Nobody wakes up in the morning hoping to greet a day full of grumps. Obviously, that’s true for travelers looking for some much deserved R&R. It is surprising, though, how many “happy” travelers forget that everyone, including hotel staff, deserve to experience happiness in their days, too. Unfortunately, many travelers treat hotel staff with an inordinate level of rudeness. (This is also true for others in the hospitality and travel industry, including and especially airlines).
Of course you expect hotel staff to be courteous, kind, and professional. From Marriott to Motel 6, it’s part of the lodging experience. However, if you want them to be extra nice, a little reciprocated courtesy can go a long way toward that end. Want a free upgrade to your room? Trust me, your chances will improve if you ask politely. It really is elementary.
With that said, here are three simple things guests can do to make hotel staff happy
- Acknowledge their presence with a polite greeting
The maintenance staff pushing those cleaning carts down the hallway are real people, not robots. It’s okay to say hi. Walking past them, pretending like they’re not there, makes you look uncaring and sometimes snobbish. Your encountered silence would be expected on a bustling New York sidewalk, but when it’s just the two of you in a long hotel hallway, at least give a nod and pleasant “Good Morning!”
- Tip them
I’m always amazed at how willing society is to tip the folks who bring us food and gather our dishes, but that same society is unwilling to tip the folks who make our beds and clean our toilets. Part of this tipping-inequality conundrum can be explained through the issue of anonymity. We usually don’t see the people who clean and tidy our hotel rooms, and therefore feel less guilty as sans-tipping hotel guests. Whereas, we interact quite a bit with servers at restaurants.
It is entirely appropriate to tip your cleaning staff. According to a CNN article written on this topic, a good rule-of-thumb is to tip $1 to $2 per person, per night. So, if there are two people in your room, leave a tip $2 to $4 per night. Not only is it polite to tip, it’s quite affordable, and . . . also quite fashionable!
- Tidy-up after yourself
Tips are appreciated, but so is not being a slob. Just because you know the cleaning staff will make your bed, doesn’t mean you have to suddenly turn into a 3-year-old and throw the covers on the floor in a bundle. Just because you know the staff will pick up the pillows, doesn’t mean you can’t help a little. Show a little grown-up decorum by doing 90% of the bed-making and let them tighten things up.
Your hotel’s cleaning staff aren’t supposed to be hazmat specialists. Don’t expect them to make everything germ-free. As a frequent traveler, I’ve learned that people are pretty gross. That’s why I always keep a handful of Melaleuca products formulated to help combat against the seen (and unseen!) nastiness of hotel rooms. Just because the cleaning staff wipes down toilet seats doesn’t mean you can’t add an extra level of disinfectant by giving another wipe to the seat. The same is true for handles on doors and sinks. Don’t forget the remote control.