Hilton permanently eliminated daily housekeeping at U.S. non-luxury (Waldorf, Conrad, LXR) brands. It’s supposed to remain available ‘on request’. But will it remain… free (included in the room rate)? Charging for housekeeping is the next logical step, and one hotel consultants are talking about.
Hotel owners want lower costs, which they can get by paying for fewer housekeeping. That’s why Marriott’s CEO sees the elimination of housekeeping services during stays as permanent.
The bigger question that still remains unanswered is whether or not guests will eventually have to pay for housekeeping services.
This would run counter to hotels’ own best interests.
- Without housekeepers, one Marriott found itself unable to clean rooms for guests checking in. So one guest found himself sleeping in an uncleaned room – there is a huge disconnect between cutting back on housekeeping and a commitment to clean.
I got a room with a stripped bed and no towels save two washcloths. I pulled the hypoallergenic pillows from the closet and crashed on the couch for 2.5 hours before heading back to the airport.
- By eliminating services, hotels are giving up their differentiation with Airbnb. If hotels don’t provide a unique experience then guests might as well look elsewhere. In other words hotels may lose more revenue than they save in costs.
- Eliminating housekeeping spills over into cleanliness of the whole property, and degrades common spaces and guest experience even beyond the room.
And here is the Hilton Brentwood/Nashville Suites.
It doesn’t make sense to charge guests for housekeeping, because cleaning a guest room is a public good for the hotel benefiting other guests as much as the guest receiving the service.
One major Hilton and Marriott owner wants to make lodging more like an ultra low cost airline. That’s the direction some chains are headed at the behest of short-sighted REIT investors. But it’s going to drive customers away. Charging for housekeeping services will mean less revenue for the hotel.