People rarely give much of a thought to hotel staff in travel blogs.
It’s all about ‘tips and tricks’, ways to save the traveller money, hotel and accommodation ‘hacks’. And don’t get me wrong, this is useful stuff. I read those blogs. I take that advice. But I also think that sometimes it’s important to think beyond just what we, as travellers, want and need, and try to make our experience fun for everyone involved – not just ourselves.
I’ve worked in housekeeping on more than one occasion (admittedly primarily to fund extended travelling trips), so I know the difference between a good guest and a bad one. And trust me, your behaviour can really make the difference between the staff having a good day or a bad one.
Hotel staff are basically responsible for ensuring that you have a good time.
They are important.
They welcome you in, make your beds and answer your queries; they clean your bathrooms, hoover your carpets, and provide a fantastic source of local information. These things, and more, may be in their job description, but the attitude of the guests really makes such a difference to how enjoyable the operation of a hotel is.
So, based on first-hand experience, read on for some solid advice on how to make yourself everyone’s number one favourite guest!
Hopefully this goes without saying, but a little courtesy goes a long way. Smiling is a must. Saying please and thank you is not at all difficult but makes a huge difference to the way you are perceived by the staff. Or at least, not saying them creates a very bad impression. (I also think this holds true for life in general.)
And if you see one of the housekeeping staff, please acknowledge them. Say ‘hello’, and smile! So many people don’t do this, and I really judge them as a person if they automatically think you’re not worth their time just because you’re in a cleaner’s uniform.
Use your Do Not Disturb sign
DND signs are there for a reason. If you don’t want anyone knocking on your door, if you’re getting changed or taking a nap, put the sign on your door. It’s not rude to do so – in fact I would argue that it’s rude not to! There is nothing worse, as a cleaner, than going into a room only to find someone hastily pulling on some clothes, or staring at you bleary-eyed from bed. It is awkward and embarrassing for both parties, and completely unnecessary. So if you’re having a lie in, if you’ve popped back to your room to change, if you just don’t want anyone bothering you at any particular moment – please just hang your Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle!
Make Your Bed
It is almost unbelievable how badly some people manage to mess up their bedding within a single night. Screwed up covers, pillows flung to the far corners of the room, mattress completely parted from sheet. That’s OK! Just sort it out once you’ve got up. It will take less than a minute to straighten the covers and put the sheet back on. It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means – after all, the housekeeper is there to sort it out for you – but if you think about how many rooms a cleaner has to attend do in their day, it makes such a difference to have part of the work already done when you get there.
Shower in the Evening
This may be a more drastic adjustment than the previous points, and sometimes you can’t avoid having a shower in the morning. But I promise you will be the cleaner’s best friend if your shower is dry by the time they clean your room. Having to dry off and wipe down a shower before you can even clean it is the biggest pain in the arse; even worse if the rest of the bathroom is also wet. So if you’re indifferent about when you shower, pick the night before.
Tidy Up Your Tea
Having a cuppa? Totally fine. Help yourself. It’s complimentary: I would do the same. But please don’t leave manky tea bags everywhere, or trail coffee grounds all over the table. Treat rubbish as you would in your own home. Put it in the bin like a normal human. Don’t deliberately leave a mess because you know someone is coming to clean up after you. Make everyone’s life a bit easier by not being a slob.
Strip Your Bed Before You Leave
Most hostels will ask you to do this as a matter of course, but even if you’re staying in a fancy hotel they probably won’t. However, any cleaner anywhere will hugely appreciate the linen being taken off the bed for them. One less job. And it takes about 40 seconds of your time. The linen has to be changed between guests, so there’s no sense in leaving a well-made bed behind you. Dump it unceremoniously on the floor – the housekeeping staff will be so happy about it!
None of these tips are exactly taxing to follow. Mostly it’s just common sense, and common decency. But a lot of the time, people just don’t really think about it. Make sure you are one of the wonderful people that do!
Got any more advice about staying in hotels? Add it to the comments below!