To Save Money, Marriott Hotel Tells Guests Please Leave Your Trash “In The Hallway”

Hotels have worked to keep their pandemic cost cuts in place, even as guests returned and room rates in many cases went through the roof. In the U.S. hotels eliminated over 100,000 housekeeping jobs by not doing daily housekeeping.

  • They still have to clean rooms between guests
  • The highest-end hotels still offer proper housekeeping each day
  • But then you have a couple of levels below this. Some only clean rooms every few days. Some will do a ‘refresh’ service on request each day, such as taking out the trash and making the bed using existing linens.

And by making the default no ‘refresh service’ – making guests request it – not only does it take less time to clean a room, but there are fewer rooms to clean. Hotels don’t keep as many housekeepers on staff, and they save labor costs.

The problem for hotels with dropping daily housekeeping is that they’re eliminating the things that make them different than an Airbnb and Airbnb has been their primary competitive threat. At some properties it also just cashes out as gross.

Marriott’s AC Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis tells guests just leave your trash in the hall.

While I am not a subject matter expert, this appears to violate Minnesota fire code. The 2020 update to section 1031.3 Obstructions reads that a “[m]eans of egress shall remain free of any material or matter where its presence would obstruct or render the means of egress hazardous.”

The state specifically held that this means multi-dwelling facilities cannot have trash left in hallways. This was challenged first with an administrative law judge and then at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which upheld the position. At a minimum the hotels dictate that guests should place their trash in the hall raises code concerns.

Here’s what the practice looked like at Marriott’s TownePlace Suites Outer Banks Kill Devil Hills:

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  1. Even if Marriott reimposed daily housekeeping, it wouldn’t matter because Marriott manages so few of its properties. The AC Hotel by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown is a Sage Hospitality-operated property.

  2. Don’t worry, it just a ploy to develop a new junk fee…..”Keep Up Appearances” fee.
    Ms Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “bouquet”) will explain it to you during checkout!!!

  3. In fairness (and I don’t disagree with your main point), it says to leave it in the receptacle in the hallway, not just in the hallway. Is it possible that they have such receptacles at proper places like nooks, next to ice machines, and so on, so as not to represent an additional safety hazard?

  4. Yet another seismic change that hoteliers probably wanted to do for years, but COVID provided them with a free pass to pull the trigger. Now, housekeeping is optional at best – and leave your crap in the hallway. Not only will they not lower the rate to compensate for the degraded experience, but they’ll tack on a BS “resort” or “historical” or “mental health” fee on top of it all.

    @Exit Row: My Sheridan would be appalled by the rubbish in the hallways!

  5. Of course, housekeepers are NOT given more time to clean a room after guests check-out. Rooms are going to be dirtier after two, three or five days of no real housekeeping.

  6. Great way to meet a celebrity like Mickey Mouse nibbling on someones old pizza

  7. I cannot believe they are sanctioning this practice. It is a terrible sight to get out of your room in the morning and see trash and food leftovers littering the hallways. I don’t leave trash outside my bedroom door in my house and certainly don’t want to see somebody else’s trash outside my room in a hotel. Unsanitary too. We are going downhill as a nation fast.

  8. With “refresh” on request, I only actually receive the “refresh” about half of the time I request it. This is across all chains.

  9. Not sure why this is much of an issue, since quite a few people I know have been doing this ever since SPG and later Marriott offered “green” points for skipping daily housekeeping

  10. I kind of like the idea of getting the trash out of my room. I spend 1 minute in the hallway…I spend 8 hours in the room. However it falls on the property to make hourly sweeps of the hallway to collect trash….we know they won’t do that.

  11. What the heck has happened to clean Minneapolis and Minnesota nice? They think its o.k. to look like a cross street at night in Manhattan with piles of trash?? Or is this Marriott and Sage just being cheap?

    Your point on Fire Codes is very valid. How is a person in a wheel chair going to get out in a fire/smoke scenario if there are piles of combustible trash in the way? Fire codes exist for a reason.

  12. Marriott Marina del Rey Residence Inn was way ahead of the curve with this, but didn’t even tell guests it was OK to do. . . They just did. . . Moron across the hall thought it was fine to stick his kids diapers in the hall. Management to stop that, after the 3 complaint.

  13. For several years, when I’ve encountered in-room dining trays or fast food containers (pizza boxes; soda containers,food waste trash…) in the hall near someone’s room door, I quietly place the tray or trash at the front of the persons’ room door. Sometimes it’s as easy as rolling the trolley in fron of the door. Hopefully they’ll learn to properly dispose of the trash or all for the tray to be picked up.

