The day I was assaulted by a Japanese guest.

Adrian Padina
4 min readJul 8, 2019

The marvelous cultural differences encountered in hotels.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Working in the hotel business means you come across many different cultures and you quickly learn how to handle each one. Whilst it’s not always wise to generalize, there is no doubting that each nationality has its particular quirks, and ways of doing things, in business and in personal life.

Without wishing to offend anyone, there are traits well known to all. For example, the Swiss are known for their punctuality; the British have a reputation for enjoying their drink, sometime to excess; Brazilian timekeeping is non-existent; and the Arabs have no idea what they are doing one day to the next. As the French say, vive la différence.

And then there are the Japanese, very dissimilar to western culture as the following story exemplifies. This occurred to me back in the early ’90s in London:

The lovely Japanese tour guide came to me at reception, very polite and very apologetic as she had to convey the complaint of a VIP in her group.

“Eto…Mr Hatekayama very upset. Shirt not ironed well”.

“My apologies”, I replied, “please ask Mr Hatekayama if I can collect the shirt, have it pressed again and return it as soon as possible”.



Adrian Padina

Master hotelier who writes and photographs. Take a peek inside my world.