One of the Most Basic Hotel Amenities Is Disappearing

Daily housekeeping is going by the wayside, meaning your garbage might not be emptied or fresh towels delivered during your stay.

Whether out of necessity due to staffing shortages, out of respect for social distancing or perhaps just to save money, one of the primary amenities that sets a hotel apart from your home — daily housekeeping — is disappearing. The days of returning to a wrinkle-free duvet are likely gone. Forget fresh towels, and accept that your trash might never get taken out during your stay.

The trend of no more daily housekeeping, largely initiated by Covid-19, has become the norm at many hotels. During the pandemic’s early days, when transmission was more of a mystery, many hotels cut housekeeping services to reduce contact between strangers. But more than two years later, housekeeping still hasn’t returned.

Chain  policies vary by property, but housekeeping is usually offered only upon request, with all rooms cleaned automatically every sixth night. Hilton’s default is no more daily cleanings at most properties unless requested. Some reduced service to light housekeeping every other day. That entails towel replacement and trash removal but doesn’t necessarily include services you might expect, like getting your bed made.

Other hotels have schedules, f.: Three-night stays or fewer don’t get service, while six-night stays or fewer are cleaned once. The hotel recommends you leave trash outside your door.

These service reductions aren’t always welcome.

“Guests don’t want to have to ask every time they need their trash emptied or dirty towels replaced – Without cleaning, what stops a hotel from being just a more expensive Airbnb?”

Why Cut Hotel Housekeeping?

In many cases, the cutbacks might be more about money than safety. For some hotels, there’s not enough money to cover the cost. For others, it’s an opportunity to make more of it.

Labor and Material Costs Are at Massive Highs

Everywhere even in Riviera Nayarit labor and materials shortage has hit hotels particularly hard. Meanwhile, supply chain and inflation issues are ongoing.  Some  Hotels reported a 79 percent cost increase for cleaning and housekeeping supplies according to a survey of about 500 hotel operators I read recently

An Opportunity for Higher Profits

Other hotel operators have explicitly stated it’s about money. More money – Bad Profit in my humble opinion “The work we’re doing right now in every one of our brands … is about making them higher-margin businesses and creating more labor efficiencies  – said the CEO of a leading chain – who also said “When we get out of the crisis, those businesses will be higher margin and require less labor than they did pre-Covid.”  Again I disagree

How to Continue Getting Housekeeping

Research before booking: Hotels typically post cleaning procedures online. Look for pages on individual hotel websites labeled something like “amenities,” or “Covid-19 safety.” If the cleaning calendar is not up to par, consider booking elsewhere.

Book high-end hotels: Most luxury hotels are notably absent from this trend. Four Seasons offer twice-daily housekeeping -bravo !! That’s why they continue to be the best in the business

The Bottom Line

Some economists have pegged a new word to this phenomenon where, rather than raise prices, companies cut services previously provided: skimpflation. This could mean reduced staff, thus longer lines or phone hold times. It might entail the end of free headphones on airplanes or restaurant bread service.

And for many travelers, skimpflation in the form of no more daily housekeeping has become a particularly unpleasant and — quite literally — messy trend. There are other ways to increase profits – focus on service grow your top line – no BAD PROFIT please hoteliers  !!!!

Jorge Graciano & Carl Emberson