Confessions of a Housekeeper- Hotel Stay Tips
As someone that worked in hotels, I’d like to pass on some of the knowledge that I gained.
1. Never sleep with the hotel bedspread.
Sheets are changed between every check in/out, however it is rare that the blanket is changed. I found this pretty gross while working at the hotel and wanted to pull every blanket and wash it, but couldn’t. The only time housekeepers were allowed to change the blanket was when it was visibly dirty… do you know how much can be on that blanket that can’t be seen? …Anyway… I suggest always bringing your own blanket.
2.Cover your toothbrush.
Hotel housekeepers are given somewhere between 15 and 30 rooms to clean in a day, so a lot of rushing happens. While I always tried to be careful around people’s toothbrushes, I know many housekeepers didn’t. Products are being sprayed, and things are being dropped (your toothbrush while moving it to clean the counter). I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to put something in my mouth that had windex sprayed on it and was possibly dropped on the floor. Best options are to cover it, or pack it away in your bag when you leave your room for the day.
3. Check to make sure your room was actually cleaned.
Hotel housekeepers become very good at making things look clean when sometimes they aren’t. If you are going to be staying more than one night, you probably want to make sure your room is actually clean before settling in. If there is a problem with the room, you can be moved to another, which is good to know before you completely unpack. Always look under the rim of the toilet to see if it was cleaned well. Run your dry fingers across the bottom of the tub and shower walls to check for soap scum. Look behind the bathroom door for hair on the floor. Pull the top sheets and blanket back completely to check the fitted sheet for dirt, stains, and hair. I worked at a chain mid grade (about $70 a night) extended stay hotel and these were common problems in rooms.
4. Don’t leave money laying around.
Money left out is assumed to be a tip for the housekeeper.
5. Always assume the floor hasn’t been cleaned.
Although floors are supposed to be vacuumed and/or wiped clean, this doesn’t always happen. I’d rather be safe than sorry personally.
6. Always re-wash any dishes in the room before using them.
Dishes in the room may look clean, but you never know how they were cleaned. I worked with many people that spoke very little english and didn’t realize what they using to clean things with. I once saw a girl use the bathroom cleaner and a dirty rag to clean glasses and plates. She never rinsed them, just wiped them and put them away. I went after her of course and re-washed everything, but of course, I can not be in every hotel room.
7. Take (almost) everything when you leave a room.
When you are checking out, take it all. All the little samples, TP, paper towel, and tissue. Housekeepers replace all of these things, so you might as well go home stocked up. It is said that you will be charged for taking towels, sheets, pillows, and blankets, but in all honesty, I have no idea how a hotel would keep track of weather these things are gone and which guest took them. Rooms are stripped so quickly that usually missing items aren’t noticed until there aren’t enough to complete rooms. Then the hotel usually just orders more.
8. Leave a tip and a note to get what you want done.
While a lot of the girls couldn’t read english, I could, and the front desk people usually translated for the housekeepers as needed. I know I always spent extra time in a room that tipped and left details on how they wanted things. My fave notes were the “Everything looks great, fresh towels only please.” notes.
9. Always double check the drawers and under the bed before checkout.
So many people left SO MANY things behind in their hotel rooms. Anything of “value” was marked with the room number and last name of the guest and put in lost and found. Anything else was free game for the housekeepers. And after 30 days the things in lost and found were also free game. If you leave and realize you forgot something, call the hotel right away. Many times the item can be shipped to you, if you are too far away to come back for it.
10. Use the do not disturb sign.
Please, if you don’t plan on being out of your room by 8:30am any day of the week, put the sign on the door. You have no idea how many naked people I walked in on. You won’t always hear a housekeeper knock, and we feel bad for walking in on you.