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  1. #1

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    Housekeeping becoming a luxury at hotels

    More hotels are cutting back on housekeeping services. With their business sharply reduced, hotels are looking to save money by urging customers to forgo daily changing of linens, towels and toiletries.

    The trend isn't new, but the urgency is spreading to more chains as the industry battles a historic downturn in travel. Hotels market their new housekeeping approach as a "green" effort, and some analysts and travelers say the spin has merit.
    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/hotel...ing23_ST_N.htm

    Some hotels give financial incentives. The Marmara Manhattan Hotel in New York offers a $20-a-night discount to customers who go without housekeeping for three days. "The green rate" applies only to those who book at least three nights on its reservation system.

    Bjorn Hanson, of New York University, says customers aren't buying the industry's "green" argument but are generally accepting modest cutbacks in housekeeping. "The long-term trend (for companies) is to look for ways to make hotels more affordable and accessible," he says.

    What's next, a welcome kit with cleaning products to use to clean the room?

    Actually, if it means strangers will be traipsing through my room (and my things?) less often, that's a plus, too. And I can't really sleep in at a hotel, even if I put up the 'do not disturb' sign. I can hear the housekeeping staff working in the hall, and I don't want to throw off their clearning schedule .

  2. #2

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    It actually makes sense. Like it says in the article, it's absurd for me to demand new sheets every day. I don't change my sheets at home that often, so I don't need them on the road. Same goes for towels, though if there's a pool at the hotel, replacements for those are necessary.

  3. #3

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    On the west coast and in Las Vegas, it is fairly customary for hotels to provide a sign in the bathroom that urges people to save water by hanging their towels. If the towels are hung up when housekeeping comes through, they will not be replaced.

  4. #4
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    We don't do daily housekeeping at the hotel where I work. If you are staying for 6 or more nights we will do a mid clean approximately halfway through your stay and change the sheets and clean bathrooms etc. Of course if you need anything at all like extra towels etc we'll bring them to you, but our suites also have washers and dryers in them. Ours is a bit different though because they are classed as vacation "homes" that are owned by people and then we rent them out. Not time share.. it's a little different.

  5. #5
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    People aren't buying the "green" angle? Sure, it's probably motivated by $$ for the hotel, but reducing waste (including wasted water for washing linens) is a good thing.

    I don't like having hotel staff come through my room anyway, so I'm all for it.
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    I've never been in a hotel that didn't have a sign that said something like if you want new towels, please put your towels in the tub. It IS about reducing water and wastage. I have also never been in a hotel that changed sheets every day (and I used work in a 5 star hotel). It was usually after 3 days or on request. I'm all for it.

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    Whenever I stay in hotels for more then 2 days I never have housekeeping. So I'll gladly take a discount for "going green"

  8. #8
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    This reminds me of the study done a few years ago when Delta Airlines' financial dept. suggested that if they took one olive out of every salad served on their flights per year, they'd save themselves $100,000.00.

    This isn't very green, but man, if I go to a hotel, I want to justify paying those prices.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    People aren't buying the "green" angle? Sure, it's probably motivated by $$ for the hotel, but reducing waste (including wasted water for washing linens) is a good thing.

    I don't like having hotel staff come through my room anyway, so I'm all for it.
    I keep the "do not disturb sign up" and hand them the towels and trash. I don't want them coming in and cleaning with their communal cleaning rags after I've already done my peace of mind cleaning with Clorox wipes.

    We have a family of four. It would be a lot easier for us not to have to change our towels as regularly if we had more racks for hanging and airing out. I don't like the rack over the toilet. Sometimes, hangers in the closet works but not so much in winter when we need that space for coats and jackets.

    I never use their toiletries except for the handsoap and if we have a lengthy stay, I buy some liquid soap. So definitely no loss there.

  10. #10
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    I actually refuse housekeeping most of the time. I don't need new towels and sheets every day and usually don't stay in hotels longer than 2-3 days. I bring my own hair products (which is going to be EverPure from now on! ). Occasionally, if the hotel is nice and has a beautiful tub, I will call housekeeping for bath salts. That's it.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    I stayed in a hotel for 3 months last year and the cleaner was the biggest luxury I've ever had
    They didn't change sheets every night, when you wanted new ones you had to dump the old ones on the floor
    But I LOVED coming home to a clean room every evening.

  12. #12

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    I like coming back to a clean room as well, and clean towels and a nicely made bed - especially if we have food and drinks/dirty dishes in the room. But Mr. Japanfan is really uncomfortable with housekeeping services. He'll put the 'do not disturb' sign on the door and I'll take if off after him.

    Usually we compromise and ask them to come in every few days. We can take out our own trash sometimes and there are usually enough towels for a few days. . .

