Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Housekeeping-Optional Model Creates Frustration for Guests at U.S. Hotels
Subtitle: Traveler Abhishek Singh Shares His Experience and the Growing Debate Surrounding Reduced Cleaning Services
In response to the pandemic, numerous hotels across the United States have implemented a housekeeping-optional model, requiring guests to specifically request daily cleaning services. However, this shift has left many guests feeling dissatisfied and frustrated, as they believe they are not receiving the services they are paying for.
One such traveler, Abhishek Singh, recently shared his concerning experience with this new policy. During a conference in Seattle, Singh returned to an uncleaned room, highlighting the shortcomings of the housekeeping-optional model. Irritated by this situation, Singh has since devised a strategy of booking two rooms for one night each to guarantee that his room is cleaned daily, despite the hotels’ normal policies.
Singh is not alone in his frustration. Many guests, even though paying high rates, find themselves disappointed by the reduced cleaning services provided. Both Hilton and Marriott frequent travelers like Singh have only been met with apologies from hotel management when they voice their concerns.
However, the thriving travel industry, indicated by the rebounding hotel occupancy and room rates, showcases that the housekeeping-optional model has not affected the demand for accommodations. Nevertheless, hotel workers argue that this practice is not environmentally friendly and ironically increases their workload.
In cities like Washington, D.C., the issue of housekeeping has transformed into a political matter. Temporary laws have been put in place, requiring daily cleaning services. This indicates a growing public sentiment that daily housekeeping should be a standard expectation when staying in a hotel.
In response to the mixed feedback, Hilton has announced plans to reintroduce daily housekeeping at select hotels this fall, acknowledging the rising demands from disenchanted customers. Other hotels are currently offering service every other day or upon individual request.
Industry experts predict that hotels will eventually yield and bring back daily housekeeping once consumers refuse to pay high rates for reduced services. Some travelers eagerly anticipate the return of satisfactory housekeeping, believing it is an inherent expectation when staying in a hotel.
As the conversation around reduced cleaning services continues, guests and hoteliers alike are grappling with finding common ground. Ultimately, it is clear that the housekeeping-optional model has sparked a debate that may sway the future of hospitality services.