After almost 30 years of serving the hospitality industry, I have seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same:
Whether people are on vacation or traveling for business, they want to stay in a clean room with clean sheets, clean towels and clean bedding.
Guests have become even more conscious of room cleanliness in recent years thanks to some high-profile and widespread beg bug invasions.
We’ve written blog posts in the past about protecting a room and a bed against bed bugs. If guest finds – or worse, is bitten by – a bed bug, it can be an expensive proposition.
That’s why protection is your best prevention. Be vigilant in checking your room each time a guest checks in our checks out.
Here are some signs you have bed bugs:
- Check for rusty or reddish stains on sheets or mattresses, caused by bed bugs being squashed.
- Dark spots (roughly this size of this text) which are bed bug excrement and could bleed into the fabric, the way a marker would.
- Look for eggs and egg shells, and the pale yellow skins the young bed bug nymphs shed as they get older. You can also look for bed bugs themselves. They are light brown or reddish brown about .16 to .2 inches long, flat and oval-shaped.
In addition to bed bugs, guests are concerned that the places where they stay take precautions against dust mites, mold, mildew and smoke. (Most B&Bs, Inns and vacation rental properties don’t allow smoking, and hotels have designated no-smoking rooms, but smoke can still seep into other rooms from designated smoking areas.)
Your potential customers have a lot of properties to choose from, which means you should work hard to put together a housekeeping team that will can make sure your rooms meet the high standards of today’s guests.
I’ve stayed at places where the housekeeping staff didn’t check the room as thoroughly as they should have after cleaning. In one recent case, I was staying in a lovely room that nonetheless had a piece of chipped glass at the sink and a towel with a hole. Clearly, the head housekeeper either hadn’t been in the room, or hadn’t taken a close look after the room was readied for our arrival.
This was especially disappointing to me as the owner of this property had just purchased some wonderful towels from InnStyle. This torn towel should have been sent to the rag bag. It should be a given: guests want to see undamaged, clean towels.
Then there was the hotel in New York City. It’s one thing to check into a room and find a chocolate waiting for you on a pillow, quite another to find – as I found – a chocolate stain. I threw the pillow on the floor, and when I came back to the room later, the pillow was back on the bed, with the same stained pillowcase.
I called housekeeping and asked for a fresh pillowcase, but they never arrived. I reported the issue to the hotel, but with no results. It was very disappointing.
At InnStyle, we’ve always stressed that room cleanliness and bed quality are the first things a guest will notice. It’s the type of thing that can make or break their opinion of your establishment.
When someone spends money for a room, they want to stay somewhere that is as good as – and hopefully better than – their room at home, with clean sheets, and clean towels. They don’t want – or expect – to see tired-looking bedspreads, worn towels or stained pillowcases.
In our next blog post, we’ll offer some ideas on how to dress your room so you’ll make a great first impression when new guests arrive.