4th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A Chinese visitor who recently stayed at a five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui received a letter the following day from the hotel, requesting a “Room Restoration Fee” of HK$8,600. The hotel suspected that the guest or her companions had caused damage to the room.
The incident quickly gained attention after the Chinese visitor shared her experience on the social media platform Xiaohongshu on 3rd December, generating over a thousand comments from netizens.
In her post, she provided a detailed account of the entire incident, along with photographic evidence of the hotel’s written demand for the fee. The letter stated, “We are a non-smoking hotel and are committed to providing a smoke-free environment for our guests. We have charged an amount of $8,600 as a cleaning fee, which is equivalent to one night’s room rate, to restore the room to its original freshness.” The letter also reiterated the request for the recipient not to smoke in the corridors, elevators, or other public areas.The post quickly went viral, sparking widespread discussion among internet users.
The visitor explained that she had made plans to have afternoon tea with friends in Hong Kong over the weekend and initially stayed at a luxury hotel purported to be Rosewood Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui on the first day. However, due to the hotel being fully booked with “a major Louis Vuitton fashion show and many celebrities in attendance,” she had to switch to another five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui on the second day.
After spending one night at the new hotel, she woke up to the news from her friend about “a letter left in her room.”
Many netizens expressed surprise at the hotel’s ability to impose fines on guests privately, questioning, “Can they just fine you without your consent? At the very least, shouldn’t they seek your agreement first?” Others questioned the legality of imposing a fine of over HK$8,000 without prior explanation, wondering if the hotel had the right to enforce such punitive fines.
However, the majority of netizens believed that the fault lay with the guest, asserting that the hotel’s compensation request was understandable. They commented, “These people are beyond redemption… They fail to understand that they were the ones who violated the rules.” Another remarked, “To complain about an HK$8,600 fine and seek sympathy on Xiaohongshu, they’re utterly hopeless.”