It’s very rare that I stay in a hotel anymore. After 7 years as a Tour Manager, I have stayed in more hotel rooms than I can count and hotel vacations really aren’t my thing, but I always refuse to let housekeeping clean my room when I stay in a hotel.
Why do I refuse to let housekeeping clean my room? I don’t think housekeepers are on top of their duties as I have had a few experiences that I will share with you. One of them is especially gross so beware.
When I get my key and go into my room, I put my carry-on bag on the table, and get out my sanitizing wipes.
I carry these with me all the time, even when I’m not traveling. Here are the things I sanitize:
1. Remote Control
2. All knobs in the room
3. all light fixtures in the room
4. The locks on the door
5. toilet seat and handle
6. faucet handles
7. Any chairs or couches
Now, here are a couple of reasons why I sanitize my room and why I won’t let housekeeping in my room to clean up.
1. I walked into my room one day when the housekeeper was there (this was in a 5 star hotel). No problem, I was looking for something in my suitcase and I happen to look up and notice the housekeeper was coming out of the bathroom with a rag in her hand and immediately went to clean the nightstand…with the same rag. That. Is. Gross. Just nasty.
I mean, think about it, if she just finished cleaning my toilet that my booty was on and then came and cleaned my bedroom with the same rag, was that the same rag from the last room she cleaned? From the last toilet she cleaned? So she uses the same rag to clean my toilet as she used to clean the toilet of someone I don’t know, someone who sat their naked possible sweaty butt on their toilet? No thank you.
So, when I check into my room, I do the thorough wipe down and when I leave I put the do not disturb sign on the door and housekeeping does not come back into my room. I only ask for new towels and toilet paper if I happen to run out.
2. Now this one is really gross. I was in a hotel room in Paris, at a very high end hotel off The Champs Elysses. (This was before my ban on housekeeping) Housekeeping had come into my room and it was nice and clean. I went into the bathroom because I had eaten breakfast and I wanted to brush my teeth before I had to meet my guests downstairs so I picked up my toothbrush and started to brush. Toothbrush was in my mouth and a few strokes had been taken. When all of a sudden I realized that this wasn’t my toothbrush. I took it out of my mouth and it was a toothbrush from housekeeping. Something they use to clean cracks and crevices (and I refuse to think about the other things it may have cleaned). This brush had ‘mistakenly’ been put on my sink and I had put it in my mouth.
Have you ever had something happen that is so nasty you can’t think about it or you will throw up? Well, that was definitely one of those times. I didn’t have time to dwell on it, I had 50 guests waiting downstairs and I certainly couldn’t let any of them know what had just happened. However, I did tell the head of housekeeping what happened, showed her the brush and told her I didn’t want this to happen to anyone ever again. She was very apologetic and let’s hope they got things together.
So, from that experience, I learned to keep housekeeping out of my room. It doesn’t matter if I’m staying in a 5 star hotel or a low budget one, I don’t need a housekeeper. It doesn’t bother me to fix my own bed (if I choose to) and I don’t need my carpet vacuumed daily. It’s nice when they arrange things in the bathroom for you but then that means their germs are on everything and I just don’t like people touching my intimate things.
If I travel with someone and we stay in a hotel, I tell them my policy before we book a room together so they won’t be surprised because I absolutely will not let a housekeeper in my room. There was one time in Paris when I specifically told the manager I didn’t want housekeeping but they came in anyway. I simply re-sanitized the room and kept my toothbrush in my suitcase.
To this day, when I go to a hotel, I keep my toothbrush in a holder in my carry-on, just in case housekeeping ignores my do not disturb sign and cleans my room. If you had put something in your mouth that cleans bathroom surfaces and cracks, I think you would feel the same way as I do.
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