorative objects.

Try to turn off all the lights and observe for blinking red or green light from the camera LEDs. You can also use your phone flashlight to catch any reflective light from an object.


Bugs are generally cool creatures, so long they’re not on your bed. Whether you’re staying at a questionable motel or a swanky boutique hotel, you have to check for bedbugs since their presence has nothing to do with the overall cleanliness of the surrounding environment.

To check for them, examine all corners of the bed for tiny, dark spots or white bug eggs. Lift the comforter and the sheet, and check along the seams and zippers. To be completely sure, do a sweep with your phone flashlight. Don’t forget to check the sofa and carpet as well!


Even if you don’t feel the need to update your friends and family, you may need the WiFi to check your travel confirmations or find information on that museum you’re planning on visiting. Make sure it works and it’s secured, which usually means it requires a password to access. To add another layer of security, we recommend that you use VPN when going online.

If the connection seems to be lagging badly or not working at all, you can always ask the front desk to check. Sometimes it just takes a modem restart to fix this.

Hot water

Does it work? Does it give off a weird smell? Do you spot rust or mold around the showerhead? Sometimes it takes a while for the hot water to kick in, or you need to flip a switch. But it’s better to test it right away rather than later when you’re tired and in dire need of a hot shower.


Depending on the type of accommodation, you may have to adjust your expectation on the tools and toiletries provided. Always be prepared to bring some essential items or purchase nearby. However, if you’re promised certain products upon booking and they’re not there, you can always put in a request to the front desk.

No one wants to hop in the shower and later finding out that there are only hand towels in the bathroom.

Electrical outlet

Travelling abroad is fine and dandy until you realize that the electrical outlets in the room are incompatible with your plugs, even when you’re checking into a 5-starred hotel. Sometimes hotel staffs will be happy to lend you theirs if they have them, but take this as a reminder to do your research and pack your own.


Too hot? Too cool? No problem, you can always adjust the temperature, so long the thermostat or the AC remote works just fine. As with the case with the hot water, sometimes it takes a while for the chill or warmth to kick in. But if it’s broken or you need help, contact the staff.


If you plan on raiding the minibar, it’s a good idea to check the prices or make sure the bar isn’t locked. If you don’t, then do an inventory check. You don’t want to be charged for something you don’t consume. If something is missing, report it right away and the staff will make a note of it.

Door lock

Guests tend to assume that hotel rooms will just lock behind them. Well, don’t assume; test it out yourself. Try stepping out and closing the door (carrying your room card, of course), and see if the door locks properly. One more thing: Remember to always lock the deadbolt when you’re in the room!