Is hotel housekeeping a lost art?

Nick C.

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Some things that I have experienced in recent years:

- 3 star hotel in Sydney that told me they do NO housekeeping for stays less then 4 days.

- 5 star hotel in Thailand that failed to replace used coffee mugs or replenish tea bags / coffee sachets. Also, they said linen would be changed every three nights, but failed to actually do so.

- Various 4 star hotels in several countries that completed housekeeping after 4 PM. Surely this is getting a bit late in the day.

Housekeeping seems to be on a relentless downward trajectory.

None of the above occurred in 2020/2021 - and in any event, contagion risks should improve cleaning standards.

Presumably at some point, hotels realised that they don't need to change the sheets every single day, change every towel every day, replace wasteful items like plastic combs every day. I completely agree - but it has gone way beyond environmental concern. Seems to be just blatant cost cutting, disregard for the customer, and poor attention to detail.

I'm in my 30's and have only travelled independently for the past 15 years. Question for people who travelled in the 80's and 90's - was there ever a golden era where you could just rely on housekeeping simply being done without issue?
 

jastel

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It's probably a lack of staff like every other business...

You are probably right in they have taken the "Green" way to reduce services.
But I dont think everyday housekeeping is needed in 3 Star places...I would rather a cheaper rate.
I am quite capable of hanging a towel and washing a cup.
Who washes their sheets everyday at home?

Five star place probably should do it...
 

andye

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It's probably a lack of staff like every other business...

You are probably right in they have taken the "Green" way to reduce services.
But I dont think everyday housekeeping is needed in 3 Star places...I would rather a cheaper rate.
I am quite capable of hanging a towel and washing a cup.
Who washes their sheets everyday at home?

Five star place probably should do it...
My recent stay in 5* IC Lyon said they changed sheets every 2 days. I only stayed there 2 nights
 

Austman

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On the other hand, while I appreciate that housekeeping is not always so great:

I've stayed in countless 4 and 5 star hotels that for towels request: If you hang it, it will stay another day - If you leave it in the shower or bath, it will be changed.

I've done the former hundreds of times yet the hotel has almost always done the latter.
 

RooFlyer

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Yep, mostly cost-cutting, but the thing I object to most is, if they going to do it, housekeeping done late-in-the-afternoon. Unless you stay out all day, you know at some stage you are going to have to leave at some uncertain time (which is the worst part) to allow housekeeping to do their thing. I'll grit my teeth for 3 star, and 4 star for one night, but for 5 star, I'll ask that everything be done before 2pm, or earlier, as I usually leave before 9. Usually they do as I ask.

Question for people who travelled in the 80's and 90's - was there ever a golden era where you could just rely on housekeeping simply being done without issue?

To be honest back then, I cared less (age) and expectations were probably lower.
 

JohnK

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I prefer to pay less for my hotel stay.

We only request cleaning/replacing towels every 2nd day but we ensure that we still get coffee/tea and water the other days.

Come to think of it for the first hotel (2-3 star) I don't think they changed the top sheet/blanket at all during our 8 night stay. We don't mind as we do the same at home except for longer.
 

Anna

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Question for people who travelled in the 80's and 90's - was there ever a golden era where you could just rely on housekeeping simply being done without issue?

Back then, at a 5 star hotel in Asia, you would generally see housekeeping 3 times a day. Once in the morning after you got up when they would change sheets and replace towels and vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom etc, once in the afternoon to tidy the room before you started getting ready to go out, and once in the evening for changing wet towels, bed turndown service, curtains drawn, chocolates put on the pillow etc.

The constant attention sometimes used to get a bit annoying if you forgot to put the do not disturb sign on the door! But it's all changed now. My pet hate is the hotels where you can indicate by a sign (electronic or cardboard) that you want them to make up your room now, and you go out at say 9 or 10am and come back mid to late afternoon and the room still hasn't been done.
 

kyle

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Back then, at a 5 star hotel in Asia, you would generally see housekeeping 3 times a day. Once in the morning after you got up when they would change sheets and replace towels and vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom etc, once in the afternoon to tidy the room before you started getting ready to go out, and once in the evening for changing wet towels, bed turndown service, curtains drawn, chocolates put on the pillow etc.

The constant attention sometimes used to get a bit annoying if you forgot to put the do not disturb sign on the door! But it's all changed now. My pet hate is the hotels where you can indicate by a sign (electronic or cardboard) that you want them to make up your room now, and you go out at say 9 or 10am and come back mid to late afternoon and the room still hasn't been done.

Yeah, I get annoyed about using the sign, then nothing done until late arvo. Crown Towers Melbourne comes to mind for a recent stay.

Or the ones with no sign, and you wonder when they are going to turn up.
 

Mattg

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I stayed in a few US hotels this week (4 star hotels that were not cheap), and none of them provided housekeeping unless you specifically requested it.

It does seem like many other hotels have also been trying to cut costs by scaling back housekeeping. Personally, I don't need it every day - but I feel this should be something you can opt out of, rather than needing to opt into.

At none of the hotels I stayed in this week was I informed that housekeeping was "on request" until I enquired afterwards as to why I hadn't received it.
 

drron

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That is annoying not to be informed of that at check in. voco simgapore we turned on the make up our room sign as needed an extra towel. Hadn't been done so asked at the lounge that evening to be told it is only done every 2 days and you are only staying 2 days.
 

Stealthflyer

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I like the trend of scarce housekeeping. Saves me from putting the do not disturb sign on my door. Saves me from having to unmake my bed every evening.
 

Austman

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I suspect that true frequent (hotel) travellers (like well over 100 hotels nights/year) would know the state of many hotel rooms begging for service.

IME, hundreds of walks along hotel corridors over decades have revealed to me the sights of unmade rooms. Thanks to open doors. Even with luggage etc. still there, so you know they have not checked out.

Many look like a bomb went off! Absolutely unbelievable!

And lastly - it's never me! :)
 

kyle

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I assume your talking about the cup?

Just rinse it out when done...get soap from the bathroom if you like.
Boiling water will kill all the germs anyway...lol
I've never really reused my cups because even with hot water, the fats and proteins from the saliva don't get rinsed away
 

Cybella

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I understood that at the beginning of the Pandemic it was safer to not clean rooms as often but that was before we had vaccines.

Now they are using this for their own agenda.

Hotels are doing this to save money. Let's call the spade the spade.

I would understand if they reduced the rates and were upfront about it, but a lot of the time you actually find out when you arrive.
 

jakeseven7

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I understood that at the beginning of the Pandemic it was safer to not clean rooms as often but that was before we had vaccines.

Now they are using this for their own agenda.

Hotels are doing this to save money. Let's call the spade the spade.

I would understand if they reduced the rates and were upfront about it, but a lot of the time you actually find out when you arrive.

Maybe a better way of doing this is housekeeping or $ bar credit when you check in? ;)

Personally I could care less about the whole thing - but wouldn't say no to a free whiskey.
 

Lynnelanne

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Ok, so I must be an old fuddy duddy. If I pay top dollar for a five star hotel I expect to be treated extremely well. Luxury means getting treatment far and above what I get at home, otherwise I might as well stay home and save my money. I like nice, crisp fresh sheets - it's one of the pleasures of a luxury experience. These reductions in services have not come along with a reduction in cost - quite the opposite. I expect and will demand full room service in a 5* hotel. I don't mind the same sheets for two days but any more is taking the p if you are being charged a premium.
 

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