Hotels are ignoring chain rules. Guests book properties assuming they’ll get what the brand promises, and then the individual property doesn’t deliver, choosing to cut costs instead. That devalues the brand, while helping the bottom line of the individual hotel.
Chains used to be far better about policing brand standard compliance. In the past few years they’ve mostly stopped, and hotels are getting away with things until called out publicly. They seem to prioritize short term franchise fees over long term profits. The only thing that makes a chain valuable is their brand.
This often manifests in properties skimping on or ignoring elite benefits like breakfast. But it also covers housekeeping. And it’s certainly not limited to the best-known offender, Marriott. Here are a couple of Hyatts that don’t invest in required housekeeping.
- The Hyatt Regency Wichita offers housekeeping only every 4th night, unless you’re an elite member.
- The Hyatt Regency London Albert Embankment offers housekeeping only on request even for elite members who are supposed to receive it daily by default.
I asked Hyatt about this trend and did not receive any acknowledgment.
Generally speaking most Hyatt brands are permitted to provide housekeeping services just every third night (Park Hyatt, Alila, Mirvaal, and all Asia Pacific properties must provide it daily). However daily housekeeping is supposed to be available to all guests. All Hyatt brands are supposed to honor daily housekeeping if requested. And the default for elite members should be to receive housekeeping daily unless the guest opts out.
One Hyatt Regency came up with a trick to reduce housekeeping requests, requiring guests to call for it and fill out paperwork.
There were hotels trying to reduce housekeeping expenses even before the pandemic. The Hyatt Regency Seattle was even given permission to do so. Obviously things accelerated with Covid-19 being used as an excuse to cut costs. Over 100,000 housekeeping jobs were eliminated in the industry.
Reduced housekeeping means rooms that aren’t as clean, ironic coming out of Covid-19. We’ve seen trash pile up in hallways. And it means hotels often aren’t staffed to turn rooms expeditiously, keeping guests waiting at check-in time. It also reduces the differentiation between hotels and homesharing, walking away from a key selling point against an existential threat. It’s short-term thinking. Sad.