    At the last hotel we stayed in (in San Diego) there was a place to leave your housekeeping tips, pretty much a request. It was further incentive to keep our use of housekeeping services down.

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    The other side of this is cuts in employment for chambermaids, who are on the bottom of the social totem pole. A physically tough job (my back hurts just thinking about all the beds they make) and I shudder to think of the filthy scenes they must occasionally encounter. I always tip them generously. I could certainly do without housekeeping, but what will they do without their jobs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    This reminds me of the study done a few years ago when Delta Airlines' financial dept. suggested that if they took one olive out of every salad served on their flights per year, they'd save themselves $100,000.00.
    I don't recall ever being on a flight where there were olives in the salads. In fact, now I think of it, I've hardly ever been on a flight where there were salads!
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    People aren't buying the "green" angle? Sure, it's probably motivated by $$ for the hotel, but reducing waste (including wasted water for washing linens) is a good thing.

    I don't like having hotel staff come through my room anyway, so I'm all for it.
    Of course its about $$, payroll is expensive and housekeeping is the first logical place to start cost cutting.

    I prefer it anyway, I also do not like so many to have access to your personal things.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    I could certainly do without housekeeping, but what will they do without their jobs?
    That is how I feel too. When hubby and I go away for a week, we like having our room cleaned every couple of days... and we bring our own beach towels so only a change every couple days there is required if that. I don't need my sheets changed that often either. At least once through our stay is enough IMO. I never use the toiletries they have in the rooms either. I like specific brands and always bring travel size with us for all of them and leave what is leftover for the housekeeping staff.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  17. #17
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    I have never stayed in a hotel that changes the bed linens every day, and I have been fortunate to have stayed in some very nice hotels. Towels, I don't like to reuse them in hotels. For two reasons: One, they don't dry and I don't like using damp towels. Two, (which is related to One ) there is no place to hang them to dry. This germophobe will not hang a towel over the toilet or shower rod and then use it ! As far as cleaning - I never unpack. I can't stand the idea of putting my clothes in a dresser that has contained - who knows what! I hang up clothes that go on hangers, but bring my own hangers. When I go out for the day, I straighten all of my things up, and put them in my closed suitcase, so that no one has to touch anything of mine. I keep all of my toiletries in my bag, so that housekeeping doesn't have to touch or move anything of mine. And I throw away all of the trash that might be lying around and straighten the bed. All that housekeeping has to do is bring clean towels, vacuum, and clean up the bathroom.

    Zhenya271, I hear ya! I just bring antibacterial wipes and wipe down what I need to - toilet seat, faucet handles... I get a little even about clean towels, I know that housekeeping does not wash their hands before they handle them, and they are cleaning all of the bathrooms. So, I have to mentally cope !

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    I don't really understand why people aren't "buying" the green excuse. I'm not saying that that's the only reason why hotels are doing this--money is obviously a huge incentive--but by not washing linens every day, they're saving a massive amount of water and putting less chemicals from soaps and detergents into the ground.

    I'm sort of surprised that the article is spinning this as a new development. The hotels that I've stayed at--and I've stayed at both very nice and more modest ones--in the past few years have all done this. Unless your vacation includes mud wrestling or something, chances are your sheets are clean enough to use for a few days.

    I'm weird about hotel rooms too. The sheets and blankets actually kind of freak me out, because I always lie there wondering who else has used them, even if they have been thoroughly washed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverstars View Post
    I'm sort of surprised that the article is spinning this as a new development.
    Me too, although half of what is called "news" these days doesn't seem to be.

    Hotels at all ends of the cost spectrum have been offering this option for at least 10 years.

  20. #20
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    If they give me a discount on the room, I'll hang up towels. If not, especially if I'm paying more botique/high-end rates, I'll take fresh towels and linens every day. First, I'm paying a lot of money to stay there. Second, I like being able to have fresh linens every day. It's not something I can indulge in at home (not least because I'd be doing laundry 24/7.) If it's a 'business suite' and I'm there for a while, that's another matter, as it's more like an apartment with a maid--I think maid service was once or twice a week when I did one of those for six weeks.

    No, the 'green excuse' doesn't matter a bit to me. One person, more or less, makes no statistical difference in a hotel with three hundred rooms. It has a much bigger environmental impact if I only do one or two loads a week at home with an HE machine than if I spend a week at a hotel and want fresh bath towels and sheets every day. It's a luxury, which is what I'm on vacation for.

    And if I'm at a dance comp, I *need* clean towels and I leave a big tip, as the tanner and makeup and hair crap makes a HUGE mess. Some of the Columbus hotels keep the sheets and towels from OSB to reuse every November because they get stained with the self-tanners and all of us 'get' that, while average hotel guests don't. We'd PREFER the ones we already wrecked.

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