Every few weeks we jump on a business trip with my husband and we have a swim vacation. He goes to work, we go to the pool. Math just doesn’t seem so hard if you are kicking your feet around in the water. Plus, doing your school work by the pool is a great way to motivate the wee ones to “just get it done already and you can go play!”
So needless to say we haven’t left our current hotel, a flagship Hilton, in 3 days except to walk up the street and grab lunch. These types of work trips give me a great opportunity to meet and get to know lots of great hotel and housekeeping staff. Secretly I have been wanting to finish this post for a while. I mean come on… aren’t you a little curious at how the magic happens when you leave your hotel room? The Housekeeping staff seem to be cleaning ninjas righting the wrongs of our rooms without detection. So I have been asking them ALL: What are five things you wish every hotel patron knew that helps you get their room tip top.
The laughs these ladies gave me were amazing. With a combined experience of 30 years in housekeeping, there were lots of great stories on how they clean up our messes. Surprisingly though giving me just five wasn’t that hard. ALL of them had basically the same list. So apparently our jobs as hotel patrons can be as easy as a 5 step list!
So here are the list of 5 things the housekeeper for your hotel room wants you to know for your next hotel stay:
#1 Keep your trash together.
Cleaning your room is so much easier if they know what you want to keep and what is trash. This one was a real kick in the gut as I looked around our room. Between me working, my daughter’s crafting on hotel stationary, and my son’s lego mess it really was kind of hard to tell from the outside what was trash and what wasn’t. Add in the fact I forgot to bring our hotel dirty clothes hamper and the room was a complete disaster. But apparently it’s not just us creative types that clutter up the rooms. Leftover food is a big issue. Hotel staff aren’t going to throw away a pizza box with a half eaten pizza if it is sitting on the TV console. Put that same pizza box off to the side on the floor or next to a trash can and they will know it is in fact trash. You can even ask housekeeping for extra trash bags if you are expecting a big mess. My next stay will include asking for a couple of trash bags on day one.
#2 Keep your clothes off the bed and personal items out of the way.
They really do not want to touch your stuff. Every hotel policy differs a little bit but the overall theme I was hearing from housekeeping was they try their best not to touch your things. If you have clothes out on the bed they have to decide whether or not you the patron would want them to touch their things or not make the bed. Use the dresser instead. Putting your things away will let them quickly make the beds and tidy up your areas. In the bathroom, keep your things off to the side or in your toiletry kit. That way housekeeping staff do not have to move your things to clean under and around them. All the staff I spoke to did not mind if a guest was messy, their biggest concern was meeting a guests needs and they didn’t want anyone being disappointed in the rooms cleaning.
#3 Be clear about what you want and what time you want it done.
This one hit home. I like my beds made, trash taken out, and the towels and toilet paper refreshed. The other stuff can usually wait since our average stay is 3 nights. But that is my list and everyone has their own personal needs they care about. All the ladies I spoke with said they appreciate when a guest gives them clear directives on how they want their room cleaned. If you are going to be in the room working or relaxing they want to know what time you want them to come by. Early, late, lunch, or while you are there, the staff just wants to get their job done and see to your needs. Be clear about what time your room will be available for them to clean.
#4 Put your hotel dishes outside the room for kitchen staff to pick up.
They don’t mind taking your dirty dishes with them but you can also set them outside the door in the hallway and the kitchen staff will come around regularly and pick them up. I usually set room service outside when we are done but this rings true for all of the hotel’s dishes.
#5 Not all housekeeping staff are good at their job.
But every hotel should have a housekeeping manager and/or someone who acts as an inspector. The ladies I spoke to were all professional but they recognized that not all staff are suited for a job in housekeeping. If you have a bad experience or a poorly cleaned room, just call the front desk and let them know. Housekeeping should remedy it immediately.
Super easy, right! A big shout out to all the Hilton staff took the time to talk with me as they did their jobs.
**I do want to make one caveat to this list. One major difference is they will touch all your things AND will make their presence and services more available to their guests. I have even had luxury hotels fold my neat pile of dirty clothes I had placed in the closet out of the way and organize my toiletries on the bathroom counter. My experience has been luxury hotels enter the room almost every time I leave to tidy behind me.