Tag: Hotel HousekeepingView All Tags
When we checked into the JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Springs the other weekend, we were tickled to see the Aromatherapy Associates line of toiletries in the bathrooms. Mouthwash included!
Last year, we had heard that JW hotels would be rolling out these upscale toiletries but now they are officially in place at every JW Marriott. Designed for business travelers to fight off skin dehydration after long flights and fatigue due to changing time zones, the line is made with all-natural ingredients and has a scent that appeals to both men and women.
During our stay we realized we forgot to pack our face wash, which nearly gave us a panic attack but the Aromatherapy Associates soap worked amazingly well, without overly drying our skin. (Of course, this being the desert, we slathered on moisturizer followed by sunscreen so our skin didn't have much time to feel dry.) And we loved the fragrant shampoo and conditioner. Even better, our hair was smooth and soft after blowdrying it too.
Shockingly, we forgot to grab our toiletries before we checked-out but if this happens to you, don't fret. You can buy the entire toiletry line on the Shop Marriott site.
We recently had a whole week of hotel bed stories which detailed everything on the average life of a hotel mattress to making a bed, Ritz-Carlton style. In that story, we mentioned it took housekeepers about seven minutes to properly fix the bed to the luxury hotel's strict standards.
Well, imagine our surprise when we received word that seven minutes is TOO LONG to make up a hotel bed. Who would scoff at the Ritz-Carlton in such a way? None other than the Executive Housekeeping department at California's Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa.
Apparently they can put their money where their mouth is, having won the Bed Making competition at the Monterey County Hospitality Association's Annual Employee Appreciation Day for two years in a row (2012/3). This is the local hospitality sector's version of the World Cup!
How fast did it take their staff to make a bed? 36 SECONDS!
At first, we were awed, and then we frowned a bit. What did that bed look like? Where there corners cut? We corresponded with John Gill, Executive Housekeeper at the property on what it took to win this competition. He gave us the detes.
All this week, we'll be talking about Hotel Beds--where to buy 'em, how to make 'em, how to trust 'em (see story below!) and what to do when the bed isn't enough to send you to Sleepyland. Got a hotel bed question or comment? Send it to us! We're not sure about you, but we like to know a little bit about the different beds in which we sleep. At the end of the day, hotels are simply community beds, a concept that brings up a few questions: How often is the mattress replaced? Or worse... what about those spills and stains? We caught up with Philip Ridgway, Director of Housekeeping at the Four Seasons San Francisco, to get some answers. Here are 6 things to know about the life of a hotel mattress:
1. All the mattresses in the Four Seasons San Fran are the same, and they are made specifically for the brand. They are usually ordered on a large-scale by the corporate office and delivered directly to the individual hotel. They typically try to replace the whole hotel at once about every ten years, unless thereís an incident where one has to be switched out.
2. Speaking of incidents, donít worry about spilling that glass of wine. Just donít set the room on fire. Four Seasons will only charge in the case of gross negligence, like if you had a huge party and literally (not figuratively) set the sheets on fire. They wonít charge you for a small spill or if your kid wets the bed. Those things happen. The best thing to do is just be honest and let housekeeping know.
All this week, we'll be talking about Hotel Beds--where to buy 'em, how to make 'em, how to trust 'em (just wait and see what we mean) and what to do when the bed isn't enough to send you to Sleepyland. Got a hotel bed question or comment? Send it to us!
Little did we know when we started this series that there was such a thing called, "National Make Your Bed Day". Now, we're all for kitschy holidays, but in honor of our weeklong dedication to all things sleep related, we were especially happy to hear there's an actual Bed Making Expert at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantationin Greensboro, Georgia.
Haajar La Roche began working at the hotel in 2002 in the housekeeping department, focusing on public areas and turndown, and is now the head of the housekeeping department. She has supplied three key instructions on how to make your bed, hotel-style.
We wanted to see this in action, so we went to the Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park in New York City and had 9-year employee Diomeda Rosario, one of the hotel's best room attendants, demonstrate La Roche's instructionsso you can try it at home.
Turns out there's an app for getting hotel beds to look all pretty like this.
We know all about the range of consumer hotel apps that help us during our stay, but did you know that hotels also use mobile apps on the other end to run the show? Even the housekeepers?
This particular housekeeping app, Hibox Housekeeper, is designed to reduce costs and improve efficiency when it comes to cleaning. It started at hotels in the Nordic region and has recently become available worldwide.
The app allows staff members to report a room status, send problem reports with photos, track minibar usage, manage multiple cleaning sessions, and link directly to the property management system in the hotel. All this, in theory, adds up to a more organized approach that should lead to quicker turnaround times.
This is what greeted us in the bathroom at Aria Las Vegas when we returned to the room in the afternoon--our toiletries, hairbrush and glass all lined up in perfect order. Gorgeous! It really is those little things that win us over.
