When a hotel stay doesn't turn out as you expected, submitting a complaint to the business is a way to raise awareness about the situation. Complaints are also a way to get a refund, an additional free stay or other compensation to make up for a negative experience. Approaching the complaint with hostility or emotionally charged accusations is likely to escalate the situation without producing any positive results. Wait until you are calm and have your emotions under control before complaining either verbally or in writing.

Address your complaints immediately when the problem arises. For example, if your room is dirty or otherwise doesn't meet your expectations, walk down to the front desk right away to ask for a better room.

Ask to speak with the manager if the desk clerk or customer service representative doesn't do anything to fix the situation. The front desk clerk typically has some power to give you a refund, room upgrade or other options, but if you have a major problem, you may need to get the manager involved.

Explain exactly what you're complaining about, using facts rather than emotional outbursts to make your point. Remain calm as you describe why you are dissatisfied with your room or the stay at the hotel.

Tell the hotel staff member how you want the problem fixed. For example, if your room is in a noisy pool area, let the front desk clerk know that an acceptable solution would be to move you to a different part of the hotel. Keep your expectations realistic and in line with the problem. If the accommodations are truly unbearable, a full refund may be a logical solution, but for something minor such as a rude staff member or a noisy room, the hotel isn't likely to give your money back.

Document the conversations you have with staff members if the complaint isn't immediately resolved to your satisfaction. For example, if the hotel promises to refund the money to your credit card, document the date, time and name of the person who made this agreement in case the refund doesn't appear on your credit card statement. Take photos if relevant, such as in the case of a dirty room.

Follow up with a phone call, email or letter to the corporate offices of the hotel if necessary. Explain the situation with the same factual details, as well as the information about any conversations you had with hotel staffers about the problem. This keeps the corporate offices in the loop about what is happening in the hotels, and could result in a satisfactory resolution to the situation.