Hilton’s CEO said to expect cost-cutting to become the new normal for Hilton hotels as they try to charge what they used to for rooms while spending less than before, improving margins.
He was talking to investors, not consumers, and sometimes business leaders forget that talking one way to one audience and another way to other groups doesn’t really work anymore. He gave us the lens with which to understand changes like permanently eliminating housekeeping services during guest stays at supposedly full service properties in the U.S. Guests can still request it.
- It’s a great way to get people to re-use towels, which saves on laundry too (though you can call and request towels and wait for them)
- Trash piles up in the room. One hotel recently told me “just put it outside your door.” That keeps the room from smelling too badly from takeout, since the hotel wasn’t offering food service. But it meant that the common spaces were littered.
- The change will mean fewer housekeepers working fewer hours, so they may not be available to clean your room right away when you ask, either.
A spokesperson reaches out to make clear that this is only for the U.S., and that it’s because this is what guests want,
Around the world, we have implemented a flexible approach to housekeeping services based on what we know about the expectations and preferences of our guests, so there are some variations in our approach by region. Properties in Europe, Middle East and Africa are still operating housekeeping as requested and all properties in the Asia-Pacific region are still providing daily housekeeping as part of CleanStay.
This is all to say that we’re listening to the needs of our guests at the local level, so we’ve made specific adjustments to these standards region by region to align with their expectations at this point in time.
Update: Hilton asks to add this additional statement,
Hilton continues to offer daily housekeeping by request to all of our guests, free of charge, across all of our 18 brands around the world.
Throughout the pandemic, we discovered guests enjoyed the flexibility of on-demand housekeeping services and have varying levels of comfort with someone entering their rooms after they have checked in. We encourage our guests to call the front desk to request room cleaning, and our Team Members stand ready to assist with extra towels or amenities.
Guests visiting Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and LXR properties will receive daily housekeeping with no request needed.
Guests have different expectations in different parts of the world. Daily housekeeping will remain in Asia, because guests there expect rooms to be clean. However based on U.S. guest expectations rooms won’t automatically be cleaned during a stay in this country. That seems odd to me, since we’ve spent the past 16 months talking about hygiene, learning to wash our hands for a full 20 seconds, and lysoling everything in sight.
I’m not sure how a hotel that doesn’t provide daily housekeeping counts as full service anymore, either. It seems to be limited service, and more in the bucket of a product that competes against homesharing sites like Airbnb.
Hilton believes they don’t need to spend money on housekeeping during your stay to keep your room clean, because Americans don’t expect it. The truth is, we’re slobs. Do you think they’re right?