Marriott Hotel Sent Guest To An Uncleaned Room Because They Had No Housekeepers

Oh, Marriott. It’s one thing for your CEO to claim that guests need to have more sympathy for hotel owners when hotels are ignoring elite breakfast benefits. But what about when they’re not cleaning rooms, because they don’t have enough housekeepers on staff? And when a guest has to sleep in a room that hasn’t been cleaned?

A reader stayed at the Marriott Dallas – Fort Worth airport on a recent Sunday evening. It’s not uncommon for a hotel to overbook – take more reservations than they have rooms, expecting not everyone will show up. That’s not what happened here. The hotel didn’t have rooms to give a lobby full of guests because,

  1. They had empty rooms
  2. But didn’t have housekeeping staff to clean them after previous guests checked out

The reader arrived at the hotel after check-in time. They checked in via Marriott’s mobile app. They weren’t given a room, and weren’t offered a room at another hotel either (though they were ostensibly working on alternate rooms “the manager didn’t seem to be doing anything besides standing around.”)

Instead he was eventually given a room that hadn’t been cleaned. He knew the room hadn’t been cleaned when he accepted it after 1 a.m.

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.

I couldn’t find any procedures for what to expect in this situation under Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” but a spokesperson tells me a guest is “supposed to be offered the room at no charge…for a situation like this” but that didn’t happen here until I contacted the chain.

Traditional revenue management forecasts may not account for turning over rooms properly in all cases, it seems. A hotel may sell fewer rooms than it has, but more than it’s able to turn over.

Marriott’s CEO says says hotel workers earn too much, that’s why it’s hard to staff properties. But when something as basic as cleaning rooms requires more staff, maybe hotels will just have to pay more? This isn’t something guests should have any sympathy for at all.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Same thing happened to me at Residence Inn Miami beach less than 2 weeks ago on a Saturday!

  2. You have to take into account the lack of workers out there. They could be having the same issue my business is having. My company hires about 150 seasonal employees for the summer season. We hired 15 this summer, and that was everyone that applied. There is alot of work available, and no one wants to do it. With stimulus checks and extra unemployed the government is paying people not to work.

  3. Wake up and smell the ☕,. That’s if you could find some., Socialism is here.!!! No need to work, pay your rent, medication or school loans., The gov will take care of all that.

  4. @elsie mcKenzie—yet i bet you didnt return YOUR socialism inspired stimulus check back to the U.S. TREASURY!

  5. If I was the manager i wouldve have rolled up my sleeves and cleaned the room or rooms and discounted the room on top of that. That wouldn’t have happened under my watch.

  6. My family and I experienced this in Memphis at the end of July. Rooms we booked weren’t ready when we arrived even though we checked in via the app, we had to get downgraded rooms then fight to get a decrease on the bill since we didn’t get the suites as expected, 2 of our rooms had roaches and 1 room wasn’t put together at all upon check in. I mean no beds, no couch, nothing. We have pictures and videos to prove it.

  7. There is a complete disconnect from what is happening at the property level and at the corporate/ ownership level. Hotels are expected to sell as many rooms as possible while most are only staffed for a 50% hotel due to bring unable to find workers. GMs are expected to “figure it out” and just sell. Managers are expected to take on the extra workload by doing everything and anything asked of them. Often times working very long hours and yet having to manage complaints. More and more travelers that spent the pandemic working from home, unaware of what went on during it are starting to travel. They expect the hotel to be the same one they left before the pandemic. If the hotels had better support from corporate office and owners they would allow hotels to only sell to the amount they are staffed for. But owners are eager to earn back the money lost in 2020 no matter the cost to the hotel team. Hotels are often times not allowed to stop selling for fear of being reprimanded. To work in hotels right now is horrible. Please know that we are doing all we can. Be understanding and a manager just “standing around”, most likely was thrown into this situation with no support and probably had no idea how to fix it. Yeah, they should have comped the room, but who knows if owners have instructed them not to. By the way, if you think the solution is to take the complaint to the corporate office…. good luck. That just gets sent straight back to the hotel to figure it out. Try calling the owners?? Ha! If you even get a response from anyone, I guarantee you that they will just call the GM and chew them out. The GM is just doing what he instructed to do.

  8. Same happened to me at a hotel in Miami… then on top of everything the room that they gave was infested with bedbugs which we didn’t know until I was bitten all up.. told hotel manager and I was told by the manager that there hotel doesn’t have bed.. oh but I have bite marks and pics to show…

  9. Little do you guests know we maids have 30 minutes to clean your room and we only make minimum wage
    This has NOT changed even during the worst of Covid.I look at what the room rents for and my $ and it doesnt compute

  10. My room at the Hilton Raleigh north hills was perfect for both nights this week. Mobile check in/out digital key and all

  11. Same thing happened to me at the Phoenix airport. The Marriott Courtyard kept sending me to rooms that were not cleaned. They finally found a clean one for me and my family.

  12. This is BS. Hotels clean all rooms in-between guests. They haven’t been cleaning stay over rooms without requests, but they do not rent rooms before they are cleaned. If someone is checked into a room that hasn’t been cleaned, it’s a mistake, and it happens. Go back to the front desk and they will apologize and give you a different room. But I agree that if hotels are unable to find help at the rates they’re offering, then they have to pay more! Owners and stockholders have to accept less than may have during times of high unemployment. No need for illegals if they would just offer a living wage.

  13. I feel they changed way to much and say there the best hotel no I have been to a motel 6 and is been more clean and I think is really a shame if I was the manager in that hotel I think is his responsibility to have them clean I wolud have told the person give me a few and go clean a room sorry but I don’t think he wolud had sleep or give it to one of his family member to sleep in it way to much money we pay in the Marriott is so discussed to have to sleep in a room that has not been cleaa I don’t know why they don’t pay them more there employee’s more money at less they can be happy and work more happy but no every thing this day is do ur job or u are let go .is crazy know one should have to sleep in a dirty room sorry this is my opinion know one.

  14. If these Motels or Hotels do not have enough housekeeping staff here’s my recommendation….
    1. Stop overbooking!!!
    2. Managers should clean rooms theirselves.!! Nobody wants to lay in filth!!!
    3. Genuinly Care about others not just that MONEY!!!!

    4. A Hotel and Motels Reputation is everything!!

    5. The customers deserve respect at all times!

  15. The same thing happened to me in Savannah, Ga ( River street Marriott). They had staff , I saw at least 6 on my floor. I have pictures to prove how dirty the room was, but no one will respond back. I think I’ll download them on Facebook to get a response. I thought Marriott was different but they’re not.

  16. In what universe do hotel workers make too much? It’s all supply and demand, right, Mr. CEO? And let’s talk about when you’re earning your keep. Whining isn’t leadership.

  17. Everything went up real state went up prices for room went up . Salaries speacially for housekeeping must be up and recognize the hard work . I remember one time I went to work at the Marriot and the supervisor told
    Me I had to clean 45 ( forty five ) rooms in my shift . Speacially in this pandemic cleaning lady’s must be paid good . If hotel pay very good they will more cleaners( also in many country’s people need to work) hiring them . If the local
    People preferred to collect unemployment or they don’t need the money or they think the paid is to low ( isn’t enough to paid the transport babysitter and bills )

  18. You idiots blaming people for not working because of stimulus money are sadly and hilariously wrong! People are just looking for better paying jobs! Period. Fuck all you idiots who blame socialism, when you have Rich people paying little to nothing on taxes while getting Rich of of the back’s of their employees! FOH!

  19. it’s difficult at best, to attract workers back to hospitality. EVEN with significant pay increases. Interviewees do not show up, some of them that do have shady backgrounds. The hotel I manage has adjusted the availability to meet staffing on hand, including all managers from the GM down to clean. There is no excuse to check a person into a room that has not been cleaned, unless a legitimate mistake in the updating of rooms. A lot of hotels are struggling to educate and train NEW staff members who replaced long term staff who elected not to return to their jobs.

  20. Time to got find good clean a bb for sure they will have a clean room. Hotels are doing it to themselves. Yes the Manger should step in an emergency like this and clean the room. We are still in the middle of this virus thing and it’s unhygienic to let people sleep in a undisinfected room. Although I lysol any room I stay in. Yes this is real and it’s happening.

  21. Do you think the housekeeping shortage will continue. I noticed recently that hotels in Southern California have been telling guests they won’t get housekeeping daily unless you request something to be cleaned. Do you think this will continue for other cities?

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