This also made up for the fact that the next day, housekeeping busted in on us, while changing clothes, completely ignoring our calls of "no, please don't open the door." And as we were reaching desperately for the hotel robe, the housekeeper peeked her head around the door just to remind us that we had to check-out that day. It was only 9:15am and check-out was not until 11am. Alrighty then. At least our toiletries were easy to pack up.
This is the scene that greeted a recent guest at Harrah's in Las Vegas. Yes, a remote control casually thrown onto the bed and pillows slightly askew. You can read about the rest of the drama for this one unlucky guest over at VegasChatter but this isn't the first time we've encountered a sloppily made guestroom.
There's nothing worse than checking into your hotel--especially late at night and after a long flight--only to find your room looks a little, well, lived in. Eee. We had this happen recently at the Holiday Inn Express Manhattan West Side. Here's how the bed looked when we entered the room.
Not what we want to see after a cross-country flight. Not at all. We've heard other stories of guests to walk into their rooms and find dirty bathrooms, open pizza boxes on the beds, condom wrappers on the floor and other horrors. We ultimately switched to an entirely new hotel. We managed to overlook the bed but not the dirty shower and the loud construction noise.
We've griped before about how we can't stand seeing the room service table left in the hallway all day or night. The last thing we want to see as we head back to our room is what you ate for dinner last night or for breakfast this morning. Sorry, but it's true!
That's why we always say take the extra step and call up room service or housekeeping and let them know the tray is outside. (In a really good hotel, room service will call you an hour or so after the meal was delivered and ask if they can take the tray.) However, thanks to this new-fangled technology from Axxess Industries you will never have to call for the tray to be removed.
Axxess' solution is to embed a transmitter somewhere in the room tray or the table--for instance, in the sugar packet dispenser--that automatically sends a signal to housekeeping or room service that the tray has been placed outside the room. The signal can be sent through the electronic Do Not Disturb signs outside the room or through plug-in devices. Fittingly, the technology is called Tray Tracker.
We got a demo of this technology at the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas last May and according to CEO Joerg Wagner, the technology is already being used by several Vegas hotels which have thousands and thousands of hotel rooms, and potentially, thousands of room service trays. Of course, the Tray Tracker doesn't send a robot to pick up the tray. We still need to rely on humans for that. But it does save us the hassle of making the "Can you pick up my tray?" phone call.
[Photo: Axxess Industries]
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel Drama / Australia Hotels / Sydney Hotels / Hotel Housekeeping / Joel Madden / → All Tags
Good Charlotte's front-man was hanging out down under as a judge on the country's version of The Voice, all the while staying at Sydney's casino-turned-urban-resort. Now that the show has concluded and the winner has been crowned, Joel may have wanted to let off a little steam while relaxing overlooking the Sydney Harbour and sparked up a doobie. Hey, we might have to add that to our list.
Over the weekend, a friend sent us this snapshot from a Sheraton Hotel near San Diego, saying " Apparently, this sheet is in Sheraton's "still usable" category." Sheet! That ain't good. And it kinda takes the excitement out of sleeping on that Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, right?
Sadly, we've seen tears like this rather frequently on hotel sheets. We *think* it's due to the giant machines that press the sheets after they are laundered. Inevitably a corner gets stuck in the machine and is accidentally ripped. It definitely doesn't look like a guest made such a clean tear, unless they we're just goofing off with a pocket-knife while in bed. And that's possible, given this list of shameful hotel habits.
But is there another explanation? Does anyone know what else might be causing such a sheety disaster? And should a hotel discard an otherwise perfectly good sheet? Tell us in comments below!
It's one of those subjects we just can't seem to get enough of--hotel housekeeping. We love to hear stories about your experiences with the staff, good or bad. But even better, we adore it when the maids themselves dish the literal dirt on what they've seen with their own eyes.
We happened to check out this story called "Sh*t the Hotel Maid Says" and we thought it was high time we interviewed someone in the industry, because the stories we read were hilarious (a spider monkey hiding in the vent??).
A pal of ours (we'll call her "Maid Marian") did a housekeeper stint at a boutique hotel that happens to be on the PGA Tour circuit. It's not a big chain, so she requested anonymity.
Here's her lowdown on the best and worst things she saw, and tips on how to be a great guest.
Hyatt got a pat on the back and an extra scoop of ice cream in November when it was named the top place to work for LGBT equality, but now the hotel chain is back in the doghouse and bearing the brunt of a boycott that, according to a release put out by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), has cost Hyatt more than $27 million in business.
Those numbers obviously are subjective and unable to be confirmed at this time, but it's very well possible considering the boycott has been active since last summer. At that time, union leaders of Hyatt's employees called for a global boycott in response to what they deemed to be "various unfair labor practices." More than 5,000 organizations have backed the effort and information/resources have been aggregated on its website, hyatthurts.org.
Last week, the NCLR, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) joined in, citing "widespread evidence of harmful working conditions for hotel housekeepers, who are predominantly women of color, including Latinas."