Discussing dirty rooms isn’t exactly a new topic. But with the explosion of available electronica to broadcast criticism, guestroom cleanliness is something I run across multiple times an hour. It’s a salient reason behind negative reviews and something you have to monitor vigilantly.
Most complaints against dirt are targeted at what’s on the surface — that is, what can be seen with your own two eyes: rug stains, ceiling mold, dusty lampshades, yellow blotches on pillow covers, spots on glasses in the bathroom and so on. Grievances have yet to really touch on what our eyes cannot detect outright such as germs on the remote control or residual blots on the bed sheets.
These should not be ignored, however, as consumers are growing wise to these neglected areas, especially now that UV flashlights are not only cheap and but also readily available at a convenience store near you. And people know how to use them — sweeping their blue-cast beams over any surface that might touch their hands or face. In this age of consumer transparency, the hygiene standard just went up another notch.
If you aren’t sanitizing your rooms thoroughly, a guest will inevitably notice. It’s all part of a mounting trend in unjustified hotel-cleanliness bashing. I hypothesize that people have seen one too many sitcoms or read a few too many unfair criticisms online where one tiny smudge is blown out of proportion to make a guestroom out to be a sty. Yes, that last sentence is totally pro-hotel, but it gets across a scary truth of this digital age: there’s no room for error, and consumers now have the resources to find even the most miniscule shortfalls.
So how do you maintain the spotless and germfree room guests expect? In this arms race for consumer satisfaction, if your guests have UV lights, your housekeepers should too. It’s not a whirlwind of an expense, and seeing is believing. After all, if your housekeepers have a tool that can reveal all those hidden blotches, they’re all the more likely to correct any hygiene issues before they become a problem.
I see this as an easily fixable issue, much like most others in the housekeeping domain. It all boils down to proper training, quality control and, occasionally, a tiny gadget to confirm that a guestroom truly is spic-and-span.
(Article published by Larry Mogelonsky in HOTELSmag on July 10, 2013)