Booking in to a Newcastleton hotel, Colin Spiers told staff he was in the area for shooting and fishing.
Spiers, who arrived with his possessions in a plastic carrier bag, ate and drank in the premises and rarely left the hotel over some 10 days.
The 30-year-old ran up a bill of £713 and left without paying.
He was later traced at another hotel in Langholm.
Spiers, of Shawfield Crescent, Carluke, appeared from custody at Jedburgh Sheriff Court and admitted obtaining food, drink, board, and lodgings of £713 without paying, or intending to pay, at the Grapes Hotel, Newcastleton, between September 20 and 30.
“He turned up at the hotel and said he was there for shooting and fishing,” explained procurator fiscal Graham Fraser.
“He had his possessions in a plastic carrier bag and hardly ever left the hotel, drinking and eating there, and charging it to his room account.
“He was asked to settle the account and produced a card which was rejected,” continued Mr Fraser.
“He said he would have to go to the bank and check his account, and never returned.
“He was traced at another hotel in Langholm.”
Defence solicitor Mat Patrick described his client as “a vulnerable individual.
“He is a first offender, and says that this was not planned, but he buried his head in the sand,” said Mr Patrick.
“He has spent three weeks in custody,” he added.
Spiers was sentenced to a 12-month Community Payback Order with 100 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay the hotel £713 compensation.