Recently I was in Japan and stayed at a certain hotel for a few days. I was surprised to see the level of customer service that I received. There were many cultural differences that surprised me, but the one thing I wasn't sure how to react was to all the お帰りなさいませ I received when I got back to the hotel.
I was born in Japan, but living in America for the majority of my life, I'm used to replying when someone says something to me. My mom told me that it's very uncommon for people to reply in such situations but I could not stop my habits. I thought about what would be a good thing to say since ただいま would be strange, as the hotel is not my home. So I came up with お疲れ様です。 as my reply.
Does that sound strange and if so are there better phrases I could've used in that situation? Or should I have just kept my mouth shut and said nothing at all?