Hotels are full of oddities: some gross, some space-age. Never before, however, have we come across a bit of hospitality secrecy quite so salacious as this. Revealed on the always-intriguing r/AskReddit forums, a hotel insider has shared a trick of the trade designed to save the modesty and marriages of their guests…

Posing a question to their fellow Redditoris, it was u/SeaDry2466 that managed to spark the scandalous conversation by asking: “What does your job not allow you to tell customers?” While the top two responses were similarly insightful — “Our warranty is as long as it is because it will fail after the warranty” and a short tale of print chemical insider trading — it was the third answer that tapped into our endless intrigue for the shadowy practices of major hotels…

You might think that saying “welcome back” to returning customers would be a surefire way to foster solid relationships between a hotel and its regular visitors, creating a sens of familiarity that’s crucial to any kind of ongoing brand loyalty. Alas, things are never quite that simple. Here’s the comment that revealed the kind of salacious thinking hotel staff have to undertake in order to stay one step ahead of their patrons…

I worked at a fancy hotel and was out front to greet people and assist upon arrival. We weren’t allowed to say ‘Welcome back!’ This was in place to protect those that decided to bring another spouse/partner/mistress/etc day after day to the hotel during their stay.”

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Scandalous indeed; hotels are effectively complicit in keeping affairs and past relationships hush-hush. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with this — in fact, its actually the marker of a great staff that they not only recognise a returning customer but are savvy enough to keep that customer’s privacy top of mind — but it certainly points towards the kind of salaciousness that hotels have always ben a hotbed for, even the most luxurious ones.

A direct reply to this comment garnered a similarly massive amount of upvotes for sharing the insight that this practice isn’t limited to hotels alone. In this instance, it seems that people are covering up two kinds of bad practices at once; gambling and extra-marital flings:

If I understand correctly some casinos stopped paging people over the loudspeaker for this reason. The page would usually be along the lines of ‘Ben Smith your ride is waiting at the entrance’. Apparently this notification caused problems in relationships where both parties were gambling covertly without informing their partners. They were both gambling in different areas so they didn’t see each other, sometimes with their respective romantic interests.”

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Interestingly, it appears that this kind of caution is extended to hotel ‘Lost and Found’ too, for very similar reasons…

“‘Lost and Found’ was interesting too. We knew what room the item(s) came from and who was staying there during that time, but we couldn’t call them (this was back when people had home phones. ‘This message is for Mr. Smith. You left your leather belt at the hotel during your stay Tuesday night.’ Mrs. Smith would have a lot of questions if he wasn’t supposed to be at the hotel during that time.”

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In short, I suppose the take-home message is this: if you’re having an ongoing affair, hotel staff will keep your secret safe. Same with your long-simmering gambling addiction. Do we recommend either practice? Absolutely not… but it’s nice to know that you can spend your hard-earned winnings on hard-kept silence.

FINLAY MEAD

Fin is DMARGE’s resident expert and editor on travel and wellness