  14. Don’t stay at a Marriott and their affiliated brands. That’s going to get their attention. Hopefully.

  15. i actually did that in a small hotel off the main drag in Moscow Russia.
    Whenever I had enough of a bagful I just figured out where the staff were dropping the trash and left it there. In all fairness it just about took a T3 tank for the staff to get in to clean up :).

  16. Travel several times a month for work. Used to exclusively stay at Marriott. Now holiday inn is so much better. Still clean the rooms, and didn’t try to cut every possible guest service and amenity. Bonus: it’s cheaper and they now have a better rewards program!

  17. @Chris, you need to re-read the letter. It does not say there are receptacles in the hallway it says to “place the trash receptacle in the hallway” which means to place your room’s trash can(s) in the hallway.

  18. In my experience, Marriott AC is a garbage brand of tarted up roadside motels. Wouldn’t be a problem except that I think calling it “Marriott” with an indistinct suffix modifier “AC” is misleading as to the sort of property you’re actually getting, whereas something like Hilton Garden Inn, or even Courtyard by Marriott makes it clear that you aren’t getting a normal Hilton or Marriott.

  19. Peasant place, I would call the Ambassador and get the F out the same day.

  20. This is one snapshot of one hotel. In my 30+ years of hotel experience, this was most likely a sports group that had 4 kids to a room and trash bags were provided for their convenience. In my current and prior experiences this is the exception and not the rule. Marriott full service hotels have gone back to the standards that were in place prior to covid. And yes, the industry is doing it with far fewer associates, not because it is trying to save on labor expense, but because the industry can’t find them regardless of how many wage increases we implement. Perhaps the next article you publish will be focused on the people who work tirelessly every day to meet the needs and expectations of travelers at all hotels.

  21. That photo definitely looks a fire hazard even if the law was not in place. Imagine that corridor was dark and smoke filled, people would be falling all over the place.

    It’s bad enough seeing people’s left over room service dumped in the corridor as can sometimes be the case, let alone additional trash. Hardly makes you want to return does it! Hopefully poor reviews for the property follow and it’ll hit them in sales

  22. Thankfully this is only going on in the USA and not in Europe or Asia

    What’s happening over there? Neighbors shooting each other every day, a mass shooting every 2 year, lower life expectancy, highest COVID deaths of the entire developed world…and now dirty hotels too?

  23. This is why there needs to be an established qualification for the hotel star rating system. If you want to advertise as 3 stars you must provide daily basic housekeeping, 4 star comprehensive daily housekeeping, 5 star additional turn down service.

    If you want to act like a budget hotel… then you must identify and advertise yourself as one.

  24. Perhaps if guests just start throwing every little piece of trash randomly in the hall, they’ll revisit their instructions.

  25. Here is a question for ANY of these chains. What am I paying for when I stay at your hotel? The room rates havn’t gone down while the service and quality has. If I can stay at a Holiday inn for $200 less, and get the same quality and service, why should I pay more?

    I look at airlines and they have more or less gone to an ale’ cart model of service. Your ticket pays for a seat on the plane to get you from point A to point B. If you want anything more, you have to pay for it. Fine, I know what to expect.

    But with hotels, the pricing model is different. If I stay at a Hilton or Marriott, they charge a certain rate based on the brand. They have built up that brand based on quality, service, and location. I am paying for quality and service. If I want less than that, I can go to a lower rated property.

    But they are allowing their hotels to damage their brand. That lowers my expectations, and in turn I expect a lower rate. There isn’t a way to give Ala’ carte service at a hotel. If you don’t want to clean the room daily, then charge a lower rate and lower my expectations. If you don’t want to have a pool, lower the rate. If you don’t want to have a restaurant and lounge in the hotel, lower the rate. If you don’t want to serve a full hot breakfast that is inclusive, then lower the rate. The rate needs to reflect not only the Location, but also the quality of the hotel, and the service level. And if they want to lower the service level, fine. But I’m not paying for something I’m expecting but not getting. And that goes with resort fees too.

  26. brb…..leaving my half eaten garlic burrito with sourdough bread and kung paper chicken from Thursday at the front desk.

  27. @MJL

    “Marriott full service hotels have gone back to the standards that were in place prior to covid.”

    That’s just not true.

    Even Marriotts, Sheratons and Westins aren’t offering full daily housekeeping.

    Bars of soap and other toiletries that used to be provided are gone. Shampoo, etc. are dispensers.

    Some of the collateral from room, like pens and notepads, are also gone.

    Club, concierge and executive lounges have reduced offerings or nothing at all except nonalcoholic drinks.

    Newspapers have been eliminated.

    Many properties aren’t offering room service.

    So, no, not all full-service Marriott brands have returned to pre-pandemic standards. Pretty much only J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Edition, W, and St. Regis are “normal.”

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