When booking hotel accommodation, what are the basic things you look out for? Without taking a poll, we can guess that security will top the list, followed by the kinds of rooms available and how suitable they would be for you and/or your travelling party. Complimentary meals and services, as well as the hotel’s policies, should complete your list.
Rarely would there be a space for housekeeping, because it is such a basic amenity that it would be inconceivable to hear top tier hotels say they don’t offer this service. Yet, just as COVID has accelerated the decline of first-class travel, so also has it helped to erase – whether temporarily or permanently – the very common room cleaning service we have all gotten used to.
Labour, Money or Supplies Shortages?
It is no news that when the pandemic hit, the hospitality industry suffered greatly due to decreased travel. And even after restrictions were lifted and borders opened, a lot of workers had moved on to other opportunities outside of the industry, and getting competent hands to fill these roles has not been as easy.
But for some other hotels, it is not so much a labour issue as it is supplies and money issue. Supply chain challenges and inflation have led to a rising cost of products, and most hotels have realised that it would only make sense to reduce overhead costs by eliminating certain services if they plan to stay afloat.
Yet others see this as a way to make more money. If they can conveniently eliminate housekeeping while introducing efficient alternatives that save costs, why not?
What can you do to ensure you enjoy housekeeping services during your hotel stay?
1. Research before you make or confirm a booking: Look for pages on individual hotel websites labelled something like “amenities”, or “COVID-19 safety”. If the cleaning calendar is not up to par, ask or consider looking elsewhere if you do not get a favourable response.
2. Book high-end hotels: Most high-end hotels are notably absent from this trend. Some Hilton brands, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, still offer daily housekeeping. Most Four Seasons offer twice-daily housekeeping.
3. Ask nicely: Marriott’s policies vary by property, but housekeeping is usually offered only on request, with all rooms cleaned automatically every sixth night. Hilton only offers additional daily cleanings at most properties if customers request them.
4. Ask at check-in what housekeeping looks like, and if you would require additional services not offered by the hotel, you can ask a staff member to help you out.
It goes without saying that the Coronavirus has changed the way corporate entities do business, and not always in a nice way. It is not clear how long modified housekeeping services at hotels will last, but one thing is for certain: there is always a way to access the services we want, even if we cannot go about it the way we used to. Hotel housekeeping is no different.
Source: Associated Press