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What happens when a guest ‘checks out’ at a hotel?

It isn’t just an unpaid bill that gets left behind

I remember the hotel in which Michael Hutchence took his own life, as do a lot of other people.


But it didn’t do the hotel any harm. In fact, the INXS frontman’s ‘suicide’ room is now even a tourist attraction of sorts.


However, most well known guests who decide to ‘check out’ for the final time in a hotel don’t just leave behind a corpse, but a few other problems too.


For starters, the rooms where such incidents take place are normally given an extreme makeover, from fresh carpeting and upholstery to new furniture and fixtures, the Business Standard reported.


According to Bruce McIndoe, chief executive of iJET, a risk management firm that also assists properties in dealing with cases of unnatural deaths in hotels, there are at least 50 to 100 such cases that the top five to six global hotel brands deal with annually.


“Hotels go for overkill in cleaning up the room, especially if a death has occurred there by unnatural causes,” Mr McIndoe said.


Parallel to police investigations, hotels also put together their own units to archive CCTV camera footage and interview staff extensively, all of which is done to defend the property against any legal action that may ensue.


Although most hotels would agree that little can be done to prevent a motivated person committing suicide on their property, hotels are able to monitor suspicious behaviour as well as check in on guests’ rooms.


And with the advent of break-proof glass, hotels can also prevent guests from jumping through windows. That’d be a mess nobody would want to clean up.



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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 1 April 2014

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