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,
- They had empty rooms
- 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.