How to Mystery Shop for Hotels


According to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, mystery shopping enables hotel managers and executives to keep tabs on their customers' experiences and highlight any shortcomings. It's also a good means for some people to make a bit of extra cash and to stay in a hotel for free, though it is by no means a free holiday, as the responsibilities involved need to be taken as seriously as those of any other job.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet Connection
  • Resume
  • Notepad and Pen
  • Digital Camera


  • Search for opportunities. For the most part, hotels make use of mystery shoppers through independent agencies, so you will need to sign up with one of these before you can get to work. Often, a scan of local newspapers, job bulletin boards or the Internet will present you with a list of companies that cover your area. Be aware that agencies may have minimum age requirements in place. For example, Bestmark asks its mystery shoppers to be 21 or over, while employers may also require you to have your own transportation or home Internet connection.

  • Check with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association to see if a company is reputable. As a rule, you should not be asked to pay any up-front fees in order to be hired, so be wary of any firm asking for this. The professional body's website is also a good place to look for employment opportunities in your area.

  • Verify that the company you want to sign up for works with hotels. While most mystery shopper providers will work with a wide range of clients, some may specialize solely in the retail or customer service sectors.

  • Apply for a position just as you would any other opening. This is a real job, so be sure to make it clear why you would make a good mystery hotel guest, either through your resume, a cover letter or an application form. Wait to receive a reply and take into account that competition for opportunities is usually strong; it can take several weeks for an employer to get back to you.

  • Choose to accept or turn down an assignment should you be offered one. Either way, be sure to do this as promptly as possible; turning down one job is fine, but failing to inform an employer of your decision can lead to you being blacklisted.

  • Carry out your assignment to the best of your ability and do everything that is asked of you. Make sure you take notes discreetly and thoroughly. Should the client want photos of a guest bedroom or an in suite bathroom, make sure that they are clear, informative and that you make backup copies promptly.

  • Write thorough reports, by providing all the information the client has requested. Most employers will want your notes typed up and emailed, so make sure you have access to a computer. Above all, ensure that your report is filed on time as a tardy submission may cost you future jobs.


  • Photo Credit luggage in hotel room image by Albert Lozano from
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