Ex-CIA agent says you should always book a hotel between the 4th and 10th floors. Here's why

@mccloskeybooks/TikTok BreizhAtao/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I always let them know’: Ex-CIA agent says you should always book a hotel between the 4th and 10th floors. Here’s why

'I was hoping for some money saving tips.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 5, 2024   Updated on Jan 5, 2024, 7:28 am CST

If you’ve ever wondered how and why CIA operatives book the hotel rooms they do, wonder no longer—TikTok user and self-proclaimed “former CIA analyst” David McCloskey (@mccloskeybooks) is here to reveal all of the details.

McCloskey, now an author, uses his platform on TikTok to showcase some of the oddities of the little-known world of the CIA. In this video with over 2.6 million views as of Friday, McCloskey says that booking a hotel room while working for the CIA involved a few key, notable things.

First, McCloskey says that CIA workers always assume their rooms are being monitored.

“Assume your room is wired for audio and video the whole time you’re there,” he says. “Assume that the internal security service [of] the country you’re in is watching you.” 

Second, he advises one to keep to themselves. If the person is being monitored, there is a chance that unknown actors will enter their room and engage in strange behaviors, such as removing things from the safe, moving furniture around—or, in one case cited by McCloskey, “poop[ing] on your bed.”

“Don’t let them know that you know you’re being monitored,” McCloskey states. “That is offensive to them as professionals. So whenever disruptions happen in the room, you just go about your business, you clean it up and deal with it.”

The third tip involves preventing unauthorized entries when one is in the room. To do this, McCloskey recommends placing a doorstop on the interior of the door. This attempts to stop anyone, “even the hotel staff,” from entering the room while one is sleeping.

Finally, McCloskey says to book a room between the 4th and 10th floors. The reason, he says, is for security.

“Below the 4th floor, [you’re] susceptible to car bombs and other insanity—above the 10th floor and the firetruck ladders in most places can’t reach you,” he shares. And before you think that this means CIA operatives are living lives of luxury in penthouse suites, McCloskey notes that this is not the case.

“No penthouse bookings,” he says. “It’s not just because of the absurd cost [to the] taxpayer, [it’s a] safety concern.”

@mccloskeybooks Hotel tips from the CIA, including what to do if the internal security service poops on your bed, and why you should always book a room between the 4th and 10th floors #hoteltip #travel #cia #poop ♬ original sound – David McCloskey

In the comments section, users enjoyed this slice of life from a world with which they’re otherwise unfamiliar—but questioned how these tips would be applicable in their everyday lives.

“I always check for bedbugs but not susceptibility to car bombs. Thanks for the advice,” said a commenter.

“I’ve been kidnapped or spied on 0 times….so maybe I should give some tips,” joked another.

“I was hoping for some money saving tips,” offered a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to McCloskey via email and the CIA via website contact form.

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*First Published: Jan 5, 2024, 8:00 am CST