No Daily Housekeeping and Linen Changes Every 4th Day at the Brand New Hyatt Regency Seattle

Limited service hotels are a fast growing lodging segment. There’s no room service, for instance. Don’t expect a bellman or valet.

What’s interesting to me is when full service brands move towards a more limited service model. That squeezes out some of the differentiation in the market — some of the reasons why guests choose those hotels.

Nonetheless in high cost markets it makes a certain sense. The brand new Hyatt Regency Seattle opened December 10th. It’s across the street from the Hyatt Olive 8 and near the Grand Hyatt, and is the largest hotel in the Pacific Northwest with over 1200 rooms. And it does not provide daily housekeeping.

Reportedly staff are honest with guests that this is cost-cutting rather than an environmental initiative (like the way Marriott pretends their move to have wall dispensed toiletries replace mini bottles is for the planet rather than costs).

Guests receive a note at check-in at the Seattle Regency explaining the every other day housekeeping standard (which doesn’t include linen changes):

Hyatt Regency Seattle is committed to fair labor laws and sustainability. As a result, our hotel will offer housekeeping as necessary or upon request.

Housekeeping service begins after the 2nd night of your stay and is then provided every other day. Bed linens will be changed as needed or after the 4th night of your stay.

If you would prefer anything different, including daily service, please let us know by dialing 0.

I reached out to Hyatt to learn whether this was consistent with Hyatt Regency brand standards, and whether it would spread. A Hyatt spokesperson shared,

Reflecting the changing preferences of guests and in consideration of Seattle labor legislation, Hyatt Regency Seattle is piloting a program to offer housekeeping service every other day, following guests’ second night. Guests will always have the opportunity to request daily housekeeping service, if preferred. This new, more sustainable approach will also support the hotel’s goal of becoming a LEED Gold Certified hotel. Further, we can confirm the Hyatt Regency brand standards have not changed, and the brand is not changing daily housekeeping standards at this time.


Hyatt Regency Seattle, Credit: Hyatt

Hyatt says this is unique to the Seattle market, because ‘of Seattle labor legislation’ (higher required wages). Oddly the hotel itself says reducing the number of hours for housekeepers reflects their “committ[ment] to fair labor laws.” They are honest, though, that this is driven by costs even as they add but the environment.

One of the things the Marriott workers strike was about was their Make a Green Choice program which leads to erratic housekeeping schedules. With guest stays varying 1, 2, 3, even 5 nights the number of rooms to be cleaned is constantly changing. And cleaning every other day doesn’t mean guests make less of a mess, staff are just allocated less time to clean up.

Do you want your room cleaned every day — or at least is it a base expectation, and if a full service hotel wants to offer to reduce housekeeping there ought to be some points involved as with the Green Choice program (which Marriott has cut by 2/3rds compared to what Starwood offered)?

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. I usually do every other day anyway so I don’t have to put all my stuff away as much, but I do get extra towels on the off days

  2. and by “… their commitment to fair labor laws…” they really mean their unwillingness to pay a living wage. So they cut back on hours so much that that staff can’t clean all the rooms unless they pay people more.

    Pure cost-cutting all the way wrapped up in some fair labor BS

  3. This is a problem and seems like a no win situation I was recently at a Sheraton for three nights I did not want my room cleaned
    ,the housekeeper begged to clean my room saying she would be sent home without a full day‘s pay

  4. I’m fine with it. I don’t change my sheets at home every other day, so every 4th day for a sheet change is fine.
    I actually do not like housekeeping going in my room when I am not there so this is a plus for me. If you need something you can always call for that so I don’t see a problem with it.

  5. The next time I visit my favorite Holiday Inn in Nola, Italy I will kiss the white sheets. You need sunglasses in the rooms because of the white and cleanliness. By the way they charge less than any Hyatt and change sheets daily.

  6. Meh. Non-issue.

    Do you clean your sheets, towels, bedroom, desk, etc every day at home?

    No – because it’s not necessary.

  7. Hyatt has the biggest scam going (or is it brilliance?)
    They can overcharge people because they can put up appearances of an “upscale” brand.

    You will have people proclaiming until they are blue in the face that Hyatt is a superior brand. Theyve done a brilliant marketing job.

  8. In reality, given the numerous exposes pointing out the very unhealthy environment of top shelf hotels, e.g., unsanitary quilts, blankets, pillows, water glasses, etc, does it matter if their is a semblance of housekeeping, or not? I stopped bringing a blue light to identify the vast germs found in these plush hotels-unbelievable.

    Makes the issue re the FA pouring an unused glass of champagne back into the bottle a non-issue.

    One wonder if the state/city public health departments ramped up real inspections, as they conduct in hospitals and nursing homes, how rich these agencies would become from the fines and penalties assessed.

    Than of course, are the hotels any different than the airlines or Amtrak re their documented unsanitary headrests, armrests, tray tables, and every item in the bathroom..?

  9. I’m OK without sheet changes but make the bed and clean the restroom up should be every day standard. It’s a biz hotel – wasting time making a bed shouldn’t be the default.

  10. Smug Socialists will keep improving pay until hard-working folks are out of a job.

    OTOH, the property will provide daily housekeeping if you want daily housekeeping. It’s easier to ask for it there than complain about it here.

  11. The biggest negative I see is that I don’t get to hoard shampoo and toilet paper. I confess that when there’s a spare roll of toilet paper, I take it. (I don’t take the roll that is in the toilet paper dispenser).

    Over the course of the year, I get many rolls of toilet paper. In fact, during certain months when I travel a lot, I don’t have to buy toilet paper at home. I also haven’t had to buy shampoo in about 3 years.

  12. My worst stay of 2018 was at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

    I checked in very late and checked out very early and all I wanted was a nice invigorating morning shower . . . but instead only got some weak drips that wouldn’t wash the soap off my exhausted body.

    Pretty outrageous paying a few hundred bucks so that I can be subjected to the aesthetic preferences of other people and have their personal choices foisted upon me whether I agree with them or not. Done with Hyatt in Seattle, and circumspect about Hyatt elsewhere and sure to look carefully at their self-serving “environmental” policies.

  13. Recently stayed at a Home2 Suites (Hilton) in Phoenix for 4 nights. Granted, this is marketed as an extended-stay hotel. Before saying anything else, it was perfect for my stay.
    Housecleaning was in a similar vein as this discussion, and I appreciated it. Beds were made (but linens not replaced) and used bath towels replaced every day, and a ‘light cleaning’ performed. Policy as stated was to do a ‘complete clean’ (presumably change of sheets) after 4th night. What else would I need? Unless I really sullied the sheets with (use your worst imagination here), there is no reason to change the bed linens…and complimentary changing is offered should I (again, use your imagination).
    Is this REALLY a political discussion?

  14. I’ll ask for daily housekeeping if I want or need it. But I believe they will eventually start charging extra for anything more than limited service.

  15. I would request daily housekeeping. It’s not acceptable to do less. I don’t need new linens but tidying up and making the bed is part of what I like about staying in a hotel.

  16. I welcome this shift away from largely useless daily cosmetic freshening up — nobody needs sheets changed every day or pointless vacuuming. However, I’d like to see NO downsizing of housekeeping staff as a result. I’d like to see management shift housekeeping energy toward regular DEEP cleaning of rooms: deep vacuuming and sanitizing, flipping mattresses to avoid the all-too-common divots, wiping down all surfaces likely to be touched by human hands and feet and asses, window cleaning, flushing and descaling the coffee makers, comprehensive dusting, touch-up painting, and perhaps most important, bleaching and scrubbing and regrouting showers/tubs. The majority of rooms would be so much more pleasant and fresh and sanitized. This could all be accomplished with a shift away from useless cosmetic cleaning that 95% of guestrooms don’t need. Perhaps guests could order up a la carte services via iPads. Too much trash one night? Need a few extra towels and lotions? Let housekeeping know, and it’ll be done in two minutes. Free up staff for the freshening up and and sanitizing that really make a difference.

  17. Aaron Makinen,

    I like that idea, but I doubt that hotels are going to be willing to go that way as much as they will be willing to just reduce cleaning staff labor costs. And the worst of the hotels will be those that have the high proportion of their cleaning staff being paid only on an hourly basis or, worse yet, who get paid at a rate per room cleaned rather than a fixed salary regardless of work volume on any given day.

    Hotels contracting out maid service and paying for cleaning mostly/only on an hourly or room basis has consequences. And hotel owners/operators won’t be willing to pay more than the market and government requires them to pay, and so you won’t get your wish until and unless consumers and/or government act in such a way as to de facto force hotels to change their ways.

  18. Hyatt is playing with fire. If they start treating full service properties as limited service properties, AirBNB is going to eat their lunch.

    Hopefully other chains font follow suit.

  19. I usually leave a several dollars every day as a tip. Looks like their housekeeping staff are going to take less money home. The big question is, was their pay raise to $15 an hour putting more money in their pocket?

  20. Good on Hyatt. Daily clean-up isn’t necessary, and if you’re room is such a pigsty after one day, clean it up yourself. Or stay somewhere else.

  21. For what a full-service hotel costs in SEA I don’t feel like making my own bed or tidying the bathroom.
    This is just about $$$ as @Gary says.
    How’s that phase go? “We know you have a choice when…..”
    Easy fix. Stay somewhere else.

  22. I want my garbage emptied, my toiletries refilled, my cups washed and my bed made for me every day during a hotel stay. They don’t have to change the sheets or towels every day, or even vacuum and clean the bathroom, but at least freshen up the place. If I don’t get that as a standard service there are 50+ other places in the area to stay at. And it’s not like their rates are any cheaper than a comparable hotel in the area, so they need to figure out another way to cost cut. Other hotels have.

  23. Obviously, the strategy is to employ fewer housekeepers due to what Hyatt considers an excessive minimum wage in Seattle. I suppose Seattle could now mandate daily housekeeping! And then Hyatt would raise room rates. Which might cause some guests to stay elsewhere, perhaps outside the city limits.
    There are always unintended consequences — usually bad ones — when the government tries to “help”.

  24. City government had been warned about the ultimate consequences of raising the minimum wage the way that they did.

    There’s automation in the pipeline that will further reduce staffing levels.

  25. Fine with me. I always decline housekeeping because I don’t want strangers near my stuff. Frankly, this is the smart decision for all companies out there and I love that they are being honest about their reasons. It’s what you get when you set the price of labor above the price the market sets.

  26. I’ll be dialing 0. Change daily. Idiots. This does nothing for the environment, just hurts the guest Experience. I rarely read these letters when I check in bc like 70% of the other guests in these types of hotels I’m BUSY on business usually. So if I notice my hotel room hasn’t been cleaned when I return late evening, I’d be livid